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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actual object afterimage akin alleged appearance apple assumption beliefs blind subjects brain brainbound brings into existence Cartesian materialism causal chain causal circumstances causal process cause Chalmers Charles Bonnet syndrome cognitive color conceptual conscious experience consciousness consider contingent course Dennett Descartes direct realism distance dreams empirical evidence enactivism ence environment everyday perception everything experience is identical external object external world fact hallucinations human bodies illusions inside joint effect Koch matter mental metaphysical mind mind-object identity theory Müller-Lyer illusion naïve nature neural activity neuroscience notion occur one’s body one’s experience ontological panpsychism perceive phenomenal character phenomenal experience philosophical photon physical entities physical object physical properties physical system physical world physicalist premise present problem produce Prudential Tower rat pack reality red apple relation relative velocity representations retina rience sensor modalities sensory spatiotemporally subset supersaturated supersaturated red supervenience take place temporal thing tion Tononi traditional visual wrong