From Subatomic Particles to Our Sense of Self
Sam Brinson

Nice piece Sam. One small quibble: the claim that the brain is “where everything congregates and mingles [and] is woven into the cohesive picture which stands before you” is an expression of cognitivist assumptions and a brute computational theory of mind that rests on a “theater of consciousness” metaphor in which the mind sits like a viewer (an homunculus) waiting to compute over static representations derived from unidirectional sensory data about the external world. This is a just-so story in which the machine / computer metaphor defines rather than illustrates how we understand mentation and consciousness. Recent work on embodied mind / extended cognition and (especially) the predictive mind (Andy Clark, Jakob Hohwy) that converge advances in AI / robotics and new understandings derived from neuroscience can take this line of inquiry far beyond Rovelli’s fascinating insights.

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