Consciousness is Solved – Goff

A very good three-way debate between Ned Block, Rebecca Goldstein and Philip Goff, in person in New York, with David Chalmers as an audience member – on how much progress there has been in Science and Philosophy “solving” Consciousness. Another of those dreadful click-baity “Mystery Unravelling” titles and starts with the usual bonus question “isn’t philosophy useless anyway” from the perspective of medical science – but actually some great lucid content from all 4 participants.

Several interesting points from Goff:

~20.00 mins beautifully and succinctly summarising his “Galileo’s Error” thesis in response to Goldstein introducing Galileo into the dialogue.

~31.00 mins when differences (disagreements) between the 3 different physical/materialist <> mysterian <> pan-psychist positions take centre-stage, and

~61.00 mins when the chair calls on Chalmers input, and Goff follows up with a clear elucidation of his own pan-psychist position.

(And several prior points where Goff puts his case that the pan-psychist position has solved the problems of consciousness – of particular interest to me since I too believe the problems are solved by his kind of thinking and I was shocked to find Goff very recently stoking the “it’s all a mystery” meme.  Goldstein – the mysterian here – even points out he’s talking like there’s no mystery?)

Also, as a big fan of Goldstein’s writing, wonderful moments when the chair is introducing titles of her books as topics and ends up choosing those that are her works of fiction. There really is a lot more to this than objective science – the reason science doesn’t have, and never will have, a solution. Brilliant stuff.

Oh, and, in Chalmers observations, he uses the word “system” half a dozen times, talking the language of physical thermodynamics. The convergence on Systems Thinking rolls on. Neither a fan of Chalmers “hard-problem” nor his “zombie” and “simulation” thought environments but seems he’s starting to get real at last. (IIT mentioned several times too.)

As ever, onward and upward.

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