Philosophy
22nd Mar 2010Posted in: Philosophy, Research 0
The Reductionism of Consciousness

Introduction

Reductionism has been one great triumph of the human understanding to the objective universe in the last few centuries. Its belief that essentially everything can be explained in terms of certain fundamental physical events has been greatly encouraged by the vigorous development in various fields of natural sciences, The modern quantum physics, for example, is extraordinarily successful in explaining many microscopic phenomena, giving extraordinarily accurate predictions of microscopic systems, and hence enhancing the development of numerous applications such as computer and nanotechnology. However, arguments against reductionism have never been stopped being raised here and there, and especially in the philosophy of mind, where consciousness and subjectivity comes into the play and creates major difficulties in the doctrine of reductionism. Here we shall give an account for the history of reductionism and the mind-body problem, and try to address a few problems caused by the reduction of consciousness, finally we will see how reductionism can possibly respond.

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