Michael Graziano: Are We Really Conscious?

He raises the question in the New York Times Sunday Review:

I believe a major change in our perspective on consciousness may be necessary, a shift from a credulous and egocentric viewpoint to a skeptical and slightly disconcerting one: namely, that we don’t actually have inner feelings in the way most of us think we do…

How does the brain go beyond processing information to become subjectively aware of information? The answer is: It doesn’t. The brain has arrived at a conclusion that is not correct. When we introspect and seem to find that ghostly thing — awareness, consciousness, the way green looks or pain feels — our cognitive machinery is accessing internal models and those models are providing information that is wrong…

You might object that this is a paradox. If awareness is an erroneous impression, isn’t it still an impression? And isn’t an impression a form of awareness?

But the argument here is that there is no subjective impression; there is only information in a data-processing device. When we look at a red apple, the brain computes information about color. It also computes information about the self and about a (physically incoherent) property of subjective experience. The brain’s cognitive machinery accesses that interlinked information and derives several conclusions: There is a self, a me; there is a red thing nearby; there is such a thing as subjective experience; and I have an experience of that red thing. Cognition is captive to those internal models. Such a brain would inescapably conclude it has subjective experience.

I agree that our intuitions about consciousness are likely to be faulty, but I don’t think that Graziano has resolved the paradox he mentions. My brain models other people as having subjective experiences, but this obviously has no bearing on whether they really do, or don’t, have those experiences. Given that, why should the fact that my brain models me as having subjective experiences suddenly become magically relevant to the question of whether I really do, or don’t, have those experiences?

317 thoughts on “Michael Graziano: Are We Really Conscious?

  1. keiths:
    Substance dualism doesn’t work as an explanation because it simply assumes that immaterial soul-stuff is conscious without explaining how or why.(It also doesn’t work for many other reasons.)Property dualism doesn’t work either because no one can explain (yet, anyway) what the posited extra property of matter is or how it gives rise to mental phenomena.

    Does physicalism explain where matter came from, how and why? It doesn’t. It just posits that there is matter. Why does it posit matter? Because this is what it feels like to us, and anyone who denies it is waved away as an idiot. This is how physicalist monism “works”.

    Now, allow the same standard for substance dualism. When we evidently feel matter, then there are two things: matter on the one hand and consciousness to perceive it on the other. Therefore dualism.

    Meanwhile I found an interesting approach to the hard problem by one Kristjan Loorits:

    First, all the objects of physics and other natural sciences can be fully analyzed in terms of structure and relations, or simply, in structural terms. Second, consciousness is (or has) something over and above its structure and relations. Third, the existence and nature of consciousness can be explained in terms of natural sciences. Should the second thesis be incorrect and consciousness fully analyzable in structural terms, then finding the structure of consciousness in some patterns of neural activity (or perhaps in some linguistic-behavioral patterns) and studying the origin and nature of that structure would hopefully reveal us eventually all there is to know about consciousness. On the other hand, if both the first and the second theses are true, it follows directly that consciousness cannot be an object of physics or other natural (or behavioral) sciences and hence its existence cannot be also explained by these sciences.

    The difference between physicalism and dualism is that between holding to theses 1 and 3 (=physicalism) and holding to theses 1 and 2 (=dualism).

    Full article here http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00237/full

  2. keiths:
    walto,

    No, the Buddha didn’t deny consciousness.He actually proposed a pretty elaborate ontology of it.

    keiths, I think you’re right that I shouldn’t have said the Buddha held an eliminative theory of consciousness. He was quite adamant that he wasn’t proposing any theory of consciousness at all. I have taken some of his writings (perhaps mistakenly) to suggest a position, and, as I read your post above, you have taken them (or some of them) to suggest another. But here’s a famous sermon giving his own words on his attitude toward all such theories:

    SERMON NUMBER 1.

    {The Lesser Mâlunkyâputta Sutta}

    § 13a.–Translated from the Majjhima-Nikâya, and constituting Sutta 63.

    Thus have I heard.

