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Consciousness Explained Broché – 26 mars 1992

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Présentation de l'éditeur

In Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett reveals the secrets of one of the last remaining mysteries of the universe: the human brain. Daniel C. Dennett's now-classic book blends philosophy, psychology and neuroscience - with the aid of numerous examples and thought-experiments - to explore how consciousness has evolved, and how a modern understanding of the human mind is radically different from conventional explanations of consciousness. What people think of as the stream of consciousness is not a single, unified sequence, the author argues, but 'multiple drafts' of reality composed by a computer-like 'virtual machine'. Dennett explains how science has exploded the classic mysteries of consciousness: the nature of introspection, the self or ego and its relation to thoughts and sensations, the problems posed by qualia, and the level of consciousness of non-human creatures. 'Brilliant ... a torrent of stimulating thought'
  Richard Dawkins 'Revolutionary ... one of the most mentally agile, intellectually resourceful books you are likely to read'
   Guardian 'A masterful tapestry of deep insights ... Dennett has written a profound and important book that is also clear, exciting and witty'
   Douglas R. Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach 'Extraordinary ... supremely engaging and witty'
   Independent 'Dennett's exposition is nothing short of brilliant, the best example I've seen of a science book aimed at both professionals and general readers'
   The New York Times Book Review Daniel C. Dennett is one of the most original and provocative thinkers in the world. A brilliant polemicist and philosopher, he is famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies, and an outspoken supporter of the Brights movement. His books include Brainstorms, Brainchildren, Elbow Room, Breaking the Spell, Darwin's Dangerous Idea and Freedom Evolves. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Biographie de l'auteur

Daniel Dennett is the author of Brainstorms, Brainchildren, Elbow Room, Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea. He is currently the Distinguished Arts and Sciences Professor and Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He lives in North Andover, Massachusetts. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
J'avais espéré des théories et des hypothèses scientifiques modernes, éventuellement des tentatives d'expliciter la notion de "conscience".
Ici on retoune a Volaire, Diderot et autres....donc..pour une vue littéraire et historique de la notion de conscience parfait. Pour un essai scientifique: dehors.
Remarque sur ce commentaire 2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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Ce livre est vraiment excellent. Le défi de savoir qu'est-ce que la conscience chez l'être humain y est expliqué de façon claire.
Plusieurs modèles computationnels de la conscience y sont présentés.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards)

Amazon.com: 3.4 étoiles sur 5 175 commentaires
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Get Your Concentration Goggles, There's A Lot To Learn! 22 septembre 2015
Par Mike Morg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
As expected from a Dennett book, once you commence you better pack your intellectual suitcase and prepare for a journey. It's a difficult read, and at best I hope that my review can you (the hopefully interested reader) to see and possibly recognize a lot of the topics discussed as I simply lay them out.

In the book, the author sets out to, as he put it on page 16, explain consciousness and the various phenomena that compose to what we call consciousness by showing how they are physical effects in the brain. He claims that he will provide relevant scientific facts, series of stories, analogies, thought experiments, etc.
I'll briefly explain what kind of things where talked about in each PART (not chapter). Note this this is not inclusive because this book is very comprehensive and intricate. This is just a subjectively-motivated outline of [objective] topics I found interesting.

Prelude: How are hallucinations possible?
- Thought experiments like the "brain in a vat" and "a party game called psychoanalysis"

