Philosophie Explaining Consciousness

ISBN 13: 9780262193887

Explaining Consciousness

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9780262193887: Explaining Consciousness

At the 1994 landmark conference "Toward a Scientific Basis for Consciousness", philosopher David Chalmers distinguished between the "easy" problems and the "hard" problem of consciousness research. According to Chalmers, the easy problems are to explain cognitive functions such as discrimination, integration, and the control of behavior; the hard problem is to explain why these functions should be associated with phenomenal experience. Why doesnt all this cognitive processing go on "in the dark", without any consciousness at all? In this book, philosophers, physicists, psychologists, neurophysiologists, computer scientists, and others address this central topic in the growing discipline of consciousness studies. Some take issue with Chalmers' distinction, arguing that the hard problem is a non-problem, or that the explanatory gap is too wide to be bridged. Others offer alternative suggestions as to how the problem might be solved, whether through cognitive science, fundamental physics, empirical phenomenology, or with theories that take consciousness as irreducible.

Contributors: Bernard J. Baars, Douglas J. Bilodeau, David Chalmers, Patricia S. Churchland, Thomas Clark, C. J. S. Clarke, Francis Crick, Daniel C. Dennett, Stuart Hameroff, Valerie Hardcastle, David Hodgson, Piet Hut, Christof Koch, Benjamin Libet, E. J. Lowe, Bruce MacLennan, Colin McGinn, Eugene Mills, Kieron OHara, Roger Penrose, Mark C. Price, William S. Robinson, Gregg Rosenberg, Tom Scott, William Seager, Jonathan Shear, Roger N. Shepard, Henry Stapp, Francisco J. Varela, Max Velmans, Richard Warner

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About the Author:

Jonathan Shear is Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University and Managing Editor of Journal of Consciousness Studies.

Review:

"The volume is determinedly interdisciplinary, with a fair sprinkling of physicists and physiologists, alongside philosophers and psychologists of all denominations... this is a useful survey of the kind of work that has been spawned by the boom in consciousness studies." -- David Papineau, The Times Higher Education Supplement, October 23, 1998

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