Cristoph Koch - What Makes Us Conscious?

Though neither scientists nor philosophers have a fully working theory of consciousness, the study of the brain has opened a small window into this phenomenon that is simultaneously the most familiar and the most baffling of all.

Though most contemporary philosophers reject dualism, and there is fairly wide agreement that consciousness is generated by the brain, we still don't know how the brain manages to pull off such a feat. We don't even know what it takes for a brain to do this. Are dolphins, chimps or dogs conscious? What about bees? And since consciousness seems to have a physical basis, is it theoretically possible to engineer computers that are conscious?

In the following short clip, Christof Koch introduces the biological basis upon which scientists and philosophers might want to build their research into this most fascinating of all questions (and rather intriguingly, argues for a view of pan-psychism that just seems to come out of left field...).



Stay tuned for a more serious treatment of these ideas, coming up soon.
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