On 24 April 2012 20:07, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I still don't see how calling it a mirage or illusion gets around the hard
> problem at all. A mirage to whom? Why or how is it there at all? For
> me the issue was never the veracity of the content of consciousness
> compared to external measurements, it is that there can be any content
> in the first place.

Yes, but her position is that empirical science has no purchase on the
latter question (that's why it's Hard), but may be able to make
progress on correlating brain activity with conscious states, and in
the process perhaps re-describe either or both sides of the coin in
helpful ways.  I recently read an interesting interview with Patricia
Churchland - pretty much universally regarded as the High Priestess of
Denialism with respect to consciousness - and she vigorously rejected
the idea that she had ever sought to do any such thing.  In fact, she
and Paul now regret ever adopting the sobriquet "eliminative
materialism", which she attributes to Richard Rorty (a bloody
philosopher!).  Again, the Churchlands' project, like Blakemore's, is
correlation and categorisation, not metaphysics.  Trouble is, as you
say, if you've got Deepak Chopra in the other chair, the conversation
is apt to get somewhat polarised.  But, political posturing aside,
away from the public gaze there is often lot more doubt than the
slogans would suggest.

David

> On Apr 24, 2:57 pm, David Nyman <da...@davidnyman.com> wrote:
>
>>
>> The article in the NS, taken as a whole, suggests that her position is
>> more nuanced than the slogan you quoted might suggest.
>
> The context was a "War of the Worldviews" presentation, where she was
> sort of head-to-head with Deepak Chopra, so yes, it was probably not
> the most well rounded look at either of their worldviews (or the
> others on the panel). She likes to be provocative anyhow. I still
> don't see how calling it a mirage or illusion gets around the hard
> problem at all. A mirage to whom? Why or how is it there at all? For
> me the issue was never the veracity of the content of consciousness
> compared to external measurements, it is that there can be any content
> in the first place.
>
> Craig
>
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