Phil/Psych 447, Phil 673

Seminar in Cognitive Science

Weeks 10-11: First person, neural explanations of consciousness and emotion

Key Ideas

First versus third person investigation

Semantic pointers

Information integration

Emotions as semantic pointers

Discussion Questions Week 10

  1. Can there be a first person science?
  2. Are you in the A team (Dennett) or the B team (Chalmers)?
  3. Can first-person experience be explained mechanistically?
  4. What can the method of phenomenology add to our understanding of consciousness?
  5. Does meditation illuminate the nature of consciousness?
  6. Does Buddhism provide insights about the meaning of life? Is enlightenment appealing?
  7. Can semantic pointer competition explain conscious experience (qualia)?
  8. What else should semantic pointer competition be able to explain?

Discussion Questions Week 11

  1. Does POEM succeed in unifying cognitive and somatic approaches to emotion?
  2. What is missing from brain-based explanations of emotions such as love?
  3. How does human emotional consciousness differ from that of animals?
  4. Is there a difference between the emotional consciousness of men and women?
  5. How do theories of embodiment change thinking about emotion?


Schlegel et al. on the mental workspace

Giulio Tononi

Thagard on emotions


Phil/Psych 447

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Nov. 11, 2013