And why is there a subjective component to experience?). It is easy to see that the separation between Weak and Strong Artificial Consciousness mirrors the separation between the easy problems and the hard problems of consciousness.
When one visually hallucinates, the object of one’s hallucination is not before one’s eyes. On the standard view, that is because the object of hallucination does not exist, and so is not anywhere. Many different defenses of the standard view are on offer; each have problems. This paper defends the view that there is always an object of hallucination—a physical object, sometimes with spatiotemporally scattered parts.
This book focuses on externalist approaches to art. It is the first fruit of a workshop held in Milan in September 2009, where leading scholars in the emerging field of psychology of art compared their different approaches using a neutral language and discussing freely their goals. The event threw up common grounds for future research activities. First, there is a considerable interest in using cognitive and neural inspired techniques to help art historians, museum curators, art archiving, art preservation. Secondly, cognitive (...) scientists and neuroscientists are rather open to using art as a special way of accessing the structures of the mind. Third, there are artists who explicitly draw inspiration out of current research on various aspects of the mind. Fourth, during the workshop, a converging methodological paradigm emerged around which more specific efforts could be encouraged. (shrink)
: Traditional mind-body identity theories maintain that consciousness is identical with neural activity. Consider an alternative identity theory – namely, a mind-object identity theory of consciousness. I suggest to take into consideration whether one’s consciousness might be identical with the external object. The hypothesis is that, when I perceive a yellow banana, the thing that is one and the same with my consciousness of the yellow banana is the very yellow banana one can grab and eat, rather than the neural (...) processes triggered by the banana. The bottom line is that one’s conscious experience of an object is the object one experiences. First, I outline the main hypothesis and the relation between mind, body, and object. Eventually, I address a series of traditional obstacles such as hallucinations, illusions, and commonsensical assumptions. Keywords: Identity Theory; Mind/Body Problem; Consciousness; Hallucinations; Illusions Le esperienze sono oggetti. Verso una teoria dell’identità della mente in quanto oggetto Riassunto: Le teorie dell’identità tra mente e corpo di tipo tradizionale hanno affermato una relazione di identità tra coscienza e attività neurale. Si consideri una teoria dell’identità di carattere alternativo – propriamente una teoria dell’identità che intenda la coscienza come un oggetto. Suggerisco di considerare la possibilità che la coscienza di qualcuno possa essere trattata come identica a un oggetto del mondo esterno. Sulla base di questa ipotesi, quando percepisco una banana gialla, ciò che coincide con la mia coscienza della banana gialla è proprio la banana gialla che si può prendere e mangiare, piuttosto che il processo neurale innescato dalla banana. In definitiva l’esperienza cosciente di un oggetto che ciascuno ha è l’oggetto che si esperisce. In una prima parte, procederò con il delineare l’ipotesi principale e la relazione tra mente, corpo e oggetto. Successivamente cercherò di risolvere alcuni problemi di tipo tradizionale, quali le allucinazioni, le illusioni e gli assunti di senso comune. Parole chiave: Teoria dell’identità; Problema mente/corpo; Coscienza; Allucinazioni; Illusioni. (shrink)
If phenomenal experience is a physical phenomenon, it must occur at some spatial and temporal location. Can consciousness be situated in such a strong sense? Although the importance of embodiment and situatedness is often mentioned, most neuroscientists and philosophers alike consider phenomenal experience as an outcome of neural activity. In this paper, the question I would raise is whether the physical underpinnings of conscious experience may be identical with processes temporally and spatially extended beyond the boundary of the skull and (...) the skin. The resulting model of situated consciousness is dubbed the Spread Mind. The hypothesis is verifiable empirically. The model outlines a form of vehicle phenomenal externalism more radical than Clark’s extended mind or Dretske’s content phenomenal externalism. (shrink)
I present a view of conscious perception that supposes a processual unity between the activity in the brain and the perceived event in the external world. I use the rainbow to provide a first example, and subsequently extend the same rationale to more complex examples such as perception of objects, faces and movements. I use a process-based approach as an explanation of ordinary perception and other variants, such as illusions, memory, dreams and mental imagery. This approach provides new insights into (...) the problem of conscious representation and phenomenal consciousness. It is a form of anti- cranialism different from but related to other kinds of externalism. (shrink)
Throughout much of the modern period, the human mind has been regarded as a property of the brain and therefore something confined to the inside of the head—a view commonly known as ‘internalism’. But recent works in cognitive science, philosophy, and anthropology, as well as certain trends in the development of technology, suggest an emerging view of the mind as a process not confined to the brain but spread through the body and world—an outlook covered by a family of views (...) labelled ‘externalism’. In this paper, we will suggest there is now sufficient momentum in favour of externalism of various kinds to mark a historical shift in the way the mind is understood. We dub this emerging externalist tendency the ‘New Mind’. Key properties of the New Mind will be summarised and some of its implications considered in areas such as art and culture, technology, and the science of consciousness. (shrink)
