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Monday, 22 April 2013

Consciousness and the mind

Consciousness is surely the greatest mystery of all. How can it be that a large collection of interlinked cells can contemplate themselves and the world around them?  What exactly is it?  Can it exist outside of the body or does our conscious mind die with our brain cells?  One would think so.

What is the nature of consciousness in other creatures?  Can inanimate super-computers ever be truly conscious, that is have a distinct ability to be self-aware and contemplate themselves and the world around them?  How would we know? Is the conscious mind able to be understood and scientifically examined? Is the universe unique to each individual human being? Can we be sure that we are not ourselves just a computer program in a cosmic super-computer?

Not being a philosopher, I have no answers, just questions.  


  1. You might be interested, Roger, in a current Coursera MOOC (massive open on-line course) on the brain: how it's constructed, connected and analysed. There's even a current project to simulate an entire human brain in a super-computer. If successful, this may even answer the question about whether computers have the potential to be self-aware. All fascinating stuff.