What is consciousness for? What difference does it make to what humans can do? That question will be familiar to those who came to the events at the RSA or the RI last year. It’s a question that we keep coming up against in this project. In this new podcast, Professor Keith Frankish homes in on one thing we can do consciously – thinking. We humans often go through a series of conscious thoughts when we’re working out what to do, especially when we encounter an obstacle or have to plan in order to solve a problem. We imagine alternative scenarios, think about the consequences of our actions and sometimes even take a decision. Professor Frankish offers an insight into how conscious thought works and why humans have such a remarkable ability to think about problems consciously. (Spoiler alert: it’s got a lot to do with language.)
Nigel also presses the homuncular problem that showed up earlier, in his discussion with Peter Godfrey-Smith. See what you think of the intriguing (and somewhat different) answer on offer here.