Philosophy Consciousness Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Chalmer's Argument

The problem of consciousness, in short, is that there is a gap between any posited physical explanation and the actual subconscious or immaterial experience of the phenomena, i.e. Of the subconscious act itself. The one does not adequately lead onto, or conclusively latch onto, the other, but once one recognizes this problem one may conclude as McGinn (1989) does that our human mind is unable, due to its limitations, to deal with this quandary and we may be reluctant to pursue it further. Offering a way out, Chalmer, therefore, recommends adopting a nonreductive explanation where a naturalistic account of consciousness based on principles of structural coherence and invariant organization as well as a double-aspect view of information may pose as more insightful explanations for the why's and wherefores of consciousness.

The problem of consciousness involves the following: the brain is reducibly matter as so is the other organs of the body. How is its possible then that our senses such as visual, kinesthetic, auditory, and so forth can proceed from this material tangible matter? How is it possible that our cognitive ability can emanate from something that appears like meat and is material in all its aspects? From whence this stream of consciousness? Or our emotions? Or other abstract entities such as our ability to be carried away by some phenomena such as music or a piece of art? Or to imagine? Or to engage in qualitative and rich experiences that transcend the banality and one-dimensionality of an earthbound tangible world. It is well-known and certain that experience arises from a physical basis, but as yet no suitable explanation has been produced for the connecting link or for how the link came about. Usually conceptualized as 'qualia' or 'phenomenal consciousness, Chalmer prefers to refer to it as 'conscious experience' or simply 'experience'

The explanations commonly used to address it are the following:

1. The neurobiological theory of consciousness posited by Crick and Koch (1990) who suggest that certain neural oscillations in the cerebral cortex are the explanandum for consciousness due to the fact that the oscillations seem to exist with other sensory features such as the olfactory and visual systems and because they may serve to explain binding conditions. Binding refers to the process where several sensory systems are coupled and synchronized. The problem is that although, Crick and Koch (1990) may have discovered the mechanisms behind 'binding', they have failed to explain why binding, or these neural oscillations, result in consciousness, nor why something that is cerebral results in the qualitative experience of 'qualia'.

2. Cognitive psychology represented by Baars' global workspace theory of consciousness where Baars analogizes consciousness to being housed in a sort of global or neural workspace which mediates, and is placed in the central location of numerous other specialized nonconsious processors. This 'qualia' sensation in the central workspace enables communication to and from and between the other processors. Unfortunately, this theory, although serving well as descriptive analogy fails to provide explanandum of why this qualia exists in the global workspace and how it can bind as well as travel to and from the various neural processors.

3. Evolutionary models: These include the 'neural Darwinism' model of Edellman, and the "intermediate level" theory of Jackendoff, which describes computational processes that underlie consciousness both of which fail to describe the why's of the qualia phenomenon.

4. Denial: Linked to positive empiricism, hard-core realists insist that anything that is compelled to rely on metaphysical explanations instead of exclusively reducing itself to empirical phenomena deserves to be ignored. . Obviously these approaches are ultimately unsatisfactory in this case.

Other ingredients posed for the manifestation of the experience include algorithmic processing by Penrose; the function of nonlinear and chaotic dynamics; and, most popular of all, the theory of quantum mechanism. All, however, fail to explain why these specific processes consequent in and eventuate in this subconscious experience.

It was for this reason that McGinn (1989), for example explains that our human mind is too limited from grasping abstract transcendental matters that are beyond us and that we will, therefore, remain 'cognitively closed' to ever grasping this and similar phenomenon.

Chalmers, however, believes that accepting this argument means surrendering prematurely.

Approaching the matter from a different perspective, he recommends accepting the experience of…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Philosophy Consciousness" (2011, November 01) Retrieved December 6, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/philosophy-consciousness-47038

"Philosophy Consciousness" 01 November 2011. Web.6 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/philosophy-consciousness-47038>

"Philosophy Consciousness", 01 November 2011, Accessed.6 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/philosophy-consciousness-47038

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Philosophy in His Writings Hegel Is Concerned

    Philosophy In his writings, Hegel is concerned about the concept of the Absolute. He provides many different definitions of the term Absolute. One of those definitions is that the Absolute is what people normally conceive of as God. However, the god of Hegel is not confined to the Judeo-Christian definition. Hegel's Absolute is pure mind and consciousness. In Philosophy of Mind, Hegel defines the Absolute as both "mind" and "spirit" that inform

  • Philosophy While There Is Plenty to Criticize

    Philosophy While there is plenty to criticize in the work of Descartes, Locke, and Hume, one cannot justifiably claim that Jose Vasconcelos criticisms of traditional Western views on the nature of knowledge apply to these theorists if only because Vasconcelos' criticisms do not really apply to anything, as his criticisms are largely based on straw men. This is not to say that traditional Western views on the nature of knowledge should

  • Philosophy Plato Lived a Century

    This idea was accepted by most of the philosophical schools of the time, including the Atomists. Plato took quite a different approach and found that ideas, as noted, and saw idas as existing outside of human consciousness. Plato's doctrine of recollection holds that learning is the remembering of a wisdom that the soul enjoyed prior to its incarnation, another aspect of the idea that there are ideal forms "remembered" by

  • Philosophy Concept Veil of Maya Concepts and

    Philosophy Concept: Veil of Maya Concepts and ideologies, such as the "Veil of Maya," have tried to declare the philosophical interpretation of the "reality' of the world. These conceptions are helpful in analyzing the importance of our senses and to assess the belief that whatever we observe is not all reality but there is something beyond that apparent reality. Philosophers like Plato and Aristotle have developed their own theories relating to

  • Philosophy Immanual Kant s Ethics Have

    " (Rohlf) These maxims may be as simple as gratifying a desire or something complex like becoming a lawyer. Kant then distinguishes between two basic kinds of maxims: material and formal principles. If I am acting in order to satisfy some desire, such as going to a Starbucks to get a coffee, that is acting on a material principle. According to Kant, maxims are rules that describe how one does

  • Philosophy of Mind Is Bodily

    .. If we adopt an alternative approach in which we 'give up the language of identity'. (Belshaw and Price, p.88). In the light of this perception, the following scenario applies. If we give up the language of identity, we can claim that a survives the operation and so survives as two different people, B and C, without claiming that a is identical to either B. Or C. Or both. By giving

  • Philosophy What Did Kierkegaard Mean

    How is it possible, then, that we can come to know anything? Methodological doubt is best represented in the first of the Meditations, "What can be called into doubt." In this meditation, the meditator is forced to think about everything that he has believed throughout the course of his life. He must then make a conscious decision to do away with all of these lies and begin again so that the


Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved