Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Philosophy Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Consciousness

Discipline
Institution
Publication Year
Publication
Publication Type
File Type

Articles 1 - 30 of 127

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

The Unfolding Argument: Why Iit And Other Causal Structure Theories Cannot Explain Consciousness, Adrian Doerig, Aaron Schurger, Kathryn Hess, Michael H. Herzog May 2019

The Unfolding Argument: Why Iit And Other Causal Structure Theories Cannot Explain Consciousness, Adrian Doerig, Aaron Schurger, Kathryn Hess, Michael H. Herzog

Psychology Faculty Articles and Research

How can we explain consciousness? This question has become a vibrant topic of neuroscience research in recent decades. A large body of empirical results has been accumulated, and many theories have been proposed. Certain theories suggest that consciousness should be explained in terms of brain functions, such as accessing information in a global workspace, applying higher order to lower order representations, or predictive coding. These functions could be realized by a variety of patterns of brain connectivity. Other theories, such as Information Integration Theory (IIT) and Recurrent Processing Theory (RPT), identify causal structure with consciousness. For example, according to these ...


An Introduction To Transformative Inquiry: Understanding Compelling And Significant Relationships For Personal And Societal Transformation, Mark L. Mccaslin, Kelly A. Kilrea May 2019

An Introduction To Transformative Inquiry: Understanding Compelling And Significant Relationships For Personal And Societal Transformation, Mark L. Mccaslin, Kelly A. Kilrea

The Qualitative Report

Transformative inquiry is a theoretical model designed to facilitate the inquiry of important and meaningful relationships that transform and potentiate us. Creswell (2007) described the essential elements of a research agenda: the axiological, ontological, epistemological, methodological, and rhetorical. Each carries with it assumptions that hold implications for practice and research. Transformative inquiry addresses all of these elements through considerations given to deep ecology, transdisciplinarity, integral meta-theory, heuristic research, and eudaimonistic philosophy, respectively. Transformative inquiry is an approach to understanding and fostering the full range of deep and meaningful relationships from the personal to the political, and beyond. It is a ...


Queerness, Witchcraft, And Embodied Presence: Aesthetic Knowings Of What A Body Can Do, Megan Bigelow May 2019

Queerness, Witchcraft, And Embodied Presence: Aesthetic Knowings Of What A Body Can Do, Megan Bigelow

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Taking as a point of entry the critique of representation and affirming the limitations of the cuts that language makes, this capstone project explores the imbrications and assemblages between Foucault’s concept of subjugated knowledges, witchcraft and other body-based ways of knowing and being, and the consciousness of non-human forms such as plants and through the framework of non-representational theory, process philosophies, aesthetics, queerness, and the concept of difference itself.

Since such theories themselves are living, breathing entities, this capstone project explores the ideological split that has occurred between sacred and secular beliefs, moving through different figures such as nuns ...


“Alexa, Are You Conscious?”: Exploring The Possibility Of Machine Consciousness, Emma Cornwell Jan 2019

“Alexa, Are You Conscious?”: Exploring The Possibility Of Machine Consciousness, Emma Cornwell

Scripps Senior Theses

This thesis seeks to answer the following question: “could a machine be capable of consciousness?” I begin to tackle this question by providing a presumed definition of consciousness, employing Bernard Baars’ Global Workspace Theory. Next, I look to various discussions of machine intelligence and whether or not this would be sufficient for categorizing a machine as conscious. And lastly, I explore the notion that the human brain may be a sort of computational system itself and the implications this notion has for the potential that non-human systems may achieve consciousness.

Through these sections, I ultimately conclude that a machine could ...


Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach Jan 2019

Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach

Scripps Senior Theses

David Rosenthal, in his Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, argues that it is a higher-order thought to the effect that the subject is in a conscious state that makes one conscious of his or her own mental states. In this paper, I argue that since phenomenal consciousness can be vague and Rosenthal’s HOT cannot, HOT is not a necessary condition of phenomenal consciousness. I use primarily Ned Blocks’ refrigerator hum case and Sartre’s example of non-positional awareness to argue that the threshold which determines the degree of first-person awareness necessary for a mental state to be conscious ...


