Marvin Minsky on Consciousness





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Uploaded on Dec 20, 2009

Marvin Minsky is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy.


In this clip, Minsky discusses whether or not the existence of consciousness is sufficient grounds for rejecting physicalism. He argues against the intuitive notion of the directness and immediacy of conscious experience, as well as the idea that conscious agents have privileged epistemic access to the contents of their own minds. He believes that internal knowledge of one's own thoughts and external knowledge of the thoughts of others is a mere difference in degree, not a difference in type.

Furthermore, Minsky believes that the pre-scientific notion of "consciousness" as a singular unified phenomenon is simply mistaken, and that cognitive science is showing us that consciousness is much more complex and fractured than previously imagined.

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