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Consciousness Explained

TEDMED Video Featuring American Philosopher Daniel Dennett

Post date on Medical Web Times: July 23, 2013

[Commentary] Primary Point of Video: Postulates via examples that our experience of consciousness is "filled in" by our wetware systems and individual's neuronal catalog. The physical architecture (wetware) is the result of time + local space physics [constrains and allowances such as long term local gravitational ~constants]. The neuronal catalog is that which has been impressed upon the physical architecture (+time). i.e. Both wetware and neuronal catalog of a baby would impart a different experience of consciousness; although on the same trajectory of 'our' collective common consciousness experience.

FILMED FEB 2003 • POSTED TO TEDMED APR 2007 • TED2003

About the TEDMED "Consciousness Explained" Video

Philosopher Dan Dennett makes a compelling argument that not only don't we understand our own consciousness, but that half the time our brains are actively fooling us. Dan Dennett argues that human consciousness and free will are the result of physical processes. His 2003 book "Freedom Evolves" explores how our brains evolved to give us -- and only us -- the kind of freedom that matters, while 2006's "Breaking the Spell" examines belief through the lens of biology.

Books On Consciousness by Daniel Dennett

Consciousness ExplainedVia Amazon's Book Description: Consciousness Explained is a 1991 book by the American philosopher Daniel Dennett which offers an account of how consciousness arises from interaction of physical and cognitive processes in the brain. Consciousness is notoriously difficult to explain. On one hand, there are facts about conscious experience--the way clarinets sound, the way lemonade tastes--that we know subjectively, from the inside. On the other hand, such facts are not readily accommodated in the objective world described by science. How, after all, could the reediness of clarinets or the tartness of lemonade be predicted in advance? Central to Daniel C. Dennett's attempt to resolve this dilemma is the "heterophenomenological" method, which treats reports of introspection nontraditionally--not as evidence to be used in explaining consciousness, but as data to be explained. Using this method, Dennett argues against the myth of the Cartesian theater--the idea that consciousness can be precisely located in space or in time. To replace the Cartesian theater, he introduces his own multiple drafts model of consciousness, in which the mind is a bubbling congeries of unsupervised parallel processing. Finally, Dennett tackles the conventional philosophical questions about consciousness, taking issue not only with the traditional answers but also with the traditional methodology by which they were reached.


Book: Consciousness Explained

Via Amazon's Book Description: Freedom Evolves - Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers “yes!” Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original arguments—drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive  neuroscience, economics, and philosophy—that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally. In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature.


Book: Freedom Evolves

All Books by Daniel Dennett



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