Tag Archives: Human and Machine Consciousness

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Human and Machine Consciousness – a systematic approach

Chimpanzee brain in a jar. By Gaetan Lee. Tilt corrected by Kaldari. 2007. CC 2.0.

Consciousness is extremely important to us. What would life be worth without the smells, colours and sounds that fill our waking conscious experience? Coma patients who are unlikely to regain consciousness are allowed to die. Fictional unconscious zombies are shot with impunity.

Within the Christian tradition the conscious soul is distinct from the physical body. After death conscious souls continue to have experiences in hell or heaven. This tradition was reworked by Descartes into a distinction between thinking substance (the conscious soul) and extended substance (the physical body). Modern scientists and philosophers face an apparently insurmountable distinction between their everyday colourful conscious experiences and an invisible physical world of superstrings and wave-particles.
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