Before we summarize the vista afforded by this course, we need to visit two cognitive theories of mind, those of Jean Piaget and Jerry Fodor.
Piaget is perhaps wrong in all his findings, but he asked critical questions about how the development of knowledge informs us about the nature of knowledge. We are after all primates who think they originated in a Savannah; how is it we know about Quantum mechanics, the structure of the cosmos and so on?
While Piaget makes a valiant attempt to root knowledge in biology, Jerry Fodor is more in line with Noe et al by speaking in a mechanistic way about “modules” whose ensemble functioning are in some sense the mind.
We end this course as we started it; with speculation about the nature of consciousness, and how this relates to the historical search for our own true nature.
First of all, there is a classic split often construed as between the left hemisphere “analytical” and right hemisphere “intuitive”. Perhaps of more interest is the extent to which we confabulate. In fact, conscious events occur much more slowly than neural process in general, and we are getting just a sketchy sample.
Several explanatory frameworks are then explored, including that of LaBerge. We end by looking at what we've learned about ourselves from this course; how will, self, and consciousness are interrelated