Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness
Winner in the Psychology & Cognitive Science catagory of the 2005 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Annual Awards Competition presented by the Association of American Publishers, Inc. In the years since Daniel Dennett's influential Consciousness Explainedwas published in 1991, scientific research on consciousness has been a hotly contested battleground of rival theories—"so rambunctious," Dennett observes, "that several people are writing books just about the tumult." With Sweet Dreams, Dennett returns to the subject for "revision and renewal" of his theory of consciousness, taking into account major empirical advances in the field since 1991 as well as recent theoretical challenges. In Consciousness Explained, Dennett proposed to replace the ubiquitous but bankrupt Cartesian Theater model (which posits a privileged place in the brain where "it all comes together" for the magic show of consciousness) with the Multiple Drafts Model. Drawing on psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and artificial intelligence, he asserted that human consciousness is essentially the mental software that reorganizes the functional architecture of the brain. In Sweet Dreams, he recasts the Multiple Drafts Model as the "fame in the brain" model, as a background against which to examine the philosophical issues that "continue to bedevil the field." With his usual clarity and brio, Dennett enlivens his arguments with a variety of vivid examples. He isolates the "Zombic Hunch" that distorts much of the theorizing of both philosophers and scientists, and defends heterophenomenology, his "third-person" approach to the science of consciousness, against persistent misinterpretations and objections. The old challenge of Frank Jackson's thought experiment about Mary the color scientist is given a new rebuttal in the form of "RoboMary," while his discussion of a famous card trick, "The Tuned Deck," is designed to show that David Chalmers's Hard Problem is probably just a figment of theorists' misexploited imagination. In the final essay, the "intrinsic" nature of "qualia" is compared with the naively imagined "intrinsic value" of a dollar in "Consciousness—How Much is That in RealMoney?"
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - TomSlee - LibraryThing
Essays that are based on Dennett's brilliant "Consciousness Explained" (CE). If you've not read CE, I'd probably suggest not reading this. Dennett is as prickly and full of insights as ever, but the ground covered is pretty close to CE, so I'm only giving it 3 stars because it lacks novelty. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - fpagan - LibraryThing
A not-overly-long "revision and renewal" of DCD's view of consciousness. Zombies, qualia, "the hard problem," etc are all (says he) incoherent concepts; heterophenomenology's the thing. Read full review
The Zombic Hunch Extinction of an Intuition?
2 The Reactionaries
3 An Embarrassment of Zombies
4 Broad Functionalism and Minimalism
5 The Future of an Illusion
A ThirdPerson Approach to Consciousness
2 Folk Theories and Philosophy
3 Heterophenomenology Revisited
1 Mary and the Blue Banana
2 Surely Shell Be Surprised
3 You Had to Be There
5 Locked RoboMary
Are We Explaining Consciousness Yet?
2 Competition for Clout
3 Is There Also a Hard Problem?
4 David Chalmers as Heterophenomenological Subject
5 The SecondPerson Point of View
Explaining the Magic of Consciousness
1 the Thankless Task of Explaining Magic
2 Dismantling the Audience
3 The Tuned Deck
Are Qualia What Make Life Worth Living?
2 Change Blindness and a Question about Qualia
3 Sweet Dreams and the Nightmare of Mr Clapgras
What RoboMary Knows
Creative Explorations: New Approaches to Identities and Audiences
No preview available - 2007