Part 1: Problems And Methods
- Elucidates the mystery behind consciousness
- The appeal to mystification in conjunction to it
- Dualism and it's unreliability
- Challenges of explaining such phenomena
- Introduction to phenomenology as well as heterophenomenology
-Methods and perspectives of phenomenology and heterophenomenology
- Shakey robot discussed
Part 2: An Empirical Theory of The Mind
- The inception of terms; The Multiple Drafts Theory and The Cartesian Theater
- Why the Cartesian Theater is the wrong view of consciousness
- Introduction to the Stalinesque (pre-experimental) and Orwellian(post-experimental) theories of conscious mending.
- Time and experience
- Evolution in relation to consciousness
- Memes
- Joycean Machine
Part 3: The Philosophical Problems of Consciousness
- Zombies
- Blindsight: The discussion of and understand of it
- Hide the thimble thought experiment
- Prosthetic vision
- DIALOGS WITH OTTO. The reason I capitalized this is because it is found throughout the book. Otto is a fiction character and contrarian that Dennett imputes as a way to propose and then dismantle many opposing claims (that the author made up, because of course in the process of writing the book and introducing new ideas there obviously weren't any critics to consider). This is a good author with a proposal at his best.
- Qualia (the intangible "stuff")
- Epiphenomenal Qualia (this was very interesting).
- The clever disqualification of both ^^
- The reality of selves and multiple personality disorder
- Imaging a conscious robot
- Analyzing Searle's Chinese Room experiment
- How to be moral with a materialistic view of consciousness, absent of mythology. Why we don't need myth to appreciate things like dead bodies of loved ones more than broken robots. Here I'm going to throw in a quote of his: "Myths about the sanctity of life, or of consciousness, cut both ways. They may be useful in erecting barriers (against euthanasia, against capital punishment, against abortion, against eating meat) to impress the unimaginative, but at the price of offensive hypocrisy or ridiculous self-deception among the more enlightened."
- The possibility of understanding consciousness

Dennett doesn't claim to solve the problem of consciousness, he rather concedes that his explanation is far from complete. Instead he wants to give us a better understanding, approach, and view of consciousness that distills the fear of many that claim that such a vision is impossible. I fall in the category of readers that didn't find it very difficult to imagine perceived consciousness as being an amalgamation of disparate, "non-conscious", comprehensive and complicated workings of the brain. Nevertheless, I found much of what was discussed to be intellectually stimulating, and enlightening; these don't always need to go hand-in-hand. Dennett's vigor and tone congenially complement the difficult read. 4.5/5.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 There are some great ideas, to be sure 1 août 2015
Par Andrew Slabchuck - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
If you're looking for hard science or rigorous philosophy, you won't find much of that here. The majority of this book is a highly speculative sciency-philosophical mixture, lacking the virtues of either. It's very heavy on analogies and figurative language, and relatively light on details—both about the relevant science and Dennett's actual philosophical positions. Whenever Dennett finds himself in the position to explain the details of something he says, he just cites prior work. So, in a certain sense, this is not suitable for a beginner or lay reader, as he will not spend much time explaining what's going on (or why it's going on). Instead, this book is aimed at a niche reader who's already familiar with Dennett's work. But that's somewhat problematic, as much of Dennett's academic work has not stood the test of time, and so modern readers will be unfamiliar with the references in the book. And because Dennett only refers to his contemporaries in veiled ways, it's hard to reconstruct Dennett's positions from how he responds to them. All of this combines for an underwhelming experience. There are some great ideas, to be sure, but they're difficult to locate in the midst of all of the vague and/or dated ideas in the book.

I compare this book to some of John Searle's books from the time, and I find Searle's work to be a clearer and more instructive read. (I should point out that I disagree strongly with Searle, and find myself far more sympathetic to Dennett's viewpoint.) Searle, in a certain sense, is not afraid to pare down, and I think that's a key difference. I think Dennett's greatest sin here is that he tried to be breezy and fun with a topic that deserved academic precision and clarity. He went "pop science" when only hard science would do, and what he ended up with is a book that doesn't, well, actually explain consciousness—or much of anything.

Still, there are important ideas here if you can find them. I cannot vouch for the "evolution of consciousness" chapter's accuracy, but I thought it was an excellent read. I give this book 3/5.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Transcendent Consciousness Examined, Exposed, and Excluded 10 avril 2014
Par Alex Vary - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In Consciousness Explained, Daniel Dennett, writes, "Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. . . Consciousness stands alone today as a topic that often leaves even the most sophisticated thinkers tongue-tied and confused. . . . With consciousness . . . we are still in a terrible muddle. . ." Neither Dennett's reductionist approach nor David Chalmers' non-reductionist approach have thus far provided the pivotal concepts needed to resolve the question of the nature or origin of human consciousness. However, Dennett provides a touchstone for testing Chalmer's innovative out-of-the-box conjectures.

