Dispatches from the Ivory Tower

In celebration of my ten years in the blogosphere I have been compiling some of my past posts into thematic meta-posts. The first of these listed my posts on the higher-order thought theory of consciousness. Continuing in this theme below are links to posts I have done over the past ten years reporting on talks/conferences/classes I have attended. I wrote these mostly so that I would not forget about these sessions but they may be interesting to others as well. Sadly, there are several things I have been to in the last year or so that I have not had the tim to sit down and write about…ah well maybe some day!

  1. 09/05/07 Kripke
    • Notes on Kripke’s discussion of existence as a predicate and fiction
  2. 09/05/2007 Devitt
  3. 09/05 Devitt II
  4. 09/19/07 -Devitt on Meaning
    • Notes on Devitt’s class on semantics
  5. Flamming LIPS!
  6. Back to the Grind & Meta-Metaethics
  7. Day Two of the Yale/UConn Conference
  8. Peter Singer on Climate Change and Ethics
    • Notes on Singer’s talk at LaGuardia
  9. Where Am I?
    • Reflections on my talk at the American Philosophical Association talk in 2008
  10. Fodor on Natural Selection
    • Reflections on the Society of Philosophy and Psychology meeting June 2008
  11. Kripke’s Argument Against 4-Dimensionalism
    • Based on a class given at the Graduate Center
  12. Reflections on Zoombies and Shombies Or: After the Showdown at the APA
    • Reflections on my session at the American Philosophical Association in 2009
  13. Kripke on the Structure of Possible Worlds
    • Notes on a talk given at the Graduate Center in September 2009
  14. Unconscious Trait Inferences
    • Notes on social psychologist James Uleman‘s talk at the CUNY Cogsci Speaker Series September 2009
  15. Attributing Mental States
    • Notes on James Dow‘s talk at the CUNY Cogsci Speaker Series September 2009
  16. Busy Bees Busily Buzzing ‘Bout
  17. Shombies & Illuminati
  18. A Couple More Thoughts on Shombies and Illuminati
    • Some reflections after Kati Balog’s presentation at the NYU philosophy of mind discussion group in November 2009
  19. Attention and Mental Paint
    • Notes on Ned Block’s session at the Mind and Language Seminar in January 2010
  20. HOT Damn it’s a HO Down-Showdown
    • Notes on David Rosenthal’s session at the NYU Mind and Language Seminar in March 2010
  21. The Identity Theory in 2-D
    • Some thoughts in response to theOnline Consciousness Conference in February 2010
  22. Part-Time Zombies
    • Reflections on Michael Pauen‘s Cogsci talk at CUNY in March of 2010
  23. The Singularity, Again
    • Reflections on David Chalmers’ at the NYU Mind and Language seminar in April of 2010
  24. The New New Dualism
  25. Dream a Little Dream
    • Reflections on Miguel Angel Sebastian’s cogsci talk in July of 2010
  26. Explaining Consciousness & Its Consequences
    • Reflections on my talk at the CUNY Cog Sci Speaker Series August 2010
  27. Levine on the Phenomenology of Thought
    • Reflections on Levine’s talk at the Graduate Center in September 2010
  28. Swamp Thing About Mary
    • Reflections on Pete Mandik’s Cogsci talk at CUNY in October 2010
  29. Burge on the Origins of Perception
    • Reflections on a workshop on the predicative structure of experience sponsored by the New York Consciousness Project in October of 2010
  30. Phenomenally HOT
    • Reflections on the first session of Ned Block and David Carmel’s seminar on Conceptual and Empirical Issues about Perception, Attention and Consciousness at NYU January 2011
  31. Some Thoughts About Color
  32. Stazicker on Attention and Mental Paint
  33. Sid Kouider on Partial Awareness
    • a few notes about Sid Kouider’s recent presentation at the CUNY CogSci Colloquium in October 2011
  34. The 2D Argument Against Non-Materialism
    • Reflections on my Tucson Talk in April 2012
  35. Peter Godfrey-Smith on Evolution And Memory
    • Notes from the CUNY Cog Sci Speaker Series in September 2012
  36. The Nature of Phenomenal Consciousness
    • Reflections on my talk at the Graduate Center in September 2012
  37. Giulio Tononi on Consciousness as Integrated Information
    • Notes from the inaugural lecture of the new NYU Center for Mind and Brain by Giulio Tononi
  38. Mental Qualities 02/07/13: Cognitive Phenomenology
  39. Mental Qualities 02/21/13: Phenomenal Concepts
    • Notes/Reflections from David Rosenthal’s class in 2013
  40. The Geometrical Structure of Space and Time
    • Reflections on a session of Tim Maudlin’s course I sat in on in February 2014
  41. Towards some Reflections on the Tucson Conferences
    • Reflections on my presentations at the Tucson conferences
  42. Existentialism is a Transhumanism
    • Reflections on the NEH Seminar in Transhumanism and Technohumanism at LaGuardia I co-directed in 2015-2016
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If Consciousness is an M-Property then it is Physical

