Conscious realism and the mind-body problem

Mind and Matter 6 (1):87-121 (2008)
Despite substantial efforts by many researchers, we still have no scientific theory of how brain activity can create or be con- scious experience. This is troubling since we have a large body of correlations between brain activity and consciousness, correlations normally assumed to entail that brain activity creates conscious experience. Here I explore a solution to the mind-body problem that starts with the converse assumption: these correlations arise because consciousness creates brain activity and indeed creates all objects and properties of the physical world To this end, I develop two theses. The multimodal user interface theory of perception states that perceptual experiences do not match or approximate properties of the objective world but instead provide a simplified species-specific, user interface to that world Conscious realism states that the objective world consists of conscious agents and their experiences; these can be mathematically modeled and em- pirically explored in the normal scientific manner.
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