Block, Ned

Ned is the Silver Professor of Philosophy, Psychology and Neural Science at NYU. For many years he was professor of philosophy at the MIT and he was president of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. A philosopher of mind focusing on consciousness and cognitive science, Ned distinguishes between phenomenal consciousness (subjective experience and feeling) and access consciousness (cognitive information globally available for reasoning). He puts it this way: “Consciousness is a hybrid, or better, a mongrel concept: the word `consciousness' connotes a number of very different concepts and denotes a number of very different phenomena. Phenomenal consciousness is experience; the phenomenally conscious aspect of a state is what it is like to be in that state. The mark of access-consciousness, by contrast, is availability for use in reasoning and rationally guiding speech and action. These concepts are often partly or totally conflated, with bad results. We reason about ‘consciousness’ using some premises that apply to one of the phenomena that fall under ‘consciousness’, other premises that apply to other ‘consciousnesses’ and we end up with trouble.”


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Can Religion Be Explained Without God?

Most people believe that God exists and religion is God’™s revelation. But some claim that religion needs nothing supernatural; that religion, without God, can flourish because personal psychology and group sociology drive religion.

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