    On a certain occasion The Blessed One was dwelling at Sâvatthi in Jetavana monastery in Anâthapindika’s Park. Now it happened to the venerable Mâlunkyâputta, being in seclusion and plunged in meditation, that a consideration presented itself to his mind, as follows:–

    “These theories which The Blessed One has left unelucidated, has set aside and rejected,–that the world is eternal, that the world is not eternal, that the world is finite, that the world is infinite, that the soul and the body are identical, that the soul is one thing and the body another, that the saint exists after death, that the saint does not exist after death, that the saint both exists and does not exist after death, that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death,–these The Blessed One does not elucidate to me. And the fact that The Blessed One does not elucidate them to me does not please me nor suit me. Therefore I will draw near to The Blessed One and inquire of him concerning this matter. If The Blessed One will elucidate to me, either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, or that the world is finite, or that the world is infinite, or that the soul and the body are identical, or that the soul is one thing and the body another, or that the saint exists after death, or that the saint does not exist after death, or that the saint both exists and does not exist after death, or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death, in that case will I lead the religious life under The Blessed One. If The Blessed One will not elucidate to me, either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, . . . or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death, in that case will I abandon religious training and return to the lower life of a layman.”

    Then the venerable Mâlunkyâputta arose at eventide from his seclusion, and drew near to where The Blessed One was; and having drawn near and greeted The Blessed One, he sat down respectfully at one side. And seated respectfully at one side, the venerable Mâlunkyâputta spoke to The Blessed One as follows:–

    “Reverend Sir, it happened to me, as I was just now in seclusion and plunged in meditation, that a consideration presented itself to my mind, as follows: ‘These theories which The Blessed One has left unelucidated, has set aside and rejected,–that the world is eternal, that the world is not eternal, . . . that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death,–these The Blessed One does not elucidate to me. And the fact that The Blessed One does not elucidate them to me does not please me nor suit me. I will draw near to The Blessed One and inquire of him concerning this matter. If The Blessed One will elucidate to me, either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, . . . or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death, in that case will I lead the religious life under The Blessed One. If The Blessed One will not elucidate to me, either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, . . . or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death, in that case will I abandon religious training and return to the lower life of a layman.’

    “If The Blessed One knows that the world is eternal, let The Blessed One elucidate to me that the world is eternal; if The Blessed One knows that the world is not eternal, let The Blessed One elucidate to me that the world is not eternal. If The Blessed One does not know either that the world is eternal or that the world is not eternal, the only upright thing for one who does not know, or who has not that insight, is to say, ‘I do not know; I have not that insight.’

    “If The Blessed One knows that the world is finite, . . .’

    “If The Blessed One knows that the soul and the body are identical, . . .’
    p. 119 [M.i.42735

    “If The Blessed One knows that the saint exists after death, . . .’

    “If The Blessed One knows that the saint both exists and does not exist after death, let The Blessed One elucidate to me that the saint both exists and does not exist after death; if The Blessed One knows that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death, let The Blessed One elucidate to me that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death. If The Blessed One does not know either that the saint both exists and does not exist after death, or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death, the only upright thing for one who does not know, or who has not that insight, is to say, ‘I do not know; I have not that insight.'”

    “Pray, Mâlunkyâputta, did I ever say to you, ‘Come, Mâlunkyâputta, lead the religious life under me, and I will elucidate to you either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, . . . or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death’?”

    “Nay, verily, Reverend Sir.”

    “Or did you ever say to me, ‘Reverend Sir, I will lead the religious life under The Blessed One, on condition that The Blessed One elucidate to me either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, . . . or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death’?”

    “Nay, verily, Reverend Sir.”

    “So you acknowledge, Mâlunkyâputta, that I have not said to you, ‘Come, Mâlunkyâputta, lead the religious life under me and I will elucidate to you either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, . . . or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death;’ and again that you have not said to me, ‘Reverend Sir, I will lead the religious life under The Blessed One, on condition that The Blessed One elucidate to me either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, . . . or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death.’ That being the case, vain man, whom are you so angrily denouncing?