Let us consider a possible world WM where consciousness is an M-property. At this world consciousness acts to collapse the wave function. Supposing that we live at WM can you or I have a zombie twin? A zombie twin is one that is physically identical to me in the relevant ways and which lacks consciousness. Suppose that I am actually suffering from a headache while eating Jelly Belly jelly beans. Then my zombie twin is in exactly the same physical states but without the consciousness. This means that the zombie must have a brain and that this brain must be in the same physical states that my brain is in. But my brain is in a collapsed state of definitely being in the relevant neural correlates (due to the presence of conscious experience). In the world where there is no consciousness, and which is physically just like WM (call this world WM-C), there would be no collapsed state. This is because the M property is missing. Since I am not in a superposition of states and my ‘zombie’ twin is we are not in the same physical states.

So it seems that if consciousness is an M-property then zombies are inconceivable and this in turns shows that if consciousness is an M-property then consciousness is a physical property.

But one might object that the right world to think about is WP. At this world the neural correlate of consciousness, construed here as distinct from consciousness itself (for the sake of argument), collapses the wave function. It is this world, continues the objection, rather than WM-C, that is the zombie world relative to WM. At WP there is a creature that has a brain, and which has a definite collapsed state identical to the neural correlates of the experience that I am actually having. This is the quantum zombie, not the one that is in the superposition of states.

I think it is is plausible that the creature at WP is in the same physical state as I am in some sense, but is it the case that WP has the same physics as WM? I would argue that they have similar physics but they are not the same. In WM when you lack consciousness you have a giant superposition that evolves deterministically according to the Schrodinger equation. There may be quasi-classical branches due to decoherence but that is not the same thing as there being a collapsed world, which is what we have at WP.

You cannot just start with WM and subtract consciousness and end up with WP. Instead you end up with WM-C and you then need to add some new physical law (or change the previous one), stating that it is the neural correlate that is responsible for collapsing the wave function. These worlds have different laws of physics and so are not the same. This is different than the zombie argument as normally construed, which leaves all the strictly physical laws in tact and simply posits the removal of the super-physical laws connecting the neural correlates of consciousness to actual consciousness.

Of course, consciousness probably isn’t an M-property but even so, any thoughts on the argument?

Consciousness as an M-Property (?)

Perhaps the central argument for thinking that the mind, consciousness included, must be a part of the physical world comes from the causal efficacy of mental states. Epiphenomenalism may be logically possible but we would need very powerful reasons for accepting it and many find that there are more powerful reasons for thinking that consciousness must play a causal role in the physical world. This has led many people to think that physicalism has the upper hand. Recently this status quo has been challenged by some philosophers who think that consciousness must be a fundamental irreducible component of the world.

One prominent defender of this view is David Chalmers who splits his credence between panpsychism and interactive dualism. On either of these views consciousness is a fundamental feature of the world that is posited in addition to the physical properties and yet it allows, or at least aspires to allow, that consciousness has a causal role to play in the physical world. Though I am optimistic about the prospects for physicalism, the kind of dualism I am most sympathetic to is the kind of Quantum Interactive Dualism as presented by Chalmers (and even more nice would be a physicalist version of that theory).

The basic idea is to define an m-property as one which acts as if it performs a measurement. M-properties will then have the effect of collapsing the wave function. Though there are many candidates for these kinds of properties consciousness seems to be a natural candidate. On this view we postulate a fundamental law that says that consciousness cannot be in superpositions and one that connects the physical correlates of consciousness to conscious experiences. This, argues Chalmers, gives us a way to make sense of a kind of interactive dualism. He does not endorse it, but it is worth exploring.

