Topic: Theories of Consciousness

Camp: Agreement / Approachable Via Science / Representational Qualia / Rep. Functionctionalism / Dennett's PBC Theory

Camp Statement

Dennett's Predictive Bayesian Coding Theory

In 2012, at the "Evolution and Function of Consciousness" conference, the distinguished philosopher Daniel Dennett presented a talk where he talked about "The phenomenal access consciousness distinction". ( Talk on YouTube). In that talk, he proposes that consciousness can be explained by "predictive bayesian coding" or Bayes' theorem.
Of course, the human brain is not literally aware of Bayes or his theorem, but we believe that Dennett is essentially asserting that existing techniques for predictive modeling, such as Bayesian inference methods, are sufficient to form consciousness, and that human consciousness is composed of processes that may be considered an analog or approximation of the more precisely correct Bayesian inference. In this camp, we support this notion.
Although he acknowledges in that talk that there are compelling reasons that make people want dualism to be valid, he also asserts that he cannot really understand dualism. We also cannot understand dualism, and we assert that it is not possible to really understand and accept dualism. Dennett argues that Ned Block (a dualist) has inverted reasoning in that "he thinks 'phenomenal' consciousness is the causal bases of access consciousness while in fact it is an effect of access consciousness, not a cause!" (1:05:45). We also believe that 'phenomenal' things are emergent from consciousness, that nothing phenomenal is necessary to form consciousness, and that nothing phenomenal can exist outside of consciousness.

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Current Topic Record:

Topic Name : Theories of Consciousness
Name Space : General

Current Camp Record:

Camp Name : Dennett's PBC Theory
Keywords : dennett, predictive, bayesian, coding
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