    “Mâlunkyâputta, any one who should say, ‘I will not lead the religious life under The Blessed One until The Blessed One shall elucidate to me either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, . . . or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death;’–that person would die, Mâlunkyâputta, before The Tathâgata had ever elucidated this to him.

    “It is as if, Mâlunkyâputta, a man had been wounded by an arrow thickly smeared with poison, and his friends and companions, his relatives and kinsfolk, were to procure for him a physician or surgeon; and the sick man were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the man who wounded me belonged to the warrior caste, or to the Brahman caste, or to the agricultural caste, or to the menial caste.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt the name of the man who wounded me, and to what clan he belongs.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the man who wounded me was tall, or short, or of the middle height.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the man who wounded me was black, or dusky, or of a yellow skin.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the man who wounded me was from this or that village, or town, or city.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the bow which wounded me was a câpa, or a kodannda.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the bow-string which wounded me was made from swallow-wort, or bamboo, or sinew, or maruva, or from milk-weed.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the shaft which wounded me was a kaccha or a ropima.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the shaft which wounded me was feathered from the wings of a vulture, or of a heron, or of a falcon, or of a peacock, or of a sithilahanu.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘I will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the shaft which wounded me was wound round with the sinews of an ox, or of a buffalo, or of a ruru deer, or of a monkey.’

    “Or again he were to say, ‘1 will not have this arrow taken out until I have learnt whether the arrow which wounded me was an ordinary arrow, or a claw-headed arrow, or a vekanda, or an iron arrow, or a calf-tooth arrow, or a karavîrapatta.’ That Mâlunkyâputta, without ever having learnt this.

    “In exactly the same way, Mâlunkyâputta, any one who should say, ‘I will not lead the religious life under The Blessed One until The Blessed One shall elucidate to me either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, . . . or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death;’–that person would die, Mâlunkyâputta, before The Tathâgata had ever elucidated this to him.

    “The religious life, Mâlunkyâputta, does not depend on the dogma that the world is eternal; nor does the religious life, Mâlunkyâputta, depend on the dogma that the world is not eternal. Whether the dogma obtain, Mâlunkyâputta, that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, there still remain birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair, for the extinction of which in the present life I am prescribing.

    “The religious life, Mâlunkyâputta, does not depend on the dogma that the world is finite; . . .

    “The religious life, Mâlunkyâputta, does not depend on the dogma that the soul and the body are identical; . . .

    “The religious life, Mâlunkyâputta, does not depend on the dogma that the saint exists after death; . . .

    “The religious life, Mâlunkyâputta, does not depend on the dogma that the saint both exists and does not exist after death; nor does the religious life, Mâlunkyâputta, depend on the dogma that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death. Whether the dogma obtain, Mâlunkyâputta, that the saint both exists and does not exist after death, or that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death, there still remain birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair, for the extinction of which in the present life I am prescribing.

    “Accordingly, Mâlunkyâputta, bear always in mind what it is that I have not elucidated, and what it is that I have elucidated. And what, Mâlunkyâputta, have I not elucidated? I have not elucidated, Mâlunkyâputta, that the world is eternal; I have not elucidated that the world is not eternal; I have not elucidated that the world is finite; I have not elucidated that the world is infinite; I have not elucidated that the soul and the body are identical; I have not elucidated that the soul is one thing and the body another; I have not elucidated that the saint exists after death; I have not elucidated that the saint does not exist after death; I have not elucidated that the saint both exists and does not exist after death; I have not elucidated that the saint neither exists nor does not exist after death. And why, Mâlunkyâputta, have I not elucidated this? Because, Mâlunkyâputta, this profits not, nor has to do with the fundamentals of religion, nor tends to aversion, absence of passion, cessation, quiescence, the supernatural faculties, supreme wisdom, and Nirvana; therefore have I not elucidated it.

    “And what, Mâlunkyâputta, have I elucidated? Misery, Mâlunkyâputta, have I elucidated; the origin of misery have I elucidated; the cessation of misery have I elucidated; and the path leading to the cessation of misery have I elucidated. And why, Mâlunkyâputta, have I elucidated this? Because, Mâlunkyâputta, this does profit, has to do with the fundamentals of religion, and tends to aversion, absence of passion, cessation, quiescence, knowledge, supreme wisdom, and Nirvana; therefore have I elucidated it. Accordingly, Mâlunkyâputta, bear always in mind what it is that I have not elucidated, and what it is that I have elucidated.”

