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Philosopher Tweets on Consciousness — and Gets Feedback

Tulane U’s Kevin Morris tweeted that “the brain/ nervous system IS consciousness,” and started a broad discussion with many views represented

On Thursday, Tulane University philosophy prof Kevin Morris decided to tell the world — well, the part of it that in on X, formerly Twitter — about physicalism, the view he espouses, that the mind is just the brain/nervous system, period.

the whole idea of the brain “causing” or “giving rise to” consciousness is so misplaced. get it right: the brain/ nervous system IS consciousness. #consciousness #philosophy #metaphysics— Kevin M (@BayouPhilosophy) February 1, 2024

He added in the comments spot below his tweet:

“there is nothing else for it to BE”

“it’s surprising to me that some people evidently think that the fact that a “dead brain” lacks consciousness refutes the mind-brain identity theory. come on, people, do better!”

Of course, others commented, from a wide range of perspectives, including

This strikes me as an utterly bizarre thing to say. Consciousness is something we experience. When we are under general anesthesia, there is no consciousness, but the brain is still there. It’s probably best understood as a process.— Mark Foskey (@markfoskey) February 2, 2024

No, the nervous system is one of many modules of experience. Each organ system provides modular experience and the nervous system seems to sort of coarse grain and aggregate those experiences into one unitary biological SELF. So the brain is not the mind. Mind is embodied.— Stuart Sims (@SimsYStuart) February 2, 2024


If that is true, then why is the brain consciousness and a river not? (I take a river as an example, because it is a material thing, it constantly flows, might have highly complex dynamics at the micro causal level, needs energy and input to sustain its existence, which also…— Jan Broersen (@broudsov) February 2, 2024

But perhaps the most interesting response was this one from Will Chadwick:

So consciousness is greyish/pinkish and somewhat electric.

Bold move

It’s conventional to disparage social media because we can easily point to users who sound the depths of what can legally be said without getting banned. But they can also be a tool for conducting free discussions with people worldwide who may not go to the conferences, sign up for the courses, or read the books we do.

Many thanks to Jonathan Bartlett for the tip.

You may also wish to read: Twitter files 13 and 14… plus the critical bigger picture. Growing distrust of mainstream media should be supplemented by scrutiny among users of Big Tech social media. They’re not an answer to the problem. What both the Twitter files and other recent incidents show is that many alleged conspiracy theories about Big Tech control of news were not fantasies at all.

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Philosopher Tweets on Consciousness — and Gets Feedback