Human and Machine Consciousness
Human and Machine Consciousness explains how we can neutralise the traditional philosophical problems with consciousness and develop a science of consciousness that can make accurate predictions about the consciousness of humans, animals and machines. It can be read for free, downloaded and purchased in several print and digital formats at: https://www.openbookpublishers.com/product/545. It can also be purchased on Amazon.
Consciousness is widely perceived as one of the most fundamental, interesting and difficult problems of our time. However, we still know next to nothing about the relationship between consciousness and the brain and we can only speculate about the consciousness of animals and machines.
Human and Machine Consciousness presents a new foundation for the scientific study of consciousness. It sets out a bold interpretation of consciousness that neutralizes the philosophical problems and explains how we can make scientific predictions about the consciousness of animals, brain-damaged patients and machines.
Gamez interprets the scientific study of consciousness as a search for mathematical theories that map between measurements of consciousness and measurements of the physical world. We can use artificial intelligence to discover these theories and they could make accurate predictions about the consciousness of humans, animals and artificial systems. Human and Machine Consciousness also provides original insights into unusual conscious experiences, such as hallucinations, religious experiences and out-of-body states, and demonstrates how ‘designer’ states of consciousness could be created in the future.
Gamez explains difficult concepts in a clear way that closely engages with scientific research. His punchy, concise prose is packed with vivid examples, making it suitable for the educated general reader as well as philosophers and scientists. Problems are brought to life in colourful illustrations and a helpful summary is given at the end of each chapter. The endnotes provide detailed discussions of individual points and full references to the scientific and philosophical literature.
What We Can Never Know explores the limits of philosophy and science through studies of perception, time, madness and knowledge. Extracts and more information can be found at http://whatwecanneverknow.davidgamez.eu. Copies can be purchased from Amazon.
Philosophy and science are striving to provide a complete account of the world and our position in it. In this original and provocative book David Gamez shows that this project is fatally flawed because some of our best and most successful theories clash with each other or contradict their own basic assumptions. We want to understand everything about the world, but blindspots at the heart of our knowledge will always prevent us from achieving a final and complete description of reality.
The failure of key theories in philosophy and science is demonstrated by Gamez in a series of lively studies that examine perception, time, madness and scepticism. Colourful thought experiments and detailed readings are used to criticize theories in each of these areas and reach a number of surprising conclusions:
- There is no evidence for the brain.
- We cannot talk about time.
- Reason and madness are indistinguishable from each other.
- The world is a labyrinth of conflicting aspects.
What We Can Never Know is written in a lively and engaging style that makes minimal assumptions about the reader's prior experience of philosophy. A fascinating journey through contemporary philosophy and science that will leave you questioning everything that you think you know.
I co-edited What Philosophy Is with Havi Carel and it consists of revised versions of papers presented at the Philosophy As... conference that we co-organised in 2002. More information about this book can be found on the archived version of the Philosophy As... website. What Philosophy Is has been translated into Portuguese (Filosofia Contemporânea em Ação. Porto Alegre: Artmed).
What do we mean when we talk about philosophy today? How does philosophy relate to science, to politics, to literature? What methods does the modern philosopher use, and how does philosophy progress? Does philosophy differ from place to place? What can philosophy do for us? And what can it not do?
This book, with contributions from such exciting and influential contemporary philosophers as Simon Blackburn, Michael Friedman, Simon Critchley and Manuel DeLanda, offers us a fascinating picture of the character and methods of philosophy, its possibilities and its limitations. And of course, it is itself a piece of philosophy in action, not merely offering us answers but also prompting us to ask further questions and to philosophize for ourselves.