The Last Magic Show: A Blind Brain Theory of the Appearance of Consciousness

The Last Magic Show: A Blind Brain Theory of the Appearance of Consciousness

Pages: 35

Author: R. Scott Bakker

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Abstract: According to the latest estimates, the human brain performs some 38 000 trillion operations persecond. When you compare this to the amount of information that reaches conscious awareness, thedisproportion becomes nothing short of remarkable. What are the consequences of this radical informaticasymmetry? The Blind Brain Theory of the Appearance of Consciousness (BBT) represents an attempt to'explain away' several of the most perplexing features of consciousness in terms of information loss anddepletion. The first-person perspective, it argues, is the expression of the kinds and quantities of information that, for a variety of structural and developmental reasons, cannot be accessed by the'conscious brain.' Puzzles as profound and persistent as the now, personal identity, conscious unity, andmost troubling of all, intentionality, could very well be kinds of illusions foisted on conscious awarenessby different versions of the informatic limitation expressed, for instance, in the boundary of your visualfield. By explaining away these phenomena, BTT separates the question of consciousness from thequestion of
how consciousness appears and so drastically narrows the so-called explanatory gap. If true, it considerably softens the hard problem. But at what cost?

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