    Thus spake The Blessed One; and, delighted, the venerable Mâlunkyâputta applauded the speech of The Blessed One.

    So, again, I was indeed wrong to say the Buddha was an eliminativist. Thanks for that correction.

  3. keiths:

    It says that N-RP is the predominant form of PD, which means that there are other forms of PD.In other words, N-RP is a proper subset of PD.(Whether you agree with that statement is another question, but the meaning seems clear to me.)

    My interpretation of the section is in this post
    But I don’t want to argue about what Wiki is saying.

    I think the phil of mind literature is clear that NRP is not a subset of PD in the standard usage of the terms. Many physicalists are NRP but not PDs — they rely on multiple realizability, for example, to avoid RP but are still physicalists (in the standard usage, ie not PDs). Or they put devotion to multiple levels ahead of Kim’s arguments. But I’ll save that for the other thread on AT’s paper.

    Here is how Kim’s textbook explains standard usage of NRP versus PD (paraphrased from page 124):

    Both PDs and NRPs hold these three positions
    1. Substance physicalism: The world is exclusively bits of matter.
    2. Mental properties are not reducible to physical properties.
    3. Mental cause efficiency: Mental properties are causally efficacious (*).

    However, NRPs (and NOT PDs) have a further position beyond the above:
    4. Mind-Body Supervenience or Realization: Either mental properties supervene or they are realized by physical properties.

    NRPs go beyond PDs because they accept supervenience of mental properties (or stronger) without accepting their reducibility. For example, this is KNs position in your reducibility thread. NRPs are physicalists in the standard usage of the word. PDs are not.

    So my (quite tentative and provisional) position is that subjective experience cannot be reduced to physical properties, though I hope that it will be someday. (Everything else, including mental properties, seems reducible to me).

    Right, it comes down to reduce.

    Do you accept the difference between reduce and supervene in the sense that they mean separate things and can lead to logically separate positions, eg the difference between PD and NRP. (I’m not talking about whether NRP is correct!).

    I’ll also take this chance to plug Prinz’s the Conscious Brain again if you are interested in a physicalist theory of subjectivity heavily informed by neuroscience. He has his own compromise version of reduction which I may post about in the other thread.

    ————————————–
    (*). “Efficacious” is Kim’s word. But for me, it makes me wonder: what ever happened to the Irish Rovers?

  4. walto: But here’s a famous sermon giving his own words on his attitude toward all such theories:

    OK, I think that was some kind of shaggy dog story, right? Or an ironic allusion to that type of joke? Or is there some other reason for avoiding a link?

    ETA: On further thought, it occurs to me you may be engaging in sardonic humor with respect to the posting behavior about another member of the forum.

  5. petrushka:
    I would deny that there are mental states.
    […]
    Brains are rivers. Or perhaps flames. They are a flow of process that cannot be recorded and which will never repeat.

    I’ll leave it up to science. If a brain model (neuroscience) or a mind model (psychology) uses “states”, then I think it makes sense to talk of them.

    As for brains as “rivers” or “flames” — poetry is usually beyond me. And, unlike science, it usually stays that way, even after I work at it.

    I suppose that is one difference between the two.

  6. BruceS:

    .Its possible to add separate mental properties so that the physical properties stay the same and the separate set of mental properties change.And that is just what PD says.

    On re-reading, I’m not happy with that sentence (and not just the “Its”)..

    Better would be: PD says that varying physical properties are not enough; the physical substance must have a separate set of mental properties which vary according to psychophysical laws (explained further LK’s above post).

    Those psychophysical laws determine the nature of the subjective experience, eg why we have a subjective experience of blue when we look at the sky. PD does not deny that the physical explanation involving wavelengths of light, rods and cones in our eyes, etc is still the explanation of the corresponding non-subjective physical changes in our bodies and brains. It simply adds mental properties to our brain substance to account for the subjective experience.

