The location of the conscious mind
– Where is the mind?
– Where do you end?
– If consciousness is in the brain, then where is it?
– If consciousness is not in the brain, then where is it?
No one knows the answer
Internalism – The idea the mind is in the brain
The fact that the brain is the one immediate bodily condition of the mental operations in indeed so universally admitted nowadays that i need spend no more time on illustrating it. (its so obvious) (james 1890)
Appearances of objects are subjective
- ‘The physical world is utterly different from the mental world’
- ‘Everything that happens in the mind depends of brain activity’
- ‘Awareness is a product of the barin’
- ‘What we perceive is our brains model of the world. They are not the world itself’
The search for the ‘neural correlates of consciousness’
Brain decoding – Reconstructing internal imagery
tell which way people where view cube depending on brain scans
The present works suggests that rather then hoping for a putative unique marker (the neural correlate of consciousness) a more mature view of conscious…
(All the brain)
Current state of scientific knowledge
- No location of consciousness in the brain
- Neural correlates: Correlation is not explanation
Externalism – The idea that the mind in not in the brain
See in a way of acting. it is a particular way of exploring the environment. activity in internal representation dose not generate the experience of seeing. the outside world serves as its own
The world exists on its own
We don’t have an internal representation of the world inside our heads
World out there is its own memory (no internal model)
No coherent model of the world – no rich internal representation
You are not your brain. We are not locked up in a prison of our won idea and sensations. To be conscious of the world the world has to already exists.
Relying on something else to help cognitive function is extending our minds boundaries into the world.
A brain is not a brain without a mobile and manipulating body
Morphic resenaces – Projection takes place through perceptual fields extending out beyond the brain connecting the seeing animal with the which is seen. Vision is rooted in the activity of the brain, but is not confined to the inside of the head (rupert Sheldrake 2005)
Can we still be conscious when we die?
People binging highly fintional (high degrees) With little to no brain
There is no evidence that a brain can generate consciousness autonomously (brains in a Vat syndrome)
No – one have yet identified where in the brain subjective experience might be located, or how it might be supported (the failure of neuroscience)
Is life illusory perception all created by the brain?
Few minutes after being decapitated – the brain carries on being functional?
Stomachs should also be conscious – more neurones in the stomach then other body parts.
Altering the brain dose effect consciousness.
Rubber hand illusion
But brains dont do much on their own – they need the body and world
Having problems merging both theories – only if we assume there is a boundary between the internal and the external
Boundaries – the boundaries of bodies are the least of all things. The boundary of a thing id a surface which is not part of the body contained within that surface. Nor is it part of the air surrounding that body but is the medium interposed between the air and the body. Invisible boundaries (no existent, but must exists because when have separate materials)
Hard solid materials are not solid when magnified enough (to atomic level) Ends up being made of almost nothing.
Air and water?
Two types of boundaries
Fiat boundaries – Ones humans bestow to the world by conversion (exists in the minds of the people that know its there) – widely distributed in time and space
Bona fide boundaries – Ones that are marked by physical boundaries – Also widely distributed in time and space
Leonardo – Do not surround you bodies with lines
If boundaries are indertermainatly located and mind dependent the so must the objects they bound
Where do objects end?
World is built on the idea we are all separate beings and objects
Animals smell from far away. Is that there perception of you
Skin – organ that connects us to the environment
- Newtonian world view – Deterministic and finite
- Nature operates according to deterministic casual laws
- Objects occupy a discrete and fixed location in time and space
Universe at this very small scale is indeterminate – Esnstine
Found spooky action at a distance
Nothing in the universe is observed/exists in the same place
Extensionism – All objects have extended dimensions but we normally acknowledge only a fractional part of their true extent because of constraints inherent in our perceptual and the coercive effects of time.
One the boundary is gone or recognised as being at least partly in the mind the absolute separation between objects dissolves too.
The mind is located neither internally nor external.
Where is an object when it is perceived
Realist view – A distinct object the letter exists independently and irrespectively of weather anyone is observing it. It occupies a fixed location in space in the world same as the woman. (light bouncing off creating visuals of it)
- there are two letters
- She never has contact with the real one
- Two completely separated (one illusion in her head/ one physical object)
Standard scientific understanding
Extensionist View – light is changed by the way the letter is created (seeing the sun and the letter combined together) then goes to the back of the eye and is possessed
- Energy from the sun
- Transfer of energy (glowing and spreading through time and space) letter mixes with her structure
- All interlinks together
She is not conscious of the letter but as the letter
Artworks as extended objects
Why are artworks so special?
Reminds us of aspects of our own existence
Emotion in work
- interpreted in the head
- Or is it in the work
- Its the relationship between the two
… No need to look for something in the brain that is not there?