What ‘Gaps’? Reply to Grush and Churchland

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Abstract:

Grush and Churchland (1995) attempt to address aspects of the proposal that we have been making concerning a possible physical mechanism underlying the phenomenon of consciousness. Unfortunately, they employ arguments that are highly misleading and, in some important respects, factually incorrect. Their article ‘Gaps in Penrose's Toilings’ is addressed specifically at the writings of one of us (Penrose), but since the particular model they attack is one put forward by both of us (Hameroff and Penrose, 1995; 1996), it is appropriate that we both reply; but since our individual remarks refer to different aspects of their criticism we are commenting on their article separately. The logical arguments discussed by Grush and Churchland, and the related physics are answered in Part 1 by Penrose, largely by pointing out precisely where these arguments have already been treated in detail in Shadows of the Mind (Penrose, 1994). In Part 2, Hameroff replies to various points on the biological side, showing for example how they have seriously misunderstood what they refer to as ‘physiological evidence’ regarding effects of the drug colchicine. The reply serves also to discuss aspects of our model ‘orchestrated objective reduction in brain microtubules - Orch OR’ which attempts to deal with the serious problems of consciousness more directly and completely than any previous theory.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Oxford University, Mathematical Institute, 24-29 St. Giles, Oxford OX1 3LB, UK. 2: Email: srh@ccit.arizona.edu

Publication date: February 1, 1995

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