Friday, July 13, 2018

Consciousness explained naturally? Doubt it

From Amazon's description of a new book on consciousness:
How can the seemingly immaterial experience of consciousness be explained by the material neurons of the brain? There seems to be an unbridgeable gap between understanding the brain as an objectively observed biological organ and accounting for the subjective experiences that come from the brain (and life processes). In this book, Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt attempt to demystify consciousness―to naturalize it, by explaining that the subjective, experiencing aspects of consciousness are created by natural brain processes that evolved in natural ways. Although subjective experience is unique in nature, they argue, it is not necessarily mysterious. We need not invoke the unknown or unknowable to explain its creation.
I haven't read the book (it's not out yet), and maybe I can find the time, but call me a big skeptic. My experience from the inside IS immaterial and is categorically separate from the material universe as understood by science. I assume these authors will more or less argue that my subjective experience is some sort of trick generated by my brain. This is simply absurd. I THINK the material world is real, but like the philosophers tell us, for all I know some demon is causing me to hallucinate the world. But I KNOW with utter certainty that I am really experiencing stuff right now. If that is to be doubted, all bets are off.  

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