Mindmelding: Consciousness, Neuroscience, and the Mind's Privacy

Oxford University Press (2012)
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[This download contains the Table of Contents and Chapter 1]. I argue here that the claim that conscious states are private, in the sense that only one person can ever experience them directly, is false. There actually is a way to connect the brains of two people that would allow one to have direct experience of the other's conscious, e.g., perceptual states. This would allow, for instance, one person to see that the other had deviant color perception (which was masked by correct linguistic practice). This could be achieved by connecting one person's set of executive processes (or cognitive control network) to the conscious perceptual states of the other. Chapter 5 contains an internalist physicalist account of color according to which colors exist only as brain states. Their function is to enable more precise causal interactions between the executive processes and the brain's perceptual systems. This in turn allows for more precise action: I can select the red apples and leave the green ones.
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