How does this give us interaction? He says,

what I think is going to actually happen here, if you think about it, is that consciousness most directly interacts with the neural correlates of consciousness, collapsing those out of superposition. So when you have an experience of red as opposed to green that may collapse a superposition of neural correlates of consciousness, say in inferiotemporal cortex, into the neural correlates of seeing red as opposed to the neural correlates of seeing green. That will then have an effect downstream. (at minute 56:33 in above linked video)

I like this kind of view and have floated something like it in an episode of spacetimemind (though, again, I would prefer it in a physicalist version). I figured I would jot down a few thoughts in hopes of eliciting some discussion to help me think through the various ideas.

First one might wonder why it is that consciousness cannot be in a superposition? Why can’t there be a state that is a superposition of consciously seeing red and consciously seeing green? One thing we might say is that phenomenal consciousness essentially involves awareness, so if I am consciously experiencing red this is essentially bound up with an awareness of myself as seeing red. This may provide some grounds for arguing that conscious experiences cannot be in superpositions.

Another major issue with this approach is the Quantum Zeno Effect. The rough idea here is that if you have a particle that will typically decay at some rate you can stop it from doing so by measuring it. This threatens to make it impossible for consciousness to show up in our world or to change. One possible way to use the above noted kind of awareness as a solution. If we suppose that we have the an unconscious representation of red, and that to make that unconscious representation conscious (in the phenomenal sense) we need to have a (possibly special kind) of awareness of that state (which in effect is the measurement by the outside observer) it will collapse into the (full) neural correlate of consciously seeing red. That will keep that state from evolving, and so will continue to be a conscious experience of phenomenal red. But since the relevant kind of awareness is external to the content (i.e red), the content of the awareness can change, thereby allowing conscious experience to change. This is, in effect, to combine a realist representationalism with a higher-order view.

One thing that seems to be in the background of Chalmers’ talk is the idea that when we get an interference pattern we have evidence that there was superposition, and conversely when we do not have an interference pattern we have wave function collapse (see minute 34-37 of his talk). But the Delayed Choice Quantum Erasers (which I have talked about previously) experiments put pressure on this kind of view.

There have been several recent experiments that build on this basic idea (see this recent paper in PNAS, or this recent paper in Science, or this one is Physical review Letters). I take these experiments to suggest that the existence of which-path information is enough to destroy the interference pattern.

So in these kinds of cases we make a measurement but since the measurement results in the loss of which-path information we still end up an interference pattern and so we seem to have an m-property (i.e. my conscious perception of the click produced by some detector) but we don’t have collapse (as indicated by the presence of an interference pattern).

Thus if we are to take the consciousness-as-m-property to be compatible with delayed choice quantum erasures we need to say that the system is in a superposition until there is a conscious experience and that even in the cases where there is an interference pattern there is still collapse. The system has collapsed from the superposition of interference pattern + no interference pattern into one or the other.

The Geometrical Structure of Space and Time

I have been sitting in on Tim Maudlin‘s philosophy of physics course at nyu where we are reading his recent book (and a couple of others). I was planning on going today but in light of the storm that is whopping us I may end up staying in and playing Naruto Shippuden 3 (and possibly watching some of the Naruto series in general). So I thought I might spend a little time reflecting on what has happened so far.

One of the immediate questions that arises is why anyone would ever want or need to posit a geometrical structure for space or time. Using Aristotle and Newton as example Maudlin makes the case that the answer is that they need to appeal to a certain structure in order to make sense of motion. So, for example, Aristotle’s claim that objects made of Earth move down towards the center of the universe naturally leads us to think of the universe as a bounded circle or sphere.

In Newton’s case he needs absolute space and time to have certain geometrical properties in order to make sense of the first and second laws of motion. The first law tells us that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless it is acted on by an outside force (and an object at rest tends to stay at rest, etc). Similarly the second law tells us what happens when we apply forces to these objects. We will only be able to make sense of acceleration if we have a grip on uniform motion. All of this requires that space have a certain structure. Namely, roughly the structure of Euclidian space. This requires, specifically, that space be immovable and everywhere the same over time. If space is a constant then we can define motion relative to it. Uniform motion is when you cover the same amount of space in equal amounts of time, acceleration a deviation from this.

