Reading McDermott

The author is interested in computational approaches to consciousness. His reason for working in the field of AI is to solve the mind-body problem, that is, to understand how the brain can have experiences. This is an intricate project because it involves elucidation of the relationship between our mentality and its physical foundation. How can a biological/chemical system (the human body) have experiences, beliefs, desires, intentions, and so on? Physicists have good reasons to persuade us that ours is a material world that obeys physical laws. Once we commit ourselves to this view, it sounds quite bewildering to think that there is a place for independently existing minds in such a world.
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