By Daniel C. Dennett
Realization separates us from different animals and machines--or does it? Can awareness be scientifically decreased to chemical and mechanical tactics? if that is so, the place do morality, love, sadness, and pleasure slot in? Now the writer of Brainstorms and coauthor of The Mind's I proposes an unique version of recognition according to new medical truth and thought. fifty one drawings.
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Extra info for Consciousness Explained
I will address the neuroanatomy of this system in chapter 5. ) In short, the organism in the relationship play of consciousness is the entire unit of our living being, our body as it were; and yet, as it turns out, the part of the organism called the brain holds within it a sort of model of the whole thing. This is a strange, overlooked, and noteworthy fact, and is perhaps the single most important clue as to the possible underpinning of consciousness. I have come to conclude that the organism, as represented inside its own brain, is a likely biological forerunner for what eventually becomes the elusive sense of self.
I have suggested that the delicate mechanism of reasoning is no longer affected, nonconsciously and on occasion even consciously, by signals hailing from the neural machinery that underlies emotion. This hypothesis is known as the somaticmarker hypothesis, and the patients who led me to propose it had damage to selected areas in the prefrontal region, especially in the ventral and medial sectors, and in the right parietal regions. Prior to the onset of their brain damage, the individuals so affected had shown no such impairments.
William James had seen through the problem with his characteristic clarity and produced an account that, in spite of its incompleteness, remains a cornerstone. As for Freud, he had gleaned the pathological potential of disturbed emotions and announced their importance in no uncertain terms. Darwin, James, and Freud were, of necessity, somewhat vague about the brain aspect of their ideas, but one of their contemporaries Hughlings Jackson, was more precise. He took the first step toward a possible neuroanatomy of emotion and suggested that the right cerebral hemisphere of humans was probably dominant for emotion, much as the left was dominant for language.