Broads Distinction between Emergent and Mechanically Explainable Properties

At the start of the twentieth century the question of whether life could be explained in purely mechanical terms was as hotly debated as the mind-body problem is today. Two factions opposed each other. Biological mechanists claimed that the properties characteristic of living organisms (metabolism, perception, goal-directed behavior, procreation, morphogenesis) could be explained mechanistically, in the way the behavior of a clock can be explained by the properties and the arrangement of its...

The Virtual Reality Metaphor of Consciousness

I have proposed (Revonsuo 1995, 1997) that we should take the concept of virtual reality as a metaphor for consciousness. To briefly summarize the ideas behind the VR metaphor, when the brain realizes the phenomenal level, it is actually creating the experience that I am directly present in a world outside my brain although the experience itself is brought about by neural systems buried inside the brain. The brain is essentially creating an the sense of presence in and the immersion in a...