Consciousness and Object: A mind-object identity physicalist theory

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John Benjamins Publishing Company, Oct 15, 2017 - Philosophy - 254 pages
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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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Contents

1 A materialist theory of the mind
1
2 Nave materialism
7
3 Consciousness and nature
31
4 A mindobject identity theory
45
5 The actual object
67
6 Consciousness body and world
95
7 All experience is identity
121
8 Neuroscientific evidence
149
9 Subjectivity reloaded
173
10 A reduction
197
11 A comparison with other views
211
12 The last blow to the narcissism of man
223
Index
251
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