Intellectual Background

To put my posts into a proper context, I’ve decided to write up a current intellectual background for myself. I will update this as needed to reflect any changes in my thinking.

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The most pressing matter to address, given the title of this blog, is religion. I do not identify with any organized religion, and I do not profess belief in any deity or deities. This said, I am not anti-religion—though I was in my younger years. My thoughts towards religion have, as I’ve matured and broadened my intellectual horizons, eased up a bit, to say the least. I look at the universe and see certain fundamental patterns repeated—witness a certain ‘connectedness,’ if you will. I’m not quite sure what to make of these thoughts yet, but it’s always a work in progress.

Next, there is my fundamental approach to the problem of consciousness. I have historically taken a neurobiological approach, though I have always tried to temper it with lessons from philosophical writers. I would say that my intellectual forefathers include thinkers such as Crick, Koch, Damasio from the neurobiological side, and Searle, Chalmers, and Dennett from the philosophical side. That said, you may not see any of their ideas explicitly espoused in my own writings, but rest assured that each of them have been pivotal in shaping where I am today, if only to challenge me. I would probably be doing the most justice to my own current view on consciousness by describing it as most similar to neutral monism. I don’t see any reason for separating the physical from the phenomenal, less so choosing a side after separating them—it seems most plausible to me that the two are simply different sides of the same coin.

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