Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

You Think, Therefore I Am: Crowdsourcing Consciousness

Class

Article

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Charlie Huenemann

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Where would I go if I wanted to step into your mind? This question has long puzzled both scientists and philosophers alike. Intuitively, we may point to our heads, viewing the brain as a mysterious black box from which experience somehow emerges. Suppose we could really "step-in" to someone's brain and see firsthand the firing of the neurons and networks that underlie our behaviors, would we expect to stumble across a single place where everything magically comes together? Unsurprisingly, no such place appears to exist. Does this mean that the contents of your mind are inaccessible to others? The purpose of this talk is to turn the mind inside-out, exploring the ways in which the mental experiences we see think are privy only to ourselves, are actually much more of a shared, social phenomenon. Though consciousness may be a sort of island inhabited only by you, the island does not exist in isolation. Rather, it is shaped by, and depends on, the presence of other minds. In this sense, it is perhaps better to see consciousness as an archipelago: a group of islands, each independent, though defined by their relationship to others.

Location

Room 421

Start Date

4-12-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

4-12-2018 11:45 AM

Share

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Apr 12th, 10:30 AM Apr 12th, 11:45 AM

You Think, Therefore I Am: Crowdsourcing Consciousness

Room 421

Where would I go if I wanted to step into your mind? This question has long puzzled both scientists and philosophers alike. Intuitively, we may point to our heads, viewing the brain as a mysterious black box from which experience somehow emerges. Suppose we could really "step-in" to someone's brain and see firsthand the firing of the neurons and networks that underlie our behaviors, would we expect to stumble across a single place where everything magically comes together? Unsurprisingly, no such place appears to exist. Does this mean that the contents of your mind are inaccessible to others? The purpose of this talk is to turn the mind inside-out, exploring the ways in which the mental experiences we see think are privy only to ourselves, are actually much more of a shared, social phenomenon. Though consciousness may be a sort of island inhabited only by you, the island does not exist in isolation. Rather, it is shaped by, and depends on, the presence of other minds. In this sense, it is perhaps better to see consciousness as an archipelago: a group of islands, each independent, though defined by their relationship to others.