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SYMSYS 202: Theories of Consciousness

Are fish conscious? Are fetuses? Could we build a conscious computer? Much of the philosophical work on consciousness has focused on whether consciousness is wholly physical, but that question is orthogonal to the more specific questions about consciousness that most of us really care about. To answer those questions, we need a theory of how consciousness works in our world. Philosophers and scientists have put forward a spectrum of different candidates, from very abstract, philosophical theories through theories more informed by cognitive psychology down to neural and even quantum theories. In this seminar, students will learn about the major theories of consciousness as well as conceptual issues that arise on different approaches. Particularly important will be the question of how we might gain empirical evidence for a theory of consciousness.
Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: ORourke, J. (PI)
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