Over the last three decades, the rise of embodied cognition articulated in various schools of embodied, embedded, extended and enacted cognition has offered AI a way out of traditional computationalism—an approach loosely referred to as embodied AI. This view has split into various branches ranging from a weak form on the brink of functionalism to a strong form suggesting that body−world interactions constitute cognition. From an ontological perspective, however, constitution is a problematic notion with no obvious empirical or technical advantages. (...) This paper discusses the ontological issues of these two approaches in regard to embodied AI and its ontological commitments: circularity, epiphenomenalism, mentalism, and disguised dualism. The paper also outlines an even more radical approach that may offer some ontological advantages. The new approach, called the mind-object identity, is then briefly compared with sensorimotor direct realism and with the embodied identity theory. (shrink)
What distinguishes a whole from an arbitrary sum of elements? I suggest a temporal and causal oriented approach. I defend two connected claims. The former is that existence is, by every means, coextensive with being the cause of a causal process. The latter is that a whole is the cause of a causal process with a joint effect. Thus, a whole is something that takes place in time. The approach endorses an unambiguous version of Restricted Composition that suits most commonsensical (...) intuitions about wholes. (shrink)
Sensory motor contingencies belong to a functionalistic framework. Functionalism does not explain why and how objective functional relations produce phenomenal experience. O'Regan & Noë (O&N) as well as other functionalists do not propose a new ontology that could support the first person subjective phenomenal side of experience.
The widespread use of brain imaging techniques encourages conceiving of neuroscience as the forthcoming “mindscience.” Perhaps surprisingly for many, this conclusion is still largely unwarranted. The present paper surveys various shortcomings of neuroscience as a putative “mindscience.” The analysis shows that the scope of mind (both cognitive and phenomenal) falls outside that of neuroscience. Of course, such a conclusion does not endorse any metaphysical or antiscientific stance as to the nature of the mind. Rather, it challenges a series of assumptions (...) that the undeniable success of neuroscience has fostered. In fact, physicalism is here taken as the only viable ontological framework – an assumption that does not imply that the central nervous system exhausts the physical domain. (shrink)
Yet we experience qualities. Thus qualities are an empirical fact. Even hard-core neuroscientists like Cristoph Koch have acknowledged it: “the provisional approach I take. . .is to consider first person experiences as brute facts of life and seek to explain them.” (Koch 2004: 7). But since objective knowledge of the world is independent of qualities, the world is supposed to be devoid of qualities. Qualities are supposed to emerge out of the subject – whatever the subject is.
: In this paper I approach the problem of the boundaries and location of consciousness in a strictly physicalist way. I start with the debate on extended cognition, pointing to two unresolved issues: the ontological status of cognition and the fallacy of the center. I then propose using identity to single out the physical basis of consciousness. As a tentative solution, I consider Mind-Object Identity and compare it with other identity theories of mind. Keywords: Extended Mind; Spread Mind; Enactivism; Cognition; (...) Consciousness; Mind-Object Identity; Identity I confini e la localizzazione della coscienza secondo le teorie dell’identità Riassunto: In questo lavoro tratterò il problema dei confini e della localizzazione della coscienza in termini strettamente fisicalisti. Prenderò le mosse dal dibattito sulla cognizione estesa, portando l’attenzione su due questioni irrisolte: lo status ontologico della cognizione e la fallacia del centro. Proporrò quindi di usare l’identità per individuare la base fisica della coscienza. Come possibile soluzione, prenderò in considerazione la Mind-Object Identity, confrontandola con oltre teorie dell’identità della mente. Parole chiave: Mente estesa; Mente diffusa; Enattivimo; Cognizione; Coscienza; Mind-Object Identity; Identità. (shrink)
The debate as to the nature of free will focused on two options: either free willruns afoul of the natural order or it is somehow compatible withsome kind of complex and articulated causal process . Both alternatives are not satisfying for a series of well known reasons. Yet, such a discussion is based on a mechanistic view of the natural world assuming that natural phenomena are reducible to local phenomena. In this paper, I will briefly summarize the recent approaches in (...) philosophy of mind and in the neurosciences. Eventually I will introduce and criticize what could be dubbed the “problem of the instantaneous choice” – namely the idea that a free choice has to take place instantaneously. On the contrary, I will consider whether free will could be an intrinsic capacity endorsed by natural phenomena when unfolding themselves into further phenomena. To recap: free will inside the natural order, then, rather than free will versus the natural order. (shrink)
Within a general approach that implies the closely related survey of neurosciences and philosophical thought, the essays collected in the volume develop two main lines of research. The first one, thanks to the contributions of scientists and psychologists , psychoanalysists and bioengineers , allows to fix the attention on the neurobiological, psychological, psychoanalytical and physical remembering. The second one, more specifically philosophical, is declined in three different approaches. the first - with essays by Stefania Achella, Giuseppe D'Anna and Rosario Diana (...) - points to the anlysis of the role played by the rememberance and the prefiguration in the processes of identity construction. The second - with contributions from Fiorella Battaglia, Anna Donise, Sabine Marienberg and Sara Fortuna - focuses on the role of remembering in anthropology and linguistics, as well as the identification of certain diseases of memory. The third, finally - with contributions from Gabriella Baptist, Chiara de Luzenberger and Marco Boninu - tends to define the regulatory function of memory. (shrink)
Perruchet & Vinter's provocative article challenges a series of interesting issues, yet the concept of isomorphism is troublesome for a series of reasons: (1) isomorphism entails some sort of dualism; (2) isomorphism does not entail that a piece of the world is a representation; and (3) it is extremely difficult to provide an explanation about the nature of the relation of isomorphism.