As Maudlin points out all of this has to do with the geometrical structure of space and time but if one looks at physics as it is done today one does not find it presented in terms of geometry (as Newton himself did) but finds that it is presented in algebraic form. Thus we are used to seeing representations of the second law as F=mA rather than presented in geometrical terms. This is done by associating ordered sets of numbers from the real number line R with points in space and time via a coordinate system. The most easily recognizable coordinate system is Cartesian coordinates. In such a coordinate system we have an axis for each dimension and ordered n-tuples of numbers then can stand for or represent points in space with (0,0,0) as the origin (in a three dimensional space). Maudlin then suggests that though this is useful because it allows us to solve geometrical problems using the tools of arithmetic it obscures the central fact that the arithmetic is merely representing the geometrical properties, and even worse, it can mislead us about those properties by encoding information that is merely arithmetical (see page 27 of his book).

I think this is an interesting and important point. On thing that is kind of suggestive is that this idea, which for the most part as far as I know was initiated by Descartes (I seem to remember a story about Descartes watching a fly buzzing around and getting the idea of graphing functions), might be seen as a kind of precursor to the notion of duality that looks to be playing an important role in contemporary physics. We might say that Newton’s Euclidean and geometric theory is dual to our modern Algebraic/arithmetic theory. It is not the same thing as what we find in string theory where we see that theories with very large distance scales are dual to theories that have very short distance scales nor is it close to the idea that you can capture all of a theory at a higher-dimension in a theory pitched at a lower level.

Another interesting thought, which might be a corollary of the above thought, is that ultimately the arithmetic conception might be right, or at least more fundamental. If space and time are emergent phenomena then the fundamental nature of reality may best be captured arithmetically and the geometrical structure emerge as convenient shorthand at macroscopic distances.

This is all very interesting but it is mostly a digression from the text and the course. At this point we have been talking about the debate between those who think all there is to space are the relations between objects (championed by Leibiniz) those who think that space exists independently of all of these relations (Newton and Clarke). His aim there is to develop, and ultimately try to solve, a puzzle. The puzzle is this. On the one hand we have good reason to think that there are absolute rotations (basically due to Newton’s Bucket), but we also have good reason to think there can’t be absolute motion (it results in postulating motions which cannot be experimentally tested or detected). But then how do we make sense of absolute rotation?

These interesting questions will have to wait so I can check on the weather and take the dog out…

Pretend Numbers

As part of my Cosmology, Consciousness, and Computation course I have lately been thinking a lot about Zeno’s paradoxes and the ‘standard solution’ to them that we get from calculus and thinking about motion as a ‘completed infinity’, limits, etc (next week we start quantum mechanics and I am starting to wonder about how Zeno’s paradoxes might relate or not to that, but one thing at a time!). Take the function g(x)=1/x, as x approaches zero the function trends towards infinity (both positive and negative infinity depending on the direction one is going in). We put this by saying that the function’s limit is ∞ (in both directions), but ‘infinity’ is not a real number. So a different way of putting this point would be to say that there is no real number that is the limit of this function.

This got me to thinking. There may be no real number but does that mean that there is no number at all? Suppose that we introduced them on the lines of imaginary numbers. In homage to this let us call them ‘pretend numbers’. 1/0 will then be equal to some pretend number. I will use ‘Þ’ for pretend numbers, so ‘pretend one’ will be ‘Þ1‘. What is Þ1? It is the pretend number that when multiplied by real 0 will give you real 1. We can then define n/0 as follows:

where N≠0,

N0n,

N⁄Þn=0,

Þnx0=N.

These numbers are not on the real number line, or on the imaginary extension of that line. They are on a further pretend extension. Admittedly 0/0 is still tricky and I am not sure what to say about it but putting that to one side, do pretend numbers exist?

The Argument from Photosynthesis

Though I very much enjoy the taste of food I have always thought that the actual act of eating is very primitive and mildly repulsive. Described abstractly eating involves the mastication of organic substances which are then broken down in digestive acids to produce sugars that are then used to fuel metabolic activity. The mastication process involves mechanically breaking down the organic substances and mixing them with saliva and in the process the organic substance is rubbed over the taste buds in our tongues and released gasses interact with the olfactory receptors via the nasal passages.

Now compare this process with the process of photosynthesis. In photosynthesis light energy is converted to sugar with oxygen as a waste product. This process is more elegant and much cleaner than eating (eating/digestion has excrement as its waste product versus oxygen for photosynthesis). However, the naturally evolved photosynthesis we find here on Earth is not very efficient (it captures somewhere in the area of 3-6% of the energy available in sunlight) and as a result we do not find vertebrates that use photosynthesis, though there is recent evidence that salamanders have photosynthetic cells and we might have an invertebrate or two that uses it.

