Monday, April 25, 2005

Feeling feelings - Or not?

In previous posts in this blog there has been a tension between two interpretations of the way in which we may experience the world. The tension is between whether in our conscious experience we directly experience the feelings and emotional form of our body parts and the external world, or whether the brain is responsible for constructing these feelings. By ‘directly’ I do not mean without mediation, but that conscious feelings are the result of feeling other feelings.

Hunting Zombies

The zombie trail is a well-trodden path, so I thought I might venture out myself:

The logical possibility of a zombie world -in which humans behave identically to the way they do in the real world but in which conscious experience is absent- is often used in antiphysicalist arguments to show that consciousness does not supervene on or is not entailed by the physical facts of the world.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Evolutionary Psychology and Experience

The application of Sociobiology (the study of the evolutionary basis of behaviour) to humans has received a boost in recent times through the rise of Evolutionary Psychology (‘EP’). EP has numerous critics, from accusations of genetic determinism to claims it uncritically reflects prevailing political values (in much the same way that Social Darwinism and the ‘survival of the fittest’ reflected the values of 19th Century industrialised capitalism). Yet, human beings are part of the natural world and their must surely be a place for explaining human behaviour as the outcome of evolutionary processes.