The illusion of consciousness – Dan Dennet


What are perceptions, expectations, outcomes? Have you ever wondered if something that is happening around actually happens, or is it all in your mind? Philosopher and Cognitive Scientist Dan Dennet has been exploring the barely charted territories of the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science.


Consciousness, he says, is a relatively tricky term to define. Consciousness, he further starts projecting that when we say we are conscious of ourselves; we originally mean we can realize and perceive, confirm with what the mind grasps. The human mind is made up of neurons, millions of them. These confirm to act like machines, constituting of machines, which further consist of more and more machines. When it comes to consciousness, the brain does not put in completely the details that we are catered to, it just acts as to process the detail in a patterned fashion and we name it consciousness. Consciousness, people think they know what the concept means, however, it is the unacceptance of the theories that do not confirm with theirs and hence they say it. The illusion that the brain creates is named as consciousness. Dennet further takes the explanation to another level by deducing how the painting by Bellotto, at the North Carolina Museum has some finely drawn slabs of paint, which our mind perceives as human beings, when seen in totality. This experiment proves how there is an illusion of consciousness, our mind thinks of how the slabs of paint are humans just because it strikes as the most obvious inference. This is the play of the brain cells and motor neurons, which create an illusory picture that confirms with our beliefs. This clearly means half the time our brains are actively fooling us. Thus, creating the illusion of consciousness to spectators.



Dennet in his talk further states that the aspect of science plays a major role in the process of breaking down the process of the illusion of consciousness. Through scientific explanation he gives a rational that the presence of neurons in so largely agglomerated in the brain and the motor system works accordingly which creates a sense of illusion about something that in reality in something else or is not present. Thus, consciousness is an illusion, which people conceive as per their convenience and the reception of myriad presences in their ambiance. Thus, the conclusion he arrives at is a neuron goes hand in hand with science, you bring another, and psychology comes into the picture.




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