Pursuing Natural Unity, Consciousness Included, Rowen Cox-Rubien Jan 2019

Pursuing Natural Unity, Consciousness Included, Rowen Cox-Rubien

Scripps Senior Theses

An ontological exploration of consciousness and how it is related to the body and other aspects of physical reality. Framed by David Chalmers' conception of "The Hard Problem", we begin from a physicalist perspective to discuss the problem of mental causation, which is the inquiry of how the mind communicates and interacts with the body. From here we examine the employment of identity reduction to functionalize and therefore physically explain mentality. We find that reductionist methods, the backbone of scientific investigation, do not work to explain conscious experience, because conscious experience is not quantifiable--it is qualitative. Thus we are left ...


Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen Jan 2019

Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen

CMC Senior Theses

The purpose of this thesis is to explore a thought-provoking consequence of the functionalist theory of mind. Given the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, Earth is probably conscious. The argument is explored through an examination of the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, which leads to the conclusion that Earth is conscious. Various theories of mind have been proposed by neuroscientists and philosophers alike in an attempt to qualify what consciousness is and what provides the basis for consciousness to occur. Support, in the form of data ...


Volition And The Readiness Potential, Paul David Sanford Jan 2019

Volition And The Readiness Potential, Paul David Sanford

Online Theses and Dissertations

In the “Libet study” the onset of movement-related brain activity preceded the reported time of the conscious intention to move, suggesting that non-conscious brain processes predetermine voluntary movements (Libet, Gleason, Wright, & Pearl, 1983). While the study’s basic results have been replicated, its validity and assumptions have been questioned. Dominik et al. (2017) provided evidence against the study’s assumption that movement and intention to move are distinct events. In this study, in which researchers did not train participants to distinguish between movement and intention, reports for intention and movement were identical. This differed from the Libet study, in which ...


Well-Being And Self-Transformation In Indian Psychology, Sangeetha Menon, Shankar Rajaraman, Lakshmi Kuchibotla Sep 2018

Well-Being And Self-Transformation In Indian Psychology, Sangeetha Menon, Shankar Rajaraman, Lakshmi Kuchibotla

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This paper uses instances from literature covering a broad spectrum of Indian philosophies, art, medicine and practices—attempts to offer the components of a psychology that is rooted in transformative and transpersonal consciousness. Psychology, in this instance, refers to a systematic study of mind, behavior, and relationship, rather than the formal Western discipline as such. In the Indian approach to understanding consciousness, primary importance is given to the possibility of well-being. Such an approach facilitates an immediate comprehension of the unity of metaphysical opposites, such as matter and consciousness, and its experience as empathy, love and intuition. It involves a ...


Complexities And Challenges Of Nonduality, Elizabeth Stephens Jul 2018

Complexities And Challenges Of Nonduality, Elizabeth Stephens

CONSCIOUSNESS: Ideas and Research for the Twenty-First Century

States of consciousness referred to as nonduality, awakening, enlightenment, moksha, peak experience, unitive states, or void states, among other terms, have garnered increasing secular attention and have become a topic of psychological and neuroscientific research. A review of the literature revealed many challenges to studying this set of states, such as inconsistent conceptualizations, a variety of models and theories, and conflicting descriptions indicating that the actual experience may not live up to the superlative descriptions found in historical texts or the expectations put forth by nondual teachers. A great deal more empirical research on this topic is needed, and researchers ...


Communication Ethics: Ellul's Complexity Of Form, Marianne Pabis May 2018

Communication Ethics: Ellul's Complexity Of Form, Marianne Pabis

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project aims to enlarge understanding of Ellul’s dilemma of the ethical Christian communicator through a hermeneutic exploration of his intentionally un-paradigmatic treatment of technology as the determining factor in the formation of contemporary structural realities, a claim central to Ellul’s theory of technological society. It attends to the question of why, over the course of more than 50 books and over 1,000 articles, Ellul has refused to expound upon this claim as an overarching theoretical construct. As a contribution to the field of communication ethics from Ellul’s Christocentric perspective, this work also explicates the importance ...


