The Problem of Consciousness

Posted 8 Aug 2004 at 01:20 UTC by steve Share This

Time for another paper on the problem of consciousness! This new one by Murat Aydede and Güven Güzeldere has the impressive title, Cognitive Architecture, Concepts, and Introspection: An Information-Theoretic Solution to the Problem of Phenomenal Consciousness (PDF format). It goes over a lot of the problems and disagreements that persist among philosophers and scientists about consciousness, and then proposes a new theory. Their idea, which should be good news for anyone working on intelligent machines, is basically that good old-fashioned information theory contains everything that's needed to explain phenomenal consciousness. Along the way, they talk about introspection, daydreaming, phenomenal zombies, vertical versus horizontal information processing, and other fun stuff. The 65 page article includes loads of lengthy footnotes referencing just about every modern philosopher who has philosophised about consciousness, from Dennett to Searle (with cameo appearances from Descartes and Locke).

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