Consciousness studies is at the forefront of science's last great investigative projects. While neglected for many years by mainstream academia as a result of dominance by behaviorist psychology, interest in the science of consciousness has exploded in the last decade, with new activity in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and other areas.
How exactly does a material brain... give rise to immaterial thoughts, or "consciousness"?
While many in the humanities still hold to the idea of philosophy being the paramount scholarly effort in human endeavours, studies in consciousness require the submission of philosophical activity to the rigor of the scientific method, quantification and empiricism. While this thought does not arouse concern among many today when it comes to physics, biology, cosmology and chemistry, its assertion in the realm of the human mind can potentially give all of us pause to ponder its true consequences. Indeed, the very quotidian notion of subjectivity itself is called into question by some emerging thinkers.
Do you know what the "hard problem of consciousness" is? Are qualia real, or just a minimal set of neuronal events and mechanisms sufficient for a specific conscious percept to become phenomenally available to basic introspection?
Let's not get ahead of ourselves! First, one must become available with the literature!
Do you know who Daniel Dennett is? How about David Chalmers? Susan Blackmore? Paul and Patricia Churchland? These are just a few of the thinkers asking unsettling questions and moving philosophy into the 21st century.
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