So is it possible that humans might be able to someday use photosynthesis? Some have recently argued that we have a moral obligation to get rid of meat eating animals and replace them with herbivores. But herbivores are carnivores as well in the strict sense. While I don’t think that eating plants is as morally problematic as eating animals I still think it would be nice to free ourselves from eating all together. At least I would like to be able to do so for myself. So might I ever be able to? As it stands it looks like it would be difficult to do because extant photosynthetic processes are relatively inefficient and so even if we did successfully integrate photosynthetic cells over the entire area of our skin we would need to be exposed to dangerous amounts of radiation to meet our energy demands. Still it is certainly possible to improve photosynthesis and in fact scientists are working on it now and so while it doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon it certainly seems possible that there could be photosynthetic humans at some point in the future. We might not be able to quit eating all together, we might still do it for pleasurable experiences of taste etc or we might have to eat some limited amount to supplement the energy from photosynthetic process, but still it is not physically impossible that this could happen and it does seem morally and aesthetically preferable to what we have now.

Aside from this bioethical issue I think this raises issues for those who think that there is evidence for design in the human body and it also puts new light on the problem of evil. Certainly if it is conceivable that we could produce a photosynthetic animal, human or not, then it must be possible for God to have created such a creature. But if so then why aren’t we photosynthetic? I mean God could have made it so that we run on solar energy, and even had the pleasurable taste and ‘mouthfeel’ experiences that makes eating enjoyable (perhaps different wavelengths and/or frequencies of light would produce different gustatory experiences). Doing this 1.) seems like a much better design. It is simpler and more elegant than eating is and 2.) seems much more humane. The sheer amount of suffering produced by eating meat over the course of evolution is nearly unimaginable. It seems to me that this argument from photosynthesis is as decisive as one can get in this area and I wonder why it has not received more attention…or maybe it has and I just haven’t found it yet?

Consciousness and its Place in Physical Reality

In the Spring 2013 semester I initiated a new course at LaGuardia that had the theme Cosmology, Consciousness, and Computation. The basic idea was to explore issues relating to physicalism. Intuitively, physicalism is the view that everything that exists is physical but what is the nature of physical reality? The idea I had was to have the couse divided into three sections. In the first section we would do a conceptual physics course talking about the development of physics from the ancient world to the present day. Then we would turn to issues about consciousness and mind and where they fit in the physical picture we have so far developed. After that we turn to issues about computation; Is the universe computable? Or perhaps does it instantiate some computation? Is consciousness computational? Are we living in a simulation? Is the universe a hologram?

In my quest to have low cost book options for students I have adopted the Terminator book I co-edited and have supplemented that with readings from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and other online material. The reception to the course was very good and I am really looking forward to doing it a second time in Fall 2013. I have updated the syllabus and, as usual, would welcome any suggestions or feedback.

Week I: Introduction
• →Richard Brown on What is Philosophy? – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySS0bNeWZOg

Week 2: Early Attempts to Understand Mind and Physical Reality
• →Terminator Ch 10: The Nature of Time and the Universe
• Time- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/
• Richard Brown on Pre-Socratic Philosophy- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfLgRotdcKI&list=PLfR0qhtOKP6eYkUoW7DH8qdjwEyQnsbPJ&index=2
• Pre-Socratic Philosophy- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presocratics/
• Ancient Theories of the Soul- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/
• Parmenides- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/parmenides/
• Zeno’s Paradoxes- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/paradox-zeno/
• Ancient Atomism- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atomism-ancient/
• Democritus- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/democritus/
• Intentionality in Ancient Philosophy- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/intentionality-ancient/
• Time- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/

Week 3: Modern Philosophy and Modern Science
• →Terminator Ch 2 –Animal consciousness, Descartes, and Emotions
• Descartes’ Physics- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-physics/
• Descartes’ Epistemology- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-epistemology/
• Descartes’ Theory of Ideas- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-ideas/
• Other Minds- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/other-minds/
• Animal Consciousness- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-animal/
• Locke on Real Essence- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/real-essence/
• Locke’s Philosophy of Science- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/locke-philosophy-science/
• Newton’s Philosophy- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton-philosophy/
• Isaac Newton- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton/
• Newton’s Views on Space, Time, and Motion- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/newton-stm/
• The Contents of Perception- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/perception-contents/
• The Problem of Perception- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/perception-problem/

