David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 3 (1):77-99 (1990)
Dualist and Reductionist theories of mind disagree about whether or not consciousness can be reduced to a state of or function of the brain. They assume, however, that the contents of consciousness are separate from the external physical world as-perceived. According to the present paper this assumption has no foundation either in everyday experience or in science. Drawing on evidence for perceptual projection in both interoceptive and exteroceptive sense modalities, the case is made that the physical world as-perceived is a construct of perceptual processing and, therefore, part of the contents of consciousness. A finding which requires a Reflexive rather than a Dualist or Reductionist model of how consciousness relates to the brain and the physical world. The physical world as-perceived may, in turn be thought of as a biologically useful model of the world as described by physics. Redrawing the boundaries of consciousness to include the physical world as-perceived undermines the conventional separation of the 'mental' from the physical', and with it the very foundation of the Dualist-Reductionist debate. The alternative Reflexive model departs radically from current conventions, with consequences for many aspects of consciousness theory and research. Some of the consequences which bear on the internal consistency and intuitive plausibility of the model are explored, e.g. the causal sequence in perception, representationalism, a suggested resolution of the Realism versus Idealism debate, and the way manifest differences between physical events as-perceived and other conscious events (images, dreams, etc.) are to be construed. In the present paper I wish to challenge some of our most deeply-rooted assumptions about what consciousness is, by re-examining how consciousness, the human brain, and the surrounding physical world relate to each other.
|Keywords||Brain Consciousness Dualism Metaphysics Reductionism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
Theodore X. Barber (1979). Eidetic Imagery and the Ability to Hallucinate at Will. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2 (4):596-597.
Colin Blakemore & Susan A. Greenfield (1987). Mindwaves: Thoughts on Intelligence, Identity, and Consciousness. Blackwell.
John C. Eccles (1987). Brain and Mind: Two or One? In Colin Blakemore & Susan A. Greenfield (eds.), Mindwaves. Blackwell.
John C. Eccles (1980). The Human Psyche. Berlin: Springer.
Citations of this work BETA
Robert Rentoul (1992). Consciousness, Brain and the Physical World: A Reply to Velmans. Philosophical Psychology 5 (2):163-166.
Grant R. Gillett (1992). Consciousness, Intentionality and Internalism: A Philosophical Perspective on Velmans and His Critics. Philosophical Psychology 5 (2):173-179.
Max Velmans (1992). The World as-Perceived, the World as-Described by Physics, and the Thing-Itself: A Reply to Rentoul and Wetherick. Philosophical Psychology 5 (2):167 – 172.
Norman E. Wetherick (1992). Velmans on Consciousness, Brain and the Physical World. Philosophical Psychology 5 (2):159-161.
Dan Lloyd (1991). Consciousness: Only Introspective Hindsight? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (4):686-687.
Similar books and articles
Wilfrid S. Sellars (1981). Foundations for a Metaphysics of Pure Process, III: Is Consciousness Physical? The Monist 64 (January):66-90.
Jean E. Burns (1990). Contemporary Models of Consciousness, Part I. Journal of Mind and Behavior 11:153-171.
Max Velmans (2007). Reflexive Monism. [Journal (Paginated)] (in Press) 15 (2):5-50.
Max Velmans (1993). A Reflexive Science of Consciousness. In G. R. Bock & James L. Marsh (eds.), Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Consciousness. (Ciba Foundation Symposium 174). 404--416.
Max Velmans (2007). Where Experiences Are: Dualist, Physicalist, Enactive and Reflexive Accounts of Phenomenal Consciousness. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (4):547-563.
Max Velmans (1994). A Reflexive Science of Consciousness. In G. R. Bock & James L. Marsh (eds.), Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Consciousness. (Ciba Foundation Symposium 174). 404--416.
Jean E. Burns (1996). The Possibility of Empirical Test of Hypotheses About Consciousness. In S. R. Hameroff, A. W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Towards a Science of Consciousness. MIT Press. 739--742.
Max Velmans (2007). Psychophysical Nature. In Harald Atmanspacher & Hans Primas (eds.), [Book Chapter] (in Press). Springer.
Max Velmans (2001). A Natural Account of Phenomenal Consciousness. Communication and Cognition 34 (1):39-59.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads35 ( #41,655 of 1,088,384 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,384 )
How can I increase my downloads?