The projective theory of consciousness: from neuroscience to philosophical psychology

Trans/Form/Ação 41 (s1):199-232 (2018)

Abstract
: The development of the interdisciplinary areas of cognitive, affective and action neurosciences contributes to the identification of neurobiological bases of conscious experience. The structure of consciousness was philosophically conceived a century ago as consisting of a subjective pole, the bearer of experiences, and an objective pole composed of experienced contents. In more recent formulations, Nagel refers to a “point of view”, in which qualitative experiences are anchored, while Velmans understands that phenomenal content is composed of mental representations “projected” to the space external to the brains that construct them. In Freudian psychology, the conscious mind contains a tension between the Id and the Ego. How to relate this bipolar structure with the results of neuroscience? I propose the notion of projection [also used by Williford et al. ] as a bridge principle connecting the neurobiological systems of knowing, feeling and acting with the bipolar structure. The projective process is considered responsible for the generation of the sense of self and the sense of the world, composing an informational phenomenal field generated by the nervous system and experienced in the first-person perspective. After presenting the projective hypothesis, I discuss its philosophical status, relating it to the phenomenal and high-order thought approaches, and a mathematical model of projection. Eight ways of testing the status of the projective hypothesis are briefly mentioned. Resumo: O desenvolvimento de áreas interdisciplinares das neurociências, contribui para a identificação das bases neurobiológicas da experiência consciente. A estrutura intrínseca da experiência consciente foi filosoficamente concebida há um século como consistindo de um pólo subjetivo, o portador de experiências, e um pólo objetivo, composto dos conteúdos experimentados. Em formulações mais recentes, Thomas Nagel refere-se a um “ponto de vista”, no qual experiências qualitativas são ancoradas, enquanto Max Velmans entende que o conteúdo fenomenal é composto de representações mentais “projetadas” para o espaço externo ao cérebro que as constrói. Na psicologia freudiana, a mente consciente contém uma tensão entre o Id e o Ego. Como relacionar esta estrutura bipolar com os resultados da neurociência? Proponho a noção de projeção como princípio-ponte, conectando os sistemas neurobiológicos do saber, sentir e agir com a estrutura bipolar. O processo projetivo é considerado responsável pela geração do sentido do eu e do sentido do mundo, compondo um campo fenomenal informacional gerado pelo sistema nervoso e vivenciado na perspectiva da primeira pessoa. Após apresentar a hipótese projetiva, discuto seu status filosófico, relacionando-o às abordagens fenomenológicas, à teoria do pensamento de ordem superior e ao modelo matemático da projeção. Oito maneiras de testar o status da hipótese projetiva são brevemente mencionadas.
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DOI 10.1590/0101-3173.2018.v41esp.11.p199
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References found in this work BETA

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Perceptual Consciousness Overflows Cognitive Access.Ned Block - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (12):567-575.

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Citations of this work BETA

Two Paradoxes of Projection.Whit Blauvelt & Clare E. Mundell - 2018 - Trans/Form/Ação 41 (s1):183-198.

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