Review of McGinn, The Problem of Consciousness [Book Review]
In other words, it's a perfect season for naysayers, and philosophers have risen to the occasion. The most radical is Colin McGinn, former Wilde Reader of Mental Philosophy at Oxford, who has recently taken a position at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The Problem of Consciousness is a collection of eight essays, two of which have not previously been published. McGinn's central thesis is that the problem of consciousness is systematically insoluble by us (Martians or demigods might have better luck). Our brains just weren't meant to get a grip on this tough problem, but--there, there, it's all right--we mustn't draw the conclusion from the fact that we can't understand it, that the mind is intrinsically mysterious. After all, whoever promised that we should be able to understand all possible good science?
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