Book description

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Author
Title
eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
File size7.1 Mb
GanrePhilosophy
Release date 01.09.2012
ISBN9780195314595
Pages count416
Book rating4.33 (9 votes)
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This book comes to the closest to any book I have seen to explaining consciousness. It is both instructive in regards to the Neuroscience of consciousness and tackles most but not all of the problems of relating consciousness to physical functioning of the brain. I have read a lot on this topic and no book left me with a more satisfying explanation of how consciousness arises as a py roperty of brain function. The theory Prinz uses to explain consciousness he refers to as Attending Intermediate-level Representation (AIR). This theory claims that consciousness does not reside at either the highest level of processing nor the lowest. Low level neurons in the visual cortex may process visual nerve signals into edges of shapes or color and high level abstraction may be encoded categories of memory but at the intermediate level low level streams are encoded into short term memory and attended to by populations of neurons firing in a specific pattern at about 40 hertz. These clusters of patterns being encoded by firing patterns of populations of neurons give rise to consciousness. These are the neural correlates of consciousness. AIR theory solves a lot of the philosophical problems of consciousness and explains the phenomenon in general. This may indeed be the final framework for fleshing out the neural correlates of consciousness in the brain. I think this theory or something like it will be the solution to what David Chalmers calls the "easy" problem. For that I am giving this book five stars. However it solved quite a few philosophical problems like "Mary" a woman who knows everything there is to know about color vision but has been trapped in a black and white room and never experienced "red". When she is released she sees read and supposedly learns something new "what its like to see red". The final chapter before the conclusion dispenses with this problem using Prinz's AIR theory. Yet David Chalmer's problem of philosophical zombies (people with all the neurological correlates of consciousness but not being conscious ie zombies was not dealt with directly.) I would have like to seen an attempt to demolish this. It was implied that his argument against Mary would address this but I don't think it does. Anyway the book was awesome regardless.

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