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Out Of Our Heads

Author: Alva Noë
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9781429957199
Size: 10.85 MB
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Alva Noë is one of a new breed—part philosopher, part cognitive scientist, part neuroscientist—who are radically altering the study of consciousness by asking difficult questions and pointing out obvious flaws in the current science. In Out of Our Heads, he restates and reexamines the problem of consciousness, and then proposes a startling solution: Do away with the two hundred-year-old paradigm that places consciousness within the confines of the brain. Our culture is obsessed with the brain—how it perceives; how it remembers; how it determines our intelligence, our morality, our likes and our dislikes. It's widely believed that consciousness itself, that Holy Grail of science and philosophy, will soon be given a neural explanation. And yet, after decades of research, only one proposition about how the brain makes us conscious—how it gives rise to sensation, feeling, and subjectivity—has emerged unchallenged: We don't have a clue. In this inventive work, Noë suggests that rather than being something that happens inside us, consciousness is something we do. Debunking an outmoded philosophy that holds the scientific study of consciousness captive, Out of Our Heads is a fresh attempt at understanding our minds and how we interact with the world around us.

Action In Perception

Author: Alva Noë
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262140881
Size: 73.16 MB
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An argument that perception is something we do, not something that happens to us: not a process in the brain, but a skillful bodily activity.

Varieties Of Presence

Author: Alva Noë
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674063015
Size: 32.96 MB
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Main description: The world shows up for us-it is present in our thought and perception. But, as Alva Noë contends in his latest exploration of the problem of consciousness, it doesn't show up for free. The world is not simply available; it is achieved rather than given. As with a painting in a gallery, the world has no meaning-no presence to be experienced-apart from our able engagement with it. We must show up, too, and bring along what knowledge and skills we've cultivated. This means that education, skills acquisition, and technology can expand the world's availability to us and transform our consciousness. Although deeply philosophical, Varieties of Presence is nurtured by collaboration with scientists and artists. Cognitive science, dance, and performance art as well as Kant and Wittgenstein inform this literary and personal work of scholarship intended no less for artists and art theorists, psychologists, cognitive scientists, and anthropologists than for philosophers. Noë rejects the traditional representational theory of mind and its companion internalism, dismissing outright the notion that conceptual knowledge is radically distinct from other forms of practical ability or know-how. For him, perceptual presence and thought presence are species of the same genus. Both are varieties of exploration through which we achieve contact with the world. Forceful reflections on the nature of understanding, as well as substantial examination of the perceptual experience of pictures and what they depict or model are included in this far-ranging discussion.

Actual Consciousness

Author: Ted Honderich
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019102385X
Size: 59.32 MB
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What is it for you to be conscious? There is no agreement whatever in philosophy or science: it has remained a hard problem, a mystery. Is this partly or mainly owed to the existing theories not even having the same subject, not answering the same question? In Actual Consciousness, Ted Honderich sets out to supersede dualisms, objective physicalisms, abstract functionalism, externalisms, and other positions in the debate. He argues that the theory of Actualism, right or wrong, is unprecedented, in nine ways. (1) It begins from gathered data and proceeds to an adequate initial clarification of consciousness in the primary ordinary sense. This consciousness is summed up as something's being actual. (2) Like basic science, Actualism proceeds from this metaphorical or figurative beginning to what is wholly literal and explicit—constructed answers to the questions of what is actual and what it is for it to be actual. (3) In so doing, the theory respects the differences of consciousness within perception, consciousness that is thinking in a generic sense, and consciousness that is generic wanting. (4) What is actual with your perceptual consciousness is a subjective physical world out there, very likely a room, differently real from the objective physical world, that other division of the physical world. (5) What it is for the myriad subjective physical worlds to be actual is for them to be subjectively physical, which is exhaustively characterized. (6) What is actual with cognitive and affective consciousness is affirmed or valued representations. The representations being actual, which is essential to their nature, is their being differently subjectively physical from the subjective physical worlds. (7) Actualism, naturally enough when you think of it, but unlike any other existing general theory of consciousness, is thus externalist with perceptual consciousness but internalist with respect to cognitive and affective consciousness. (8) It satisfies rigorous criteria got from examination of the failures of the existing theories. In particular, it explains the role of subjectivity in thinking about consciousness, including a special subjectivity that is individuality. (9) Philosophers and scientists have regularly said that thinking about consciousness requires just giving up the old stuff and starting again. Actualism does this. Science is served by this main line philosophy, which is concentration on the logic of ordinary intelligence—clarity, consistency and validity, completeness, generality.

Brain Self And Consciousness

Author: Sangeetha Menon
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 8132215818
Size: 53.25 MB
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This book discusses consciousness from the perspectives of neuroscience, neuropsychiatry and philosophy. It develops a novel approach in consciousness studies by charting the pathways in which the brain challenges the self and the self challenges the brain. The author argues that the central issue in brain studies is to explain the unity, continuity, and adherence of experience, whether it is sensory or mental awareness, phenomenal- or self-consciousness. To address such a unity is to understand mutual challenges that the brain and the self pose for each other. The fascinating discussions that this book presents are: How do the brain and self create the conspiracy of experience where the physicality of the brain is lost in the subjectivity of the self?

