The Lure of Consciousness Ben Meyer (Phoenix, AZ ) C11
This essay examines the conceptualization of the 'hard problem' of consciousness through a naturalistic lens, primarily through the writings of Evan Thompson's Mind in Life and Lisa Feldman-Barrett's How Emotions Are Made. Both Thompson and Feldman-Barrett use the addition of a first-person perspective to help understand differences between a more traditional third-person scientific conceptualization. Grounding the brain within both its biological structures and an inseparable mind/life continuity framework, helps to shed light on the limits of consciousness as a concept and help to build a case for utilizing the terminology and insights both writers offer in better understanding our mind processes. Panpsychism will be used as a tool to aid in understanding both the nature of a concept, Thompson and Barrett's shared space as well as points for divergence. Using an enactive and embodied approach highlight third-person conceptualizations as problematic; ill-fitting at best and misleading at worst. Further, I will utilize some common historical examples within philosophy of mind studies, such as Thomas Nagel's article, "What Is It Like to Be A Bat?" and Bryce Huebner's, "Kinds of Collective Behavior and the Possibility of Group Minds" to mete out additional comparisons. The goal here is to further demonstrate some important examples and aporias and to examine important distinctions that help illuminate important continuities and constraints in more exacting terms and contexts, within these more familiar and newer frameworks.