Explaining The Illusion Of Phenomenal Consciousness, Daniel S. Shabasson Apr 2018

Explaining The Illusion Of Phenomenal Consciousness, Daniel S. Shabasson

Publications and Research

According to illusionism, phenomenal consciousness does not exist. There is nothing “it is like” to see red or feel pain. Most people find illusionism highly counterintuitive and it remains a minority view among philosophers. To increase its intuitive plausibility, we proponents of illusionism must solve what Keith Frankish (2016) has termed the illusion problem. We must explain why phenomenal consciousness seems to exist and why the illusion that it exists is so powerful. Focusing on introspective judgments about our color experiences, I propose a theory to solve the illusion problem.

I intend to show that we can understand the general ...


Thinking Like A Fox: Individual Choice And The Unique Role Of Liberal Arts Colleges In Empowering America's Future Leaders, Christopher Tan Jan 2018

Thinking Like A Fox: Individual Choice And The Unique Role Of Liberal Arts Colleges In Empowering America's Future Leaders, Christopher Tan

Richard T. Schellhase Essay Prize in Ethics

The dilemma faced by Dean Kelly Smith on whether to allow Chris Williams to graduate from her college challenges the current model of higher education in the United States from an economic and normative perspective. When considering the situation that Dean Smith faces, this paper aims to demonstrate how Chris Williams should not be allowed to graduate without first passing the Senior Seminar after: (1) exploring the role of liberal arts colleges in encouraging agency among their students; (2) assessing the qualitative value of a college education in diversifying students’ knowledge base and providing students with the resources and opportunities ...


Actually Embodied Emotions, Jordan Christopher Victor Taylor Jan 2018

Actually Embodied Emotions, Jordan Christopher Victor Taylor

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation offers a theory of emotion called the primitivist theory. Emotions are defined as bodily caused affective states. It derives key principles from William James’s feeling theory of emotion, which states that emotions are felt experiences of bodily changes triggered by sensory stimuli (James, 1884; James, 1890). However, James’s theory is commonly misinterpreted, leading to its dismissal by contemporary philosophers and psychologists. Chapter 1 therefore analyzes James’s theory and compares it against contemporary treatments. It demonstrates that a rehabilitated Jamesian theory promises to benefit contemporary emotion research. Chapter 2 investigates James’s legacy, as numerous alterations ...


The Participating Mind In The Quantum Universe, Menas Kafatos, Keun-Hang Susan Yang Jan 2018

The Participating Mind In The Quantum Universe, Menas Kafatos, Keun-Hang Susan Yang

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

The Orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics, which followed the Copenhagen Interpretation but was enhanced by primarily Werner Heisenberg and John von Neumann into a fully developed theory, brought in, among others, the role of measurement, available choices and response of the quantum system. It is, more consistent and clear than other interpretations of quantum mechanics as it provides account of the interactions of observers with the external world. As such, the Orthodox interpretation does a lot more than just account for physical interactions in the atomic world, which was the original goal of quantum mechanics in the early part of ...


Fish Sentience, Consciousness, And Ai, Ila France Porcher Jan 2018

Fish Sentience, Consciousness, And Ai, Ila France Porcher

Animal Sentience

The systematic criticism of articles providing evidence that fish and invertebrates can feel pain is discussed. Beliefs are known to be stronger than evidence in the human mind, and could generate this outcry, while from another perspective, the criticisms appear as a territorial move by fishermen against a perceived threat to their domain. The scientific inconsistency in which consciousness is granted to machines but not to fish and invertebrates, purely due to political bias, is pointed out. No basis exists for denying sentience to any life form as long as science is ignorant of the nature and source of consciousness.


Pain In Fish: Evidence From Peripheral Nociceptors To Pallial Processing, Michael L. Woodruff Jan 2018

Pain In Fish: Evidence From Peripheral Nociceptors To Pallial Processing, Michael L. Woodruff

Animal Sentience

The target article by Sneddon et al. (2018) presents convincing behavioral and pharmacological evidence that ray-finned fish consciously perceive noxious stimuli as painful. One objection to this interpretation of the evidence is that the fish nervous system is not complex enough to support the conscious experience of pain. Data that contradict this objection are presented in this commentary. The neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the fish nervous system from the peripheral nerves to the pallium is able to support the sentient appreciation of pain.


