Saturday, May 3, 2014

Workshop May 9 2pm Beach Room 3105 Tolman UC Berkeley

Workshop May 9 2pm Beach Room 3105 Tolman UC Berkeley

Neural dynamics at the microscopic level Seán O Nualláin UOI

Complementing Walter Freeman's exploration of neural dynamics at the mesoscopic level, his mentor Karl Pribram has long championed an approach at the level of individual neurons. With a new burgeoning interest in this level now apparent, this talk outlines for the first time how Pribram's schema plays out computationally. His work with David Bohm on quantum mechanics and the holographic nature of reality will be referenced.

3-30 pm Break

3-45 pm Carlos Montemayor SFSU

Dogmatic and skeptical arguments about the nature of consciousness

There are various ways to classify the extant views on the nature of consciousness. I analyze a classification that is based on the implications of different views with respect to subjectivity and time, and show that it has the advantage of highlighting different aspects of the hard problem. I focus on three aspects: a) the problem of agency and free will, which is crucial for the von Neumann interpretation of QM, b) the problem of the unity of consciousness, which is important to understand the nature of qualia, and c) the problem of the psychological now. This approach suggests that the impasse produced by the hard problem is based on either dogmatic or skeptical assumptions about these three aspects of consciousness, which may impede thinking more creatively about the nature of consciousness. A possible way of avoiding these assumptions is to further analyze these three aspects of conscious awareness.

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