Consciousness and Object: A mind-object identity physicalist theory
What is the conscious mind? What is experience? In 1968, David Armstrong asked “What is a man?” and replied that a man is “a certain sort of material object”. This book starts from his question but proceeds along a different path. The traditional mind-brain identity theory is set aside, and a mind-object identity theory is proposed in its place: to be conscious of an object is simply to be made of that object. Consciousness is physical but not neural.
This groundbreaking hypothesis is supported by recent empirical findings in both perception and neuroscience, and is herein tested against a series of objections of both conceptual and empirical nature: the traditional mind-brain identity arguments from illusion, hallucinations, dreams, and mental imagery. The theory is then compared with existing externalist approaches including disjunctivism, realism, embodied cognition, enactivism, and the extended mind. Can experience and objects be one and the same?
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