Sweet Dreams Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness

ISBN-10: 0262541912
ISBN-13: 9780262541916
Edition: 2006
List price: $22.95
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Description: In the years since Daniel Dennett's influential Consciousness Explained was published in 1991, scientific research on consciousness has been a hotly contested battleground of rival theories -- "so rambunctious," Dennett observes, "that several  More...

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Book details

List price: $22.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 9/8/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 216
Size: 5.30" wide x 9.95" long x 0.27" tall
Weight: 0.550

In the years since Daniel Dennett's influential Consciousness Explained was published in 1991, scientific research on consciousness has been a hotly contested battleground of rival theories -- "so rambunctious," Dennett observes, "that several people are writing books just about the tumult." With Sweet Dreams, Dennett returns to the subject for "revision and renewal" of his theory of consciousness, taking into account major empirical advances in the field since 1991 as well as recent theoretical challenges. In Consciousness Explained, Dennett proposed to replace the ubiquitous but bankrupt Cartesian Theater model (which posits a privileged place in the brain where "it all comes together" for the magic show of consciousness) with the Multiple Drafts Model. Drawing on psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and artificial intelligence, he asserted that human consciousness is essentially the mental software that reorganizes the functional architecture of the brain. In Sweet Dreams, he recasts the Multiple Drafts Model as the "fame in the brain" model, as a background against which to examine the philosophical issues that "continue to bedevil the field." With his usual clarity and brio, Dennett enlivens his arguments with a variety of vivid examples. He isolates the "Zombic Hunch" that distorts much of the theorizing of both philosophers and scientists, and defends heterophenomenology, his "third-person" approach to the science of consciousness, against persistent misinterpretations and objections. The old challenge of Frank Jackson's thought experiment about Mary the color scientist is given a new rebuttal in the form of "RoboMary," while his discussion of a famous card trick, "The Tuned Deck," is designed to show that David Chalmers's Hard Problem is probably just a figment of theorists' misexploited imagination. In the final essay, the "intrinsic" nature of "qualia" is compared with the naively imagined "intrinsic value" of a dollar in "Consciousness -- How Much is That in Real Money?"

Matthew M. Hurley is currently researching teleology and agency at the Center for Research onConcepts and Cognition at Indiana University.Daniel C. Dennett is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy atTufts University. He is the author of Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Scienceof Consciousness (MIT Press) and other books.

Series Foreword
Preface
The Zombie Hunch: Extinction of an Intuition?
The Naturalistic Turn
The Reactionaries
An Embarrassment of Zombies
Broad Functionalism and Minimalism
The Future of an Illusion
A Third-Person Approach to Consciousness
Scientists from Mars
Folk Theories and Philosophy
Heterophenomenology Revisited
David Chalmers as Heterophenomenological Subject
The Second-Person Point of View
Explaining the "Magic" of Consciousness
The Thankless Task of Explaining Magic
Dismantling the Audience
The Tuned Deck
Are Qualia What Make Life Worth Living?
The Quale, An Elusive Quarry
Change Blindness and a Question about Qualia
Sweet Dreams and the Nightmare of Mr. Clapgras
What RoboMary Knows
Mary and the Blue Banana
"Surely" She'll Be Surprised
You Had to Be There!
RoboMary
Locked RoboMary
Are We Explaining Consciousness Yet?
Clawing Our Way toward Consensus
Competition for Clout
Is There Also a Hard Problem?
But What about "Qualia"?
Conclusion
A Fantasy Echo Theory of Consciousness
Fleeting Fame
Instant Replay
Consciousness: How Much Is That in Real Money?
References
Index

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