  7. BruceS,

    FWIW, I’m more familiar with keiths’ taxonomy here, and it makes more intuitive sense to me. Also, the hard-headed types I’ve been talking about would.dump the whole kaboodle into the trash as anti-science spiritualists.

    But, of course, so long as we’re clear, the class terms we pick make no difference.

    BTW, I love that Buddha sermon which is why I put the whole thing up here. He was a very acute psychologist and analytic thinker IMHO.

  8. walto:

    FWIW, I’m more familiar with keiths’ taxonomy here, and it makes more intuitive sense to me.

    Well, as I mentioned, I am pretty sure Keith’s taxonomy is non-standard in current usage.

    Kim’s explanation of NRP also appears in other texts I have, explains why KN can be NRP but still a physicalist in my sense, and also is the best way to understand the second para of the LK post here (which amounts to Kim’s distinction).

    LK explains why PDs are not physicalists in standard usage here; there is also the first sentence of the abstract of her thesis:

    [LK:] The current debate over the metaphysical nature of the mind is dominated by two major philosophical views: property dualism and physicalism

    which reads to me as saying that PD is NOT a subset of physicalism.

    It also seems to me that the best way to understand AT’s paper is in standard usage of these two terms, but I’ll leave that discussion for the other thread.

    BTW, I love that Buddha sermon which is why I put the whole thing up here. He was a very acute psychologist and analytic thinker IMHO.

    OK, sorry if the humor reading I took of your post was inappropriate. Blame Canada.

  9. BruceS,

    To paraphrase an old joke, by you KN’s a physicalist, and by Kim, KN’s a physicalist, and by KN, KN’s a physicalist, but by a real physicalist, he’s no physicalist!

  10. walto:

    To paraphrase an old joke, by you KN’s a physicalist, and by Kim. KN’s a physicalisit, and by KN, KN’s a physicalist, but by a real physicalist, he’s no physicalist!

    Not just me and Kim, but most philosophers and Scotspeople working in the field.

    Not sure who posts at the boards you frequented, but they are obviously not well-informed Scotspeople-I-mean-philosophers.

    In other words, to understand the current literature I believe you have to ignore those scientistic posters at the other forums as well as at least one poster here.

  11. As I said, I don’t think it matters much how one characterizes these positions, but I find the insistence that a philosophical view that countenances unreducible mental properties is, nevertheless, a kind of physicalism to be mostly an indication of a fond desire to be in with the cool, sciency crowd. If you are right that most people these days use the classification system you like, I’ll try to adapt, but I’m going to continue to snicker.

    ETA: And HEY EVERYBODY, STOP YELLING AT ME–CUZ I’M AS MUCH OF A PHYSICALIST AS YOU TOUGH GUYS ARE!!!

  12. BruceS: I’ll leave it up to science. If a brain model (neuroscience) or a mind model (psychology) uses “states”, then I think it makes sense to talk of them.

    It makes sense to talk about rivers and flames as having properties that can be talked about scientifically. But such properties would be limited to things like location, size, volume of flow and such.

    One could do a thought experiment in wh\ch one records all the neurons and connections in a brain. In fact, this is often done in science fiction when discussing teleportation. It is ridiculous in practice. Not only are the numbers astronomical, but the “state” is changing while you progress through the recording process.

    I suppose one could lower the body temperature to reduce brain activity before doing the recording, but there is an additional problem. Brain configurations don’t map to mental content. We have no Rosetta stone for that. Maybe in the science fiction future.

    With MRI, we have something akin to the cloud and rain maps displayed by the Weather Channel, but they are grainy and do not allow us to forecast.

    In any case, a snapshot of a brain state does not provide much information Even if police are someday able to extract lie detector like information, they are not likely to be able to replicate a person or know any details about what the person’s mental life is like.

  13. walto,

    BTW, I love that Buddha sermon which is why I put the whole thing up here. He was a very acute psychologist and analytic thinker IMHO.

