Why this philosopher rejects the idea of conscious thought

Dec 21, 2018, 7:17 AM EST
(Source: Danielle Henry/flickr)
(Source: Danielle Henry/flickr)

A 2017 paper, entitled “The Illusion of Conscious Thought,” by Peter Carruthers, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park, hypothesizes conscious thought, judgement and volition as mere illusions, stemming from processes unknown to the human mind.

Carruthers derives his conclusions from two theories of consciousness, the first being the Global Workspace Theory, which posits that the prerequisites for a mental state to be conscious is it being a constituent of the working memory and readily accessible to other mental functions, writes Scientific American.

The second theory, by Michael Graziano, David Rosenthal and others, suggests that one is directly aware of their conscious mental states. The extract of both the views is that decisions and judgement, which are neither part of the working memory nor something that one knows directly, cannot be categorized as conscious.

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