The Escape Of The Mind

Author: Howard Rachlin PhD
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199322376
Size: 59.11 MB
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The Escape of the Mind is part of a current movement in psychology and philosophy of mind that calls into question what is perhaps our most basic, most cherished, and universally accepted belief--that our minds are inside of our bodies. Howard Rachlin adopts the counterintuitive position that our minds, conscious and unconscious, lie not where our firmest (yet unsupported) introspections tell us they are, but in how we actually behave over the long run. Perhaps paradoxically, the book argues that our introspections, no matter how positive we are about them, tell us absolutely nothing about our minds. The name of the present version of this approach to the mind is "teleological behaviorism." The approaches of teleological behaviorism will be useful in the science of individual behavior for developing methods of self-control and in the science of social behavior for developing social cooperation. Without in any way denigrating the many contributions of neuroscience to human welfare, The Escape of the Mind argues that neuroscience, like introspection, is not a royal road to the understanding of the mind. Where then should we look to explain a present act that is clearly caused by the mind? Teleological behaviorism says to look not in the spatial recesses of the nervous system (not to the mechanism underlying the act) but in the temporal recesses of past and future overt behavior (to the pattern of which the act is a part). But scientific usefulness is not the only reason for adopting teleological behaviorism. The final two chapters on IBM's computer, Watson (how it deviates from humanity and how it would have to be altered to make it human), and on shaping a coherent self, provide a framework for a secular morality based on teleological behaviorism.

Shaping Our Selves

Author: Erik Parens
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190211776
Size: 59.86 MB
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When bioethicists debate the use of technologies like surgery and pharmacology to shape our selves, they are, ultimately, debating what it means for human beings to flourish. They are debating what makes animals like us truly happy, and whether the technologies at issue will bring us closer to or farther from such happiness. The positions that participants adopt in debates regarding such ancient and fundamental questions are often polarized, and cannot help but be deeply personal. It is no wonder that the debates are sometimes acrimonious. How, then, should critics of and enthusiasts about technological self-transformation move forward? Based on his experience at the oldest free-standing bioethics research institute in the world, Erik Parens proposes a habit of thinking, which he calls "binocular." As our brains integrate slightly different information from our two eyes to achieve depth of visual perception, we need to try to integrate greatly different insights on the two sides of the debates about technologically shaping our selves-if depth of intellectual understanding is what we are after. Binocular thinking lets us benefit from the insights that are visible from the stance of the enthusiast, who emphasizes that using technology to creatively transform our selves will make us happier, and to benefit from the insights that are visible from the stance of the critic, who emphasizes that learning to let our selves be will make us happier. Parens observes that in debates as personal as these, we all-critics and enthusiasts alike-give reasons that we are partial to. In the throes of our passion to make our case, we exaggerate our insights and all-too-often fall into the conceptual traps that language sets for us. Foolishly, we make conceptual choices that no one who truly wanted understanding would accept: Are technologies value-free or value-laden? Are human beings by nature creators or creatures? Is disability a medical or a social phenomenon? Indeed, are we free or determined? Parens explains how participating in these debates for two decades helped him articulate the binocular habit of thinking that is better at benefiting from the insights in both poles of those binaries than was the habit of thinking he originally brought to the debates. Finally, Parens celebrates that bioethics doesn't aspire only to deeper thinking, but also to better acting. He embraces not only the intellectual aspiration to think deeply about meaning questions that don't admit of final answers, but also the ethical demand to give clear answers to practical questions. To show how to respect both that aspiration and that demand, the book culminates in the description of a process of truly informed consent, in the context of one specific form of using technology to shape our selves: families making decisions about appearance normalizing surgeries for children with atypical bodies.

Philosophy Of Mind

Author: William Jaworski
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781444397581
Size: 44.25 MB
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Philosophy of Mind introduces readers to one of the liveliest fields in contemporary philosophy by discussing mind-body problems and the various solutions to them. It provides a detailed yet balanced overview of the entire field that enables readers to jump immediately into current debates. Treats a wide range of mind-body theories and arguments in a fair and balanced way Shows how developments in neuroscience, biology, psychology, and cognitive science have impacted mind-body debates Premise-by-premise arguments for and against each position enable readers to grasp the structure of each argument quickly and easily Diagrams and illustrations help readers absorb the more complex ideas Bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter bring readers up to date on the latest literature Written in a clear, easy to read style that is free of technical jargon, and highly accessible to a broad readership The only book to explain systematically how a hylomorphic theory such as Aristotle’s can contribute to current mind-body debates and vie with current mind-body theories Online chapters on free will and the philosophy of persons make the book a flexible teaching tool for general and introductory philosophy courses - available at www.wiley.com/go/jaworski

Brainwashed

Author: Sally Satel
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465037860
Size: 40.37 MB
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In recent years, the advent of MRI technology seems to have unlocked the secrets of the human mind, revealing the sources of our deepest desires, intentions, and fears. As renowned psychiatrist and scholar Sally Satel and psychologist Scott O. Lilienfeld demonstrate in Brainwashed, however, the explanatory power of brain scans in particular and neuroscience more generally has been vastly overestimated. Although acknowledging its tremendous potential, the authors argue that the overzealous application of the burgeoning field of brain science has put innocent people in jail, prevented addicts from healing themselves, and undermined notions of free will and responsibility. A provocative challenge to the use and abuse of a seductive science, Brainwashed offers an essential corrective to determinist explanations of human behavior.

Minds Brains And Law

Author: Michael S. Pardo
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199812136
Size: 49.35 MB
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This book addresses the philosophical questions that arise when neuroscientific research and technology are applied in the legal system. The empirical, practical, ethical, and conceptual issues that Pardo and Patterson seek to redress will deeply influence how we negotiate and implement the fruits of neuroscience in law and policy in the future.