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A close-up shot of one of Pippa Skotnes' art installations - a black white disk with sketches in the back ground.
UCT Psychology building art: disc Installation by Pippa Skotnes

Broader debates around consciousness

The problem of consciousness is one that has perplexed scientists and philosophers alike. This article by Oliver Burkeman published in The Guardian, Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness? provides a useful background to some of the ongoing debates around what consciousness is, what beings have it and how it might be objectively found. Needless to say, the debates are ongoing!

The value of reading this article in the context of this course is to introduce you to some of the broader issues around what is known as ‘The Hard Problem’. My particular focus in this course is not to prove whether consciousness exists but to discuss how consciousness - the feeling of being something - is a necessary criterion for determining whether something has a mind.

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This article is from the free online course:

What Is a Mind?

University of Cape Town

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Introduction to What is a Mind?
    Introduction to What is a Mind?

    What is a Mind? In this video, Mark Solms explains what led him to dedicate his life's work to answering complex questions about the mind.

  • What are you if not your mind?
    What are you if not your mind?

    The mind can only be studied using a multidisciplinary approach. In this video, Mark Solms explains what he means Neuropsychoanalysis.