What it is Edit

Minsky says: We use 'consciousness' in many ways to speak of many different things. [...] Some philosophers speak about consciousness as though some single mysterious entity connects our minds with the rest of the world. But 'consciousness' is only a name for a suitcase of methods that we use for thinking about our own minds. Inside that suitcase are assortments of things whose distinctions and differences are confused by our giving them all the same name. I suspect that these include many different processes that we use to keep track of what we've been doing and thinking-which might be the reason why we use the same word for them all. Many of them exploit the information that's held in the cache-like systems that we call short-term memories. When I ask if you're conscious of what you just did, that's almost the same as asking whether you 'remember' doing that. If you answer "yes" it must be because 'you' have access to some record of having done that. If I ask about how you did what you did, you usually cannot answer that-because the models that you make of yourself don't have access to any such memories.

Experimental Evidence on Consciousness Edit

Topics related to Consciousness Edit

  • Attention
  • Subjectivity
  • Memory
  • Meaning
    • Quoting M. Minsky: A 'meaning' is not a simple thing. It is a complex collection of structures and processes, embedded in a huge network of other such structures and processes. The 'secret' of human resources lies in the wealth of those alternative representations. Consequently, the sorts of explanations that work so well in other areas of science and technology are not appropriate for psychology-because our minds rarely do things in only one way. Naturally, psychologists are envious of physicists, who have been so amazingly successful at using so few 'basic' laws to explain so much. So it was natural that psychologists, who could scarcely explain anything at all, became consumed with "Physics Envy." Most of them still seek that holy grail-to find some small of basic laws (of perception, cognition, or memory) with which to explain almost everything.

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Chalmer's theory of consciousnessEdit

There goes Mr. qualiconic ....