Dynamical (Self-)Consciousness?

Michael Spivey

in The Continuity of Mind

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195170788
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786831 | DOI:
 Dynamical (Self-)Consciousness?

Show Summary Details


This final chapter takes a somewhat more speculative turn to discussing what role the concept of consciousness might have in a complex continuous dynamical system, such as a brain enmeshed in a body enmeshed in its environment. It is argued that the “hard problem” of consciousness has defined itself out of the realm of scientific measurability. Moreover, since all evidence for consciousness comes from self-conscious reports, what we should perhaps instead be trying to understand are the processes that bring about self-consciousness (typically relegated to the “easy problems” of consciousness). The chapter concludes with concrete visualizations of a mental state-space in which a continuous nonlinear trajectory constitutes everything from perception to thought to planning, and even self-consciousness.

Keywords: consciousness; content; hard problem; coping; zombie; free will; dynamical system; trajectory

Chapter.  13191 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.