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Consciousness Explained

Dan Dennett | 4:08


The idea that you can somehow boil, mind spirit down to brain activity is just deeply

repugnant to many people. People want their minds to be beyond all measure, the idea that their minds are boringly finite is not attractive. 

And so people want to believe that there's more and more and more and more in their mind than any science can ever tell them. One of the problems with explaining consciousness is that people think they're conscious of a lot more than they actually are conscious of. 

So one of the first things you have to do before doing a good theory of consciousness is you have to, you have to be consciousness back down to size, you have to get a proper account of what the phenomenon is. For instance, in vision, we tend to have the idea that we take in this whole wonderful world outside and have this inner replica of the whole world, they're somehow in our conscious mind. 

And that's just not true. 

So it seems that way. But it's just not true, we take in a lot less, and we hold in our heads a lot less than we think. And I propose some experiments in Consciousness Explained, that would dramatically reveal this. change blindness is one of my favorite demonstrations, to convince people that they don't know what they think they know about their own consciousness. 

If you show a person a picture, and then distract them for just a brief fraction of a second, then show them a variation on that picture. And move something to change the color of something very, very often, people will not be able to see that change at all. 

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