Monday, October 6, 2014

Lectures 6 and 7; The noetic and the cognitive

This next lecture is covered in the final chapter of my "search for Mind" (2003)

You can find a previous take on the ideas here;

Seán Ó Nualláin: Some Consequences of Current Scientific Treatments of Consciousness and Selfhood. AI Soc. 8(4): 305-314 (1994)

The first issue in lecture 7 is that of methodology. It is my view that the focus on the so-called “hard problem” has retarded our area. This works on the assumption that “consciousness” will somehow yield itself to study when proper attention is paid to phenomenology and its interaction with the neural data. This statement is either wrong or trivial; I have a forthcoming paper in “New ideas in  Psychology” called “”The noetic and the cognitive”

The lecture focuses on a set of sophisticated replies. The most impressive is that of Alva Noe and his colleagues. For them , there is no problem of “consciousness”; there is a set of expectations lined up in the loop that Freeman identifies as “preafference”. The differential fulfillment of these expectations is what constitutes our experience. Yet this work really addresses only the sensorimotor level, and does not handle our symbolic and advanced social behaviour.

Sue Hurley and others work informatively on change “blindness” which, along with our continual narrations to ourselves, give us the impression of having much richer experience of the world than we actually have. Block parses consciousness into a- and p- categories. This also works to some extent.

The question should be left open in your heads of whether we really can remain in the academy – and that's where we are in this class- and expect full solutions about “consciousness”.

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