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U.T. Place - Is Consciousness A Brain Process?

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Lisa Holle

on 4 May 2010

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Transcript of U.T. Place - Is Consciousness A Brain Process?

Behaviourism: Is Consciousness A Brain Process? Consciousness is..
- a special kind of behaviour - a disposition to behave in a certain way makes sense in
terms of - Cognitive Concepts knowing, believing,
understanding, remembering.. - Volitional Concepts wanting, intending.. Dualism can't
explain concepts around the notion of consciousness,
experience,
mental imagery Is Consciousness A Brain Process? Ullin T. Place British Journal of Psychology, 47, 1956, 44-50 Presentation by
Anna-Birga Ostendorf & Lisa-Marie Holle ? ? The thesis that consciousness is a brain process cannot be
logically refuted
The statement "Consciousness is a brain process " is
a "reasonable scientific hypothesis" Hypothesis: --> Acceptance of inner processes does not entail dualism the meanings of "consciousness" and "brain process" don't have to be connected to potentially refer to the same entity
just because two expressions are independent they can still and in every case refer to the same entity
- this counts also for universal statements
- not obvious because it is a rare exception

part I : part II: part III: part IV: part V: Introduction
two sets of observations 'A' and 'B' are observations of the same event, if 'A' and 'B' are correlated and there exist a scientific theory providing a direct explanation of 'B' given 'A'

Since we learned to describe our mental states by experiencing the actual event those introspective descriptions of consciousness are not inconsistent with the physiological descriptions of the brain states



Why do many people argue it would be possible
to logically refute the statement
"consciousness is a brain process"?
because they don't distinguish between two different types of 'is' sentences Tables Packing Cases Packing Cases Tables Furniture Tables Consciousness Brain-Process ?! Cloud mass of droplets
in suspension Consciousness Brain-Process "rule of language" But is really comparable? special case vs. universal statement subject' description of its experience:
description of literal properties of objects /events on the phenomenal field

--> Depends on wrong premise:
Since we have to be consciuos of our environment to descibe it,
describing the environment we primarly describe our consciousness experience 1. Learn to recognize things in the environment
2. Describe the things in the environment
3. Describe conscious experience of them

--> ''We describe the conscious experience [...] by reference to the actual physical properties of the concrete physical objects, events and proccesses which normally give rise to the conscious experience which we are trying to describe The phenomenal fallacy When are two sets of observations observations of the same event? Critics Does this suggestion for the mechanism how we describe our environment really explain the nature of the qualia?

Where does consciuosness itself then come from, the fact that I am conscious about beeing?

Is it plausible that it is the 'phenomenological fallacy' that let to Sir Charles Sherrington's dualistic position, that it is impossible to account for the introspective view of mental states by the means of neurophysiology? Colours Red "his table is an old packing case" "consciousness is a brain process" Conclusion: Is it ''conceptually'' possible to close this explanational gap?

There are Physiologist who claim it isn't, like Sir Charles Sherringt0n (who is quoted by Place)

Place claims it is, and the people who disagree would make a logical mistake:



--> The ''Phenomenological fallacy''
the statement "consciousness is a brain proces"
cannot be logically refuted the statement "Consciousness is a brain process" is a
reasonable scientific hypothesis fictive world:
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