Professional philosophy news

The Epoch Times reviews “Toward a Science of Consciousness” conference

Founded by David Chalmers (ANU/NYU) and Stuart Hameroff (an anesthesiologist), the conference now appears to be dominated by psychologists and scientists. This is a shame, since clearly philosophical issues are being discussed. This year’s speakers included Deepak Chopra, Susan Blackmore, Leonard Mlodinow, and Menas Kafatos. The write-up is here.

The issue of where consciousness comes from boils down to two possibilities: Is it there from the start, or does it somehow emerge from neural processes? The emergence theory is popular among materialists and reductionists, but is increasingly unpopular among philosophers as well as others. The idea that consciousness can “pop out” of nothing strikes some as being too magical to be a workable theory.



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