Convergence of Science and Philosophy of Mind ?

When I saw this picture it said something.

(Susan Blackmore and David Chalmers, picture courtesy of David’s archives on the conferences of the Centre for Consciousness Studies, Tuscon, Arizona. That centre is currently run by Stuart Hameroff. David Chalmers, the original director, is back in Canberra, running the ANU Centre for Consciousness.)

Interesting review of this conference here by Charles Whitehead in the Journal of Consciusness Studies – very critical of lack of progress. Something I see all the time – people peddling their own canoes, people analysing and finding fault, even the reviewer, but no-one synthesising constructively. Totally binary – everyone is wrong or right – no-one partly right.

In this case Whitehead is complaining about the lack of mainstream social anthropology in the proceedings, peddling his own story of course. He concludes …

[Quote] There are many reasons why social anthropology has a crucial role to play in
consciousness science, but I have only space to mention two:

(1) Universals of human mentation and behaviour can only be established
by cross-cultural research.
(2) Cross-cultural data reveal that it is the job of human culture to obfuscate
our view of ourselves and the world we live in.

Science is, at least potentially, a metacultural project. The great power and value
of science lies in its ability to emancipate us from the negative aspects of our own
cultural heritage, including the collective deceptions that created the ?problem of
consciousness? in the first place. As that problem has a deceptive origin, then
consciousness science is not really a science at all, since its ultimate goal must be
to render itself obsolete, or claim all other sciences as its own. [Unquote]

ie my idea of social anthropology is better than my definition of your view of science – yah, booh, sucks – grow up. Who cares whether it’s called science or anthropolgy – what is being sought is credible explanation, useful for prediction. Obviously the “problem” of consciousness lies in is its original deception – but how can someone say that whilst dismissing (say) memetics out of hand in the previous breath. Gimme constructive synthesis, not destructive analysis.

” … if consciousness cannot affect the body … ” do me a favour. Who could hold such a dumb idea, without some perverted definition of consciousness ?

Interesting summary / review, none-the-less.

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