If It Looks Like A Duck: Fish Fit The Criteria For Pain Perception, Julia E. Meyers-Manor Jan 2018

If It Looks Like A Duck: Fish Fit The Criteria For Pain Perception, Julia E. Meyers-Manor

Animal Sentience

Whereas we have denied the experience of pain to animals, including human babies, the evidence is becoming clearer that animals across a variety of species have the capacity to feel pain (Bellieni, 2012). As converging findings are collected from pain studies and the study of cognition, it is becoming harder to deny that fish are among the species that do feel pain.


Sheaf Theoretic Formulation For Consciousness And Qualia And Relationship To The Idealism Of Non-Dual Philosophies, Menas Kafatos, Goro Kato Sep 2017

Sheaf Theoretic Formulation For Consciousness And Qualia And Relationship To The Idealism Of Non-Dual Philosophies, Menas Kafatos, Goro Kato

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

Questions about the nature of reality, whether Consciousness is the fundamental reality in the universe, and what is Consciousness itself, have no answer in systems that assume an external reality independent of Consciousness. Ultimately, the ontological foundation of such systems is the absolute division of subject and object. We advocate instead what we consider to be an approach that is in agreement with the foundation of quantum reality, which is based on Rāmānuja’s version of Vedanta philosophy and non-dual Kashmir Śaivism. Quantum mechanics opened the door to consciousness, but it cannot account for consciousness. However, the quantum measurement problem ...


Hegel And The Problem Of The Multiplicity Of Conflicting Philosophies, Matthew M. Peters Jul 2017

Hegel And The Problem Of The Multiplicity Of Conflicting Philosophies, Matthew M. Peters

Dissertations (2009 -)

As Hegel notes in his long Introduction to the Lectures on the History of Philosophy, the problem of the multiplicity of conflicting philosophies presents a particularly urgent problem to the very discipline of philosophy itself. For, from the viewpoint of what Hegel would refer to as “ordinary consciousness”, the fact that there are so many different philosophies which seem constantly to disagree can only lead to one conclusion: philosophy itself is a futile enterprise. Hegel, perhaps more than any previous philosopher, was sensitive to this charge of futility levelled against philosophy. In response, he provided an explanatory account of the ...


The Nature Of Introspection, Adriana Renero Jun 2017

The Nature Of Introspection, Adriana Renero

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

My dissertation proposes a new model of introspection by examining those aspects of the nature of introspection that have been neglected in the contemporary literature, such as the ones determining variables or mental phenomena in accordance with specific cases of introspection. I assert that these neglected aspects are the very ones which provide a precise account of the way we are aware of our mental life and help us arrive at self-attributions. I begin by raising issues already extant in the epistemology of introspection, and not only argue against skeptical doubts about the reliability of introspection but also provide empirical ...


There Is Nothing It Is Like To See Red: Holism And Subjective Experience, Anthony F. Peressini May 2017

There Is Nothing It Is Like To See Red: Holism And Subjective Experience, Anthony F. Peressini

Philosophy Faculty Research and Publications

The Nagel inspired “something-it-is-like” (SIL) conception of conscious experience remains a dominant approach in philosophy. In this paper I criticize a prevalent philosophical construal of SIL consciousness, one that understands SIL as a property of mental states rather than entities as a whole. I argue against thinking of SIL as a property of states, showing how such a view is in fact prevalent, under-warranted, and philosophically pernicious in that it often leads to an implausible reduction of conscious experience to qualia. I then develop a holistic conception of SIL for entities (not states) and argue that it has at least ...


A New Framework For Enactivism: Understanding The Enactive Body Through Structural Flexibility And Merleau-Ponty’S Ontology Of Flesh, John Jenkinson Feb 2017

A New Framework For Enactivism: Understanding The Enactive Body Through Structural Flexibility And Merleau-Ponty’S Ontology Of Flesh, John Jenkinson

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The enactive approach to cognition and consciousness offers a valuable alternative to the standard approaches dominant in the sciences of mind. As an embodied account, enactivism incorporates theoretical perspectives on the body from phenomenology, cognitive science, and biology, which provides a unique interpretation of embodiment with critical insight into the embodied nature of cognition and consciousness. Nonetheless, I argue that several revisions are required to make enactivism viable within the context of the sciences of mind. The enactive account of subjectivity is problematic, in light of arguments developed in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s later texts, because it is implicitly dualistic. I ...


