The Thinking Ape: The Enigma of Human Consciousness

What is the origin and nature of consciousness? If consciousness is common to humans and animals alike, what are the defining traits of human consciousness? Nobel laureate psychologist Daniel Kahneman, philosopher David Chalmers, expert in primate cognition Laurie Santos, and physician-scientist Nicholas Schiff will discuss what it means to be “conscious” and examine the human capacities displayed in cognitive, aesthetic, and ethical behaviors, with a focus on the place and function of the mind within nature. The New York Academy of Sciences Wednesday, October 10, 2012 This event is part of The Emerging Science of Consciousness Series, which brings together leading experts from various fields to discuss how the latest research is challenging our understanding of the very nature and function of consciousness in our daily lives.

3 thoughts on “The Thinking Ape: The Enigma of Human Consciousness

  1. Integrated Information Theory hardly solves the problem of subjective states but only gives some mathematical model for how, well, information is integrated. It doesn’t in any way explain away the subjective feelings associated with experience. I am 100% certain Chalmers knows who Tononi is and is also aware he is a reductionist much like yourself. Even the notion of trying to explain subjectivity outside of correlates by math or mechanisms is a defeater for the staunch positivist.

  2. You cannot define consciousness, it just is. We can each feel it, and we should remember that others feel the same as we do. It is self-reflection, and is mindfulness. It is awareness of being aware. It’s a wave in an ocean of possibility,

  3. I would strongly recommend to anyone interested to read Terence McKenna’s ‘Food of the Gods’. A fascinating theory on the development of human awareness through a symbiotic relationship with psychoactive plants.

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