Ask Mark - Week 3 responses
Thank you to everyone who posted questions last week. I have recorded a response to four of the many interesting questions you had posed in Step 3.10 of Week 1. My video responses are on YouTube with links below. Transcripts will be uploaded as soon as possible.
Question 1: I’m still trying to get clear on terminology. It seems to me that this week is the “core” week inasmuch as the Hard Problem seems to surface here. But, is the term ‘consciousness’ being used that way here in the course? Is it referring to the same thing as David Chalmers describes in his TED talk: “… the amazing, 3D, multitrack, surround sound, etc. movie playing in your head; the constant, voiceover narrative that is the stream of consciousness; subjective experience; that all this feels like something, from the inside; …” Also described as sentience, or sense of presence. Are we all referring to the same kind of thing, or is the course using the term ‘consciousness’ in a different, perhaps narrower way?
Question 2: What part does consciousness play in dreaming? If I’m having a particularly vivid dream, it can appear as real as my experiences when awake. Indeed, there can be a short period of time when I wake up from a dream when I’m uncertain as to whether I’m awake or still dreaming. If it’s the unconscious that’s responsible for dreams, how come it can feel identical to being conscious?
Question 3: What is the difference between the unconscious mind and instinct?
Question 4: Is the Freudian sense of the unconscious the same as that in cognitive or affective (or social) neuroscience? If not, how is it defined within neuropsychoanalysis?
I look forward to your questions for this week - you can post them in Step 4.8 of Week 4.
© University of Cape Town CC-BY-NC