Philosophy 290-7

Fall 2013

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-7 Graduate Seminar: Consciousness by John R. Searle Searle Tu 2-4 234 Moses

Consciousness is becoming more and more a central topic in analytic philosophy, and I want to pursue both some traditional and more recent issues. Specifically the recent analysis in terms of information theory, by Tononi and Koch, I think is mistaken, and I want to say exactly how. Nagel’s recent book Mind and Cosmos expresses doubts that we can explain consciousness with our existing conceptual resources. I think he is mistaken and I want to say again how exactly how. A third issue that I want to resume is the discussion of the Connection Principle relating consciousness to unconsciousness. I think that these issues are at the very heart of cognitive science explanations. A whole series of issues is raised by recent emphasis on the unconscious as more important than consciousness. Such authors as Libet, Jeannerod, and Wegner should all be considered. We cannot cover all of the issues in one semester, but I would like a general theory of consciousness to emerge.

Anyone wishing to see a simple presentation of my general approach should see my recent TED talk at CERN in Geneva.