Consciousness and how it got to be that way

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Subjective Experience and Memory

The strange properties of subjective experience are nowhere more evident than in the use of drugs which prevent long-term potentiation - or destroy the capacity for consciousness in the first place. Is there anything it is like to be under anesthesia, or do you just forget that you were tortured?

Note, Harris's focus here is about free will and morality - and to his detriment he completely neglects the robustness of epiphenomenal accounts to the neuroscience experiments he's citing, probably because few people would find an epiphenomenalist account of free will no less distasteful than a total absence of free will. But the question here sends him down an interesting road, and to my knowledge the first clinical test of the global workspace hypothesis of consciousness was in fact by a team of anesthesiologists.

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