Consciousness scholars.

Choose TWO of the following consciousness scholars. Compare and contrast their definitions of consciousness in a paragraph of not more than 400 words.
Susan Greenfield (Go over lecture that is posted on mycourses)

David Chalmers (Read extract from ‘The Puzzle of Conscious Experience’ posted on mycourses; also discussed by Blackmore in Chapter 2 of her book which is posted on mycourses)

Daniel Dennett (see relevant class ppt; also discussed by Blackmore in Chapter 2 of her book that is posted on mycourses).

NB: Useful additional source: Read Ch 4 (on David Chalmers); Ch 7 (on Daniel Dennett); and Ch 8 (on Susan Greenfield) in the book ‘Conversations on Consciousness’ by Susan Blackmore (2005). The book is available for free in the Hult e-library.

Question 2: 5 marks

Read the extract from Proust’s ‘Remembrance of Things Past’ that is posted on mycourses. We read this in class last week so it should be familiar to you. What is Proust’s main insight in this reading? Write ‘Option 1’ or ‘Option 2’ as your answer.

Option 1: His main insight is that his joy was not connected to the cakes and tea, but to his own inner consciousness – the memories and emotions triggered the taste and aroma of the madeleine cake and elderflower tea his mother served him.

Option 2: His main insight was that his joy was triggered by the exquisite taste of the Madeleine cake and the elderflower tea his mother served him.
Question 3: 15 marks

Write a paragraph of not more than 400 words discussing and summarising your understanding of qualia. Please base your discussion on the sources posted on my courses and on the material we have done in class, and illustrate it by means of a quale that is especially meaningful to you.

Question 4: 20 marks

Choose ONE of the following and answer in a paragraph of not more than 400 words:

According to Thomas Nagel, can we ever really know what it is like to be a bat? Why/Why not?


In your opinion, does Mary the colour scientist experience something genuinely new when she sees colour for the first time, or not? Give reasons for your answer.

Question 5: 20 marks

Read the case-study of Phineas Gage, and go over the questions and comments you and your classmates made on the annotated reading on his case-study that we did together in class.

In Damasio’s opinion, what light does Gage’s case-study shed on the relationship between the personality, values and morals of human beings and the physical brain?

Sample Solution