What is the goal of creativity? Is it just a symbolic reshuffling or a moment of semantic extension? Similar to the contrast between syntax and semantics, creativity has an internal and an external aspect. Contrary to the widespread view that emphasises the problem-solving role of creativity, here we consider whether creativity represents an authentic moment of ontological discovery and semantic openness like Schopenhauer and Picasso suggested. To address the semantic aspect of creativity, we take advantage of recent externalist models of (...) the mind suggesting that the mind is more than symbol recombination. (shrink)
Embora a extensão da dependência entre teorias da estética e modelos da mente seja urna questão de aceso debate, é justo afirmar que as abordagens actuáis da consciência sugerem novas perspectivas sobre a natureza da experiência estética. As recentes descobertas da neurociência têm afetado a nossa forma de ver a estética e a arte. Todavia, enquanto é frequentemente sugerido que a neurociência vai, em breve, obter urna descrição completa da natureza da mente e, portanto, da experiência estética, aqui consideram-se as (...) consequências da recente bifurcação teórica a respeito da localizacão da mente (ou seja, as posições externalistas versus internalistas). A partir deste ponto de vista, as questões da unidade e do significado são usadas para investigar a natureza da experiência estética e da arte. A discussão baseia-se na distinção de William James entre núcleo e periferia, levando a uma perspectiva de convergência entre a psicologia, a fenomenologia e a neurociência. Por fim, a arte é explorada como urna janela para olhar para dentro de aspectos fundamentais da vida mental, quer por meio dos recentes resultados de imagens do cérebro, quer através dos modelos mais abrangentes da mente. While the extent of the dependence between theories of aesthetics and models of the mind is a matter of lively debate, it is fair to claim that current approaches to consciousness suggest new perspectives about the nature of aesthetic experience. Recent findings of neuroscience have affected how we see aesthetics and art. Nevertheless, while it is often suggested that neuroscience will soon offer a comprehensive account of the nature of mind and thus of aesthetic experience, here we consider the consequences on the recent theoretical bifurcation as to where mind is located (namely the externalist vs. the internalist stance). From such a view, the issues of unity and meaning are used to probe into the nature of aesthetic experience and art. The discussion draws upon William James' distinction between nucleus and fringe and puts forward a converging perspective between psychology, phenomenology and neuroscience. Eventually, art is exploited as a window to peer inside fundamental aspects of mental life by means both of recent brain imaging results and more extended models of the mind. (shrink)
Wilson et al. draw our attention to the problem of a science of intentional change. We stress the connection between their approach and existing paradigms for learning and goal generation that have been developed in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and psychology. These paradigms outline the structural principles of a domain-general and teleologically open agent.
All’inizio del secolo XX, tre filosofi di Cambridge, Alfred North Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, e Charlie Dunbar Broad, sostennero un’ontologia basata sugli eventi che si riteneva fosse compatibile con la recente teoria della relatività . Gli eventi, perciò, rimpiazzavano le sostanze aristoteliche in veste di componenti primari dell’universo – essi erano concepiti come unità di spazio-tempo che si estendevano spazio-temporalmente e che si sovrapponevano al campo elettromagnetico. Via via che la fisica moderna progrediva, le ontologie basate sugli eventi sembrarono guadagnare ulteriore (...) supporto dal comportamento inaspettato delle particelle elementari descritte a livello quantistico. Dall’espansione dell’universo alle traiettorie delle particelle subatomiche, sembrava che tutto potesse essere sistematicamente interpretato in termini di eventi. (shrink)