Week 4: Relativity Physics
• →Terminator Ch 8: paradoxes of time travel
• Einstein for Everyone: http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/HPS_0410/chapters/index.html
• Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe on NOVA- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/elegant-universe.html#elegant-universe-einstein.html
• Time Travel and Modern Physics- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time-travel-phys/
• Time Machines- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time-machine/
• The Equivalence of Mass and Energy- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/equivME/
• The Hole Argument- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spacetime-holearg/
• David Lewis’ The Paradoxes of Time Travel- http://www.csus.edu/indiv/m/merlinos/Paradoxes%20of%20Time%20Travel.pdf

Week 5: Quantum Mechanics
• Brian Greene’s The Fabric of the Cosmos on NOVA- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/fabric-of-cosmos.html
• Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-copenhagen/
• Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-manyworlds/
• The Uncertainty Principle: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/
• Quantum Entanglement and Information: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/
• The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Argument in Quantum Theory- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-epr/
• Measurement in Quantum Theory: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-measurement/
• Quantum Mechanics- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm/
• Richard Feynman on Double Slit Experiment- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJfjRoxCbk&list=PLfR0qhtOKP6eYkUoW7DH8qdjwEyQnsbPJ&index=3

Week 6: The Nature and Origin of the Universe
• →The Scale of the Universe- http://htwins.net/scale2/
• Hubble Deep Field: http://hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/hubble_deep_field/
• Cosmology and Theology- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmology-theology/
• Atheism and Agnosticism- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/
• Religion and Science- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/religion-science/
• Teleological Arguments for God’s Existence- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/teleological-arguments/
• Cosmological Argument- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/
• The Possible Parallel Universe of Dark Matter- http://discovermagazine.com/2013/julyaug/21-the-possible-parallel-universe-of-dark-matter#.UhDhPRbtaz6

Week 7: The Possibility of Life Beyond Earth
• Life- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/life/
• Molecular Biology- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/molecular-biology/
• Finding Life Beyond Earth- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVzmGaGCqP8

Week 8: Consciousness in the Physical World?
• Consciousness- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness/
• Representational Theories of Consciousness- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-representational/
• Functionalism- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/functionalism/
• The Mind/Brain Identity Theory- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mind-identity/
• Dualism- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dualism/
• Zombies- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/zombies/

Week 9: Beyond Physicalism?
• Eliminative Materialism- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/materialism-eliminative/
• Folk Psychology as a Theory- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/folkpsych-theory/
• The Philosophy of Neuroscience- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/neuroscience/
• Panpsychism- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/panpsychism/

Week 10: Transhumanism
• →Terminator Ch 4: Extended Mind, Transhumanism
• A History of Transhumanist Thought- http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/documents/journal_publications/al/nick_bostrom
• Biohackers: A Journey into Cyborg America- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0WIgU7LRcI&list=PLfR0qhtOKP6eYkUoW7DH8qdjwEyQnsbPJ&index=48
• Tim Cannon on Potential Benefits of Sensory Augmentation- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ1KCpSL51E&list=PLfR0qhtOKP6eYkUoW7DH8qdjwEyQnsbPJ&index=46
• Aubrey de Grey on Defeating Aging- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1FBJGl2c-Y&list=PLfR0qhtOKP6eYkUoW7DH8qdjwEyQnsbPJ&index=17

Week 11: A.I. and The Singularity
• →Terminator Ch 1: A.I., Chinese Room, Transhumanism
• →Terminator Ch 3: Why always with the killing?
• The Chinese Room Argument- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/chinese-room/
• The Turing Test- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/turing-test/
• The Frame Problem- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/frame-problem/
• David Chalmers’ The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis- http://consc.net/papers/singularity.pdf
• David Chalmers on Simulation and Singularity- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FafHdF_D8gA&list=PLfR0qhtOKP6eYkUoW7DH8qdjwEyQnsbPJ&index=13

Week 12: The Simulation Argument & The Holographic Hypothesis
• Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument Website- http://www.simulation-argument.com
• Nick Bostrom on The Simulation Argument- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnl6nY8YKHs&list=PLfR0qhtOKP6eYkUoW7DH8qdjwEyQnsbPJ&index=24
• David Chalmers’ The Matrix as Metaphysics- http://consc.net/papers/matrix.html
• Leonard Susskind on The World as a Hologram- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DIl3Hfh9tY&list=PLfR0qhtOKP6eYkUoW7DH8qdjwEyQnsbPJ&index=16