Will Science and Consciousness Ever Meat? Complexity, Symmetry and Qualia

Symmetry 2 (3):1250-1269 (2010)
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Within recent discussions in the Philosophy of Mind, the nature of conscious phenomenal states or qualia (also called ‘raw feels’ or the feel of ‘what it is like to be’) has been an important focus of interest. Proponents of Mind-Body Type-Identity theories have claimed that mental states can be reduced to neurophysiological states of the brain. Others have denied that such a reduction is possible; for them, there remains an explanatory gap. In this paper, functionalist, physicalist, epiphenomenalist, and biological models of the mind are discussed and compared. Donald Davidson’s Anomalous Monism is proposed as a unifying framework for a non-reductive theory of qualia and consciousness. Downward Causation, Emergence through Symmetry-breaking, and Dynamical Systems Theory are used to show how consciousness and qualia emerge from their neural substrate and can also be causally efficacious.



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References found in this work

Quining qualia.Daniel C. Dennett - 1988 - In Anthony J. Marcel & E. Bisiach (eds.), Consciousness in Contemporary Science. Oxford University Press.
Minds, Brains, and Programs.John Searle - 1980 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Functionalism and qualia.Sydney Shoemaker - 1975 - Philosophical Studies 27 (May):291-315.

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