The Evil Of Banality: On The Life And Death Importance Of Thinking By Elizabeth Minnich, Kathleen Barry Feb 2017

The Evil Of Banality: On The Life And Death Importance Of Thinking By Elizabeth Minnich, Kathleen Barry

Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence

No abstract provided.


Searle And Buddhism On The Non-Self, Soraj Hongladarom Jan 2017

Searle And Buddhism On The Non-Self, Soraj Hongladarom

Comparative Philosophy

In this brief note I continue the discussion that I had with John Searle on the topic of the self and the possibility of continuity of consciousness after death of the body. The gist of Searle's reply to my original paper (Hongladarom 2008) is that it is logical possible, though extremely unlikely, that consciousness survives destruction of the body. This is a rather startling claim given that Searle famously holds that consciousness is the work of the body. Nonetheless, he claims that such issue is an empirical matter which could perhaps be discovered by future science. Another point concerns ...


Saving The Physics Ii: Who Needs To Be Saved? It Depends On Your Metaphysics, Menas Kafatos Jan 2017

Saving The Physics Ii: Who Needs To Be Saved? It Depends On Your Metaphysics, Menas Kafatos

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

Physics does not need to be saved. If anything, physics was rescued in the early twentieth century with the advancement of both the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. What needs to be saved is our world outlook or metaphysics because how a society acts and develops depends on what its belief systems are. Here we explore how a new metaphysics where consciousness is fundamental might just be what modern societies need.


A Poetics Of Food In The Bahamas: Intentional Journeys Through Food, Consciousness, And The Aesthetic Of Everyday Life, Hilary B. Booker Jan 2017

A Poetics Of Food In The Bahamas: Intentional Journeys Through Food, Consciousness, And The Aesthetic Of Everyday Life, Hilary B. Booker

Dissertations & Theses

This research explores intentional food practices and journeys of consciousness in a network of people in The Bahamas. Intentional food practices are defined as interactions with food chosen for particular purposes, while journeys of consciousness are cumulative successions of events that people associate with healing, restoration, and decolonization personally and collectively. This research examines (1) experiences and moments that influenced people’s intentional food practices; (2) food practices that people enact daily; and (3) how people’s intentional food practices connect to broader spiritual, philosophical, and ideological perspectives guiding their lives. The theoretical framework emerges from a specific lineage of ...


Animal Models, Agendas And Sentience, Thomas Creson Jan 2017

Animal Models, Agendas And Sentience, Thomas Creson

Animal Sentience

Woodruff’s target article on teleost consciousness is a well-organized logical argument for considering the fish as a sentient being. This becomes more important for animal ethical discussion as the fish becomes a more important and legitimate animal model for investigating animal states and traits associated with higher levels of behavior such as learning and memory.


The Emotional Brain Of Fish, Sonia Rey Planellas Jan 2017

The Emotional Brain Of Fish, Sonia Rey Planellas

Animal Sentience

Woodruff (2017) analyzes structural homologies and functional equivalences between the brains of mammals and fish to understand where sentience and social cognition might reside in teleosts. He compares neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and behavioural correlates. I discuss current advances in the study of fish cognitive abilities and emotions, and advocate an evolutionary approach to the underlying basis of sentience in teleosts.


Studying Dog Emotion Beyond Expression And Without Concern For Feeling, Peter F. Cook Jan 2017

Studying Dog Emotion Beyond Expression And Without Concern For Feeling, Peter F. Cook

Animal Sentience

Studies of dog emotion have focused on the expression of social emotion, either because this is taken to suggest human-like feeling states in dogs or because it has been the most accessible signal of dog emotional processing. I argue for an approach grounded in affective neuroscience, relying on direct measures of physiology across different contexts. This work may be particularly fertile in exploring social emotion in the dog, not because dogs necessarily share human emotional states, but because they are unique in having likely evolved to fit a human social niche.