In The Conscious Mind, David Chalmers introduces the notion: qualia - phenomena where subjective processing is accompanied by ineffable aspects of conscious experience (which apprehends the redness of red, the beauty of mathematical forms, love, the selfness experience). Indeed, qualia are in the eye of the beholder: the beholder's perceptual experience, the beholder's subjective experience, and the beholder's conceptualization of esoteric attributes of the experience. Dennett presents an argument against qualia; that the concept is so confused it cannot be put to any use or be understood in empirical ways; that qualia do not constitute a valid extension of physical experience.

While refuting qualia, Dennett extols memes which are pregnant ideas and cultural items putatively transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes. Dennett, sees memes as a units of selection, which persist across generations like genes. He posits a neural Darwinism where meme evolution can even account for the origin of morality and explain religious belief and adherence to it (Darwin's Dangerous Idea and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, also by Dennett)

Dennett attributes the seeming transcendence of consciousness beyond its neural network containment as the "tricky illusory theatrics of consciousness." Dennett's analyses of consciousness places much faith on what constitutes accepted scientific truth and dogma; on huge collections of reproducible experimental data, but not on imaginative thought about what the data might mean or ultimately signify. There is a large body of accumulated physical and neurophysiological data that virtually cries out for imaginative reinterpretation to break the logjam which is blocking blanket acceptance of the transcendence of human consciousness.

In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality Alex Vary offers an imaginative reinterpretation of the empirical data Dennett esteems and contemplates. Vary proposes a paradigmatic framework and some new concepts which can help explain the seemingly transcendent nature of human consciousness. What Vary proposes are akin to 'tools of thought' advocated by Dennett in Consciousness Explained and should serve at least for discussion and elucidation purposes.

Vary presumes that consciousness is an attribute of a reality that preexists its localized foci in self-aware human or their neural networks. Dennett dismisses the notion of such selfness existing before birth as a fiction, ". . . an organization of information that has structured your body's control system (or, to put it in its more usual provocative form, if what you are is the program that runs on your brain's computer), then you could in principle survive the death of your body as intact as a program can survive the destruction of the computer on which it was created and first run." Dennett characterizes the notion of an automaton's or a computer's assumption of transcendent consciousness as a hankering for immortality; as if a computer program could hanker for self-perpetuation, or anything beyond its ken. Dennett shrugs off the dilemma by declaring "as with all the earlier mysteries, there are many who insist - and hope - that there will never be a demystification of consciousness."
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent book. I resisted getting this book for a ... 12 octobre 2014
Par D. Spivak - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Excellent book.

I resisted getting this book for a long time because I thought it was impossible to explain consciousness, and therefore that Dennett had to be wrong, and therefore the title implied that he was a pompous self-assured ass. But as is so often the case, I was wrong.

Dennett succeeds in completely dismantling the "Cartesian Theater", not just in an abstract philosophical way, but in a way that changed the model I have of myself. It's rare to have a truly new thought, but this book succeeded in planting one.

And now, I'm off to buy another Dennett book, because I want to know what he's had to say since 1992!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Middle 14 mars 2015
Par CW - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I don't think it really explains the consciousness it is more like impossibility of explaining consciousness. I might be wrong. The book can really be hard to read, despite the author's effort to make it funny and bearable. It is a complex matter and you must have back ground in psychology to understand different theories and perspectives from different psychologists and scientists. I am a pretty good reader but it took me a long time to read this book. It is over 400 pages in small print since the subject is a more of school subject (similar to text book) it can be boring at times and it really makes you tired to read it. Sometimes it seems the arguments are similar or the same but in the core of the arguments, they are all distinct from the other arguments with slight differences. A psychology major of master's degree or doctorate must read it but for others unless they are really into psychology they might not understand the book or may become bored. I think it is a very well written book with a great argument.
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