    Yes, he got a lot right, solely through introspection and keen observation, some 2000+ years before the advent of modern psychology.

    keiths, I think you’re right that I shouldn’t have said the Buddha held an eliminative theory of consciousness. He was quite adamant that he wasn’t proposing any theory of consciousness at all. I have taken some of his writings (perhaps mistakenly) to suggest a position, and, as I read your post above, you have taken them (or some of them) to suggest another. But here’s a famous sermon giving his own words on his attitude toward all such theories:

    Be careful. Nowhere in that sermon does he refuse to answer a question about the existence of consciousness per se. The closest he comes is in refusing to answer the question about existence after death.

    Also, he laid out a fairly elaborate theory of consciousness. From Wikipedia:

    In Buddhism, the six sense bases (Pali: saḷāyatana; Skt.: ṣaḍāyatana) refer to the five physical sense organs (cf. receptive field) (belonging to the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body), the mind (referred to as the sixth sense base) and their associated objects (visual forms, sounds, odors, flavors, touch and mental objects). Based on the six sense bases, a number of mental factors arise including six “types” or “classes” of consciousness (viññāṇa-kāyā). More specifically, according to this analysis, the six types of consciousness are eye-consciousness (that is, consciousness based on the eye), ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness and mind-consciousness.[7]

    In this context, for instance, when an ear’s receptive field (the proximal stimulus, more commonly known by Buddhists as a sense base, or sense organ) and sound (the distal stimulus, or sense object) are present, the associated (ear-related consciousness) arises. The arising of these three elements (dhātu) – e.g. ear, sound and ear-consciousness – lead to the percept, known as “contact” and in turn causes a pleasant or unpleasant or neutral “feeling” to arise. It is from such a feeling that “craving” arises. (See Fig. 1.)

    In a discourse entitled, “The All” (Sabba Sutta, SN 35.23), the Buddha states that there is no “all” outside of the six pairs of sense bases (that is, six internal and six external sense bases).[8] The “To Be Abandoned Discourse” (Pahanaya Sutta, SN 35.24) further expands the All to include first five aforementioned sextets (internal sense bases, external sense bases, consciousness, contact and feeling).[9][10] In the famed “Fire Sermon” (Ādittapariyāya Sutta, SN 35.28) the Buddha declares that “the All is aflame” with passion, aversion, delusion and suffering (dukkha); to obtain release from this suffering, one should become disenchanted with the All.[11]

  14. petrushka: It makes sense to talk about rivers and flames as having properties that can be talked about scientifically. But such properties would be limited to things like location, size, volume of flow and such.

    One could do a thought experiment in wh\ch one records all the neurons and connections in a brain. In fact, this is often done in science fiction when discussing teleportation. It is ridiculous in practice. Not only are the numbers astronomical, but the “state” is changing while you progress through the recording process.

    If you are interested in real experiments by real scientists who examine the state of neurons and then test/develop models based on these experiments, I recommend this Coursera course. The lectures this week from from scientists who do these types of experiments to understand vision.

  15. Dennett’s latest ideas on qualia here, at a conference on a boat near Greenland that happened a few months ago. He has incorporated Bayesian Predictive Modelling in the brain into his current thinking, eg afterimages are related to the difference between what the brain predicts and what senses are “saying”.

    Other big names make an appearance in the Q&A, in casual clothes and sometimes having bad hair days, eg Pat Churchland and Jesse Prinz. Andy Clark of embodied mind fame introduces Dennett’s ideas; Dennet and he seem to be on close agreement on the brain as a Bayesian predictor.

  16. The whole conference from which the Dennett paper noted above covers topics related to this thread

    All the videos are linked here. Scroll down at the linked page to look for the Greenland discussion videos.

    For discussion directly linked to the OP, look for the Frankish work on illusory qualia as introduced by Prinz. The Q&A is fun. The big name philosophers struggle to distinguish two positions: “qualia as illusions produced by the brain as part of representing the world” from “qualia as real in the sense that they are real brain events”.

    In the last 10 minutes of that, I think they agree that maybe there is not that much difference in the positions. The important point in common is that qualia are something that can be explained scientifically.

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