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The Continuity of Mind$
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Michael Spivey

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195170788

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170788.001.0001

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Dynamical (Self-)Consciousness?

Dynamical (Self-)Consciousness?

Chapter:
(p.307) 12 Dynamical (Self-)Consciousness?
Source:
The Continuity of Mind
Author(s):

Michael Spivey (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170788.003.0012

This final chapter takes a somewhat more speculative turn to discussing what role the concept of consciousness might have in a complex continuous dynamical system, such as a brain enmeshed in a body enmeshed in its environment. It is argued that the “hard problem” of consciousness has defined itself out of the realm of scientific measurability. Moreover, since all evidence for consciousness comes from self-conscious reports, what we should perhaps instead be trying to understand are the processes that bring about self-consciousness (typically relegated to the “easy problems” of consciousness). The chapter concludes with concrete visualizations of a mental state-space in which a continuous nonlinear trajectory constitutes everything from perception to thought to planning, and even self-consciousness.

Keywords:   consciousness, content, hard problem, coping, zombie, free will, dynamical system, trajectory

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