I do like a book that raises questions. And while The Conscious Mind by David J. Chalmers wasn’t the most compelling book I’ve ever read about the philosophy of mind, it nonetheless had some interesting questions to ask.
If you’re just starting to read about philosophy of mind, this is probably a good one to read. It ties together the psychology, neuroscience and philosophy quite nicely, without going into too much depth about any of them.
“Conscious experience does not occur in a vacuum. It is always tied to cognitive processing, and it is likely that in some sense it arises from that processing.”
“The mind-mind problem. Current physical explanations take us as far as the psychological mind. What remains ill understood is the link between the psychological mind and the phenomenal mind.”
“The psychological aspects of mind pose many technical questions for cognitive science… but they post no deep metaphysical enigmas. The question “How could a physical system be the sort of thing that could learn, or that could remember? does not have the same bite as the corresponding question about sensations, or about consciousness in general. The reason for this is clear… learning and memory are functional properties, characterised by causal roles, so the question “How could a physical system have psychological property P?” comes to the same thing as “How could a state of a physical system play such-and-such a causal role?”… While the technical problems are enormous, there is a clearly defined research program for their answer.”
The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory by David J. Chalmers is available to buy on Amazon.
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