David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 1 (3):325-39 (1988)
Abstract The language of consciousness and that of brain function seem vastly different and incommensurable ways of approaching human mental life. If we look at what we mean by consciousness we find that it has a great deal to do with the sensitivity and responsiveness shown by a subject toward things that happen. Philosophically, we can understnd ascriptions of consciousness best by looking at the conditions which make it true for thinkers who share the concept to say that one of them is conscious. This depends on consciousness being manifest. When we also note that manifest, flexible and exploratory responses to one's environment are the basis of concept use, an a priori link between concepts and consciousness is forged. The brain structures subserving such responses are complex but crucially involve the multi?tracked and cross?linked information processing to be found in the neocortex. This function draws on the motivational and orienting activity arising in lower brain systems but orchestrates that into an articulated structure of behaviour control. The conclusion is that human consciousness is an umbrella term for complex and animated mental activity which makes extensive use of many different perceptual systems and also of the social milieu within which human cognition develops
|Keywords||Brain State Consciousness Mental Process Metaphysics Perception|
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