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Will Science and Consciousness Ever Meat? Complexity, Symmetry and Qualia
Center for Logic and Analytical Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kardinaal Mercierplein 2, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Received: 9 March 2010; in revised form: 25 May 2010 / Accepted: 23 June 2010 / Published: 25 June 2010
Abstract: Within recent discussions in the Philosophy of Mind, the nature of conscious phenomenal states or qualia (also called ‘raw feels’ or the feel of ‘what it is like to be’) has been an important focus of interest. Proponents of Mind-Body Type-Identity theories have claimed that mental states can be reduced to neurophysiological states of the brain. Others have denied that such a reduction is possible; for them, there remains an explanatory gap. In this paper, functionalist, physicalist, epiphenomenalist, and biological models of the mind are discussed and compared. Donald Davidson’s Anomalous Monism is proposed as a unifying framework for a non-reductive theory of qualia and consciousness. Downward Causation, Emergence through Symmetry-breaking, and Dynamical Systems Theory are used to show how consciousness and qualia emerge from their neural substrate and can also be causally efficacious.
Keywords: anomalous monism; consciousness; downward causation; dynamical systems; qualia; symmetry-breaking
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Vergauwen, R. Will Science and Consciousness Ever Meat? Complexity, Symmetry and Qualia. Symmetry 2010, 2, 1250-1269.
Vergauwen R. Will Science and Consciousness Ever Meat? Complexity, Symmetry and Qualia. Symmetry. 2010; 2(3):1250-1269.
Vergauwen, Roger. 2010. "Will Science and Consciousness Ever Meat? Complexity, Symmetry and Qualia." Symmetry 2, no. 3: 1250-1269.