Ned Block on phenomenal consciousness, part II

by Dan Tippens Our Assistant Editor, Daniel Tippens, asks Professor Ned Block, of New York University, about his work on the relationship between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness. This is part II of that interview, you can find Part I here. SciSal: Something I remember I was thinking about a lot is some of the … Continue reading Ned Block on phenomenal consciousness, part II

Ned Block on phenomenal consciousness, part I

by Dan Tippens Our Assistant Editor, Daniel Tippens, asks Professor Ned Block, of New York University, about his work on the relationship between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness. This is part I of that interview, we will publish part II later this week. SciSal: I first wanted to start with an introduction to the concept … Continue reading Ned Block on phenomenal consciousness, part I

Freedom regained

by Julian Baggini [This is an edited extract from Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free Will, University of Chicago Press. Not to be reproduced without permission of the publisher.] We’ve heard a lot in recent years about how scientists — neuroscientists in particular — have “discovered” that actions in the body and thoughts in the … Continue reading Freedom regained

Why fish (likely) don’t feel pain

by Brian Key What’s it feel like to be a fish? I contend that it doesn’t feel like anything to be a fish.  Interestingly, much of our own lives are led without attending to how we feel. We just get on with it and do things. Most of the time we act like automatons. We … Continue reading Why fish (likely) don’t feel pain

Is quantum mechanics relevant to the philosophy of mind (and the other way around)?

by Quentin Ruyant There have been speculations on a possible link between quantum mechanics and the mind almost since the early elaboration of quantum theory (including by well known physicists, such as Wigner, Bohr and Pauli). Yet despite a few proposals (e.g. from Stapp, Penrose, Eccles [1]) what we could dub “quantum mind hypothesis” are … Continue reading Is quantum mechanics relevant to the philosophy of mind (and the other way around)?

The Turing test doesn’t matter

by Massimo Pigliucci You probably heard the news: a supercomputer has become sentient and has passed the Turing test (i.e., has managed to fool a human being into thinking he was talking to another human being [1,2])! Surely the Singularity is around the corner and humanity is either doomed or will soon become god-like. Except, … Continue reading The Turing test doesn’t matter

My philosophy, so far — part II

by Massimo Pigliucci In the first part [19] of this ambitious (and inevitably, insufficient) essay I sought to write down and briefly defend a number of fundamental positions that characterize my “philosophy,” i.e., my take on important questions concerning philosophy, science and the nature of reality. I have covered the nature of philosophy itself (as … Continue reading My philosophy, so far — part II