Delusions of Consciousness
Frankish's illusionism aims to replace the hard problem with the illusion problem; to explain why phenomenal consciousness seems to exist and why the illusion is so powerful. My aim, though broadly illusionist, is to explain why many other false assumptions, or delusions, are so powerful. One reason is a simple mistake in introspection. Asking, 'Am I conscious now?' or 'What is consciousness?' makes us briefly conscious in a new way. The delusion is to conclude that consciousness is always like this instead of asking, 'What is it like when I am not asking what it is like?' Neuroscience and disciplined introspection give the same answer: there are multiple parallel processes with no clear distinction between conscious and unconscious ones. Consciousness is an attribution we make, not a property of only some special events or processes. Notions of the stream, contents, continuity, and function of consciousness are all misguided as is the search for the NCCs.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2016