Consciousness Reconsidered by Owen Flanagan

By Owen Flanagan

I actually just isn't giving stars to my very own ebook, however it appears a demand here.Two clarifications:1. it really is actual that i do not interact Dave Chalmers perspectives within the ebook. Dave's e-book seemed approximately five years after mine.2. The identify *Consciousness Reconsidered* has understandably led a few to imagine that it really is essentially a reaction to Dennett's *Consciousness Explained.* it's not, altho. I do interact a few of Dan's arguments. My publication used to be released quickly after Dan's & such a lot of my matters w/Dan relate to papers (alto. alongside w/Ned Block, i mentioned Dan's coming near near e-book w/him and others frequently. yet responding to and/or supplying another view to Dennett used to be now not my goal. actually my view on *consciousness* used to be sketched out within the lengthy new bankruptcy in *The technology of the brain* released in 1991.

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Consciousness will go the way of phlogiston. There is simply no place in the brain that plays the conceptualized role. Fortunately for the friends of consciousness, the very vagueness of the concept allows that conscious experience may yet receive a noneliminativist account within a mature science of the mind. Unlike the concept of phlogiston (and perhaps unlike the concepts of the id and the libido), the concept of consciousness was not initially designed to play an explanatory role in science.

First, the substance involved was not phlogiston; it was oxygen. Furthermore, oxygen was not a spirit but a gas, and as such it has a certain atomic weight. Second, the substance in question, oxygen, was gained, not lost, during the processes in question. 24 Chapter 2 The concept of phlogiston was introduced to name the colorless, odorless, and weightless spirit released during rusting and burning. The reason for saying that there is no such thing as phlogiston depends both on the falsehood of the claim that some substance is lost during burning and rusting (the opposite is true) and on the fact that the substance involved in the actual process, namely oxygen, is not anything like phlogiston.

In utterly novel situations, we spin out novel problem-solving strategies by mixing previous solution strategies, creating "idea mutations" as it were. We try some of these, and if they get the job done, there is selection in their favor in the future. As George Mandler puts it, the general rule is, "When current conscious constructions do not account for the state of the world, then a new conscious state will be initiated" (1985). Actually, the picture of the brain as a massively parallel Darwin machine suggests a particular gloss on Mandler's point that the system works by creating new ideas when old ones fail.

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