Consciousness Explained
Daniel C. Dennett, 1991

1. Prelude: How Are Hallucinations Possible?

The Brain in the Vat

Pranksters in the Brain

A Party Game Called Psychoanalysis



2. Explaining Consciousness

Pandora's Box: Should Consciousness Be Demystified?

The Mystery of Consciousness

The Attractions of Mind Stuff

Why Dualism Is Forlorn

The Challenge

3. A Visit to the Phenomenological Garden

Welcome to the Phenom

Our Experience of the External World

Our Experience of the Internal World


4. A Method for Phenomenology

First Person Plural

The Third-Person Perspective

The Method of Heterophenomenology

Fictional Worlds and Heterophenomenological Worlds

The Discreet Charm of the Anthropologist

Discovering What Someone Is Really Talking About

Shakey's Mental Images

The Neutrality of Heterophenomenology


5. Multiple Drafts Versus the Cartesian Theater

The Point of View of the Observer

Introducing the Multiple Drafts Model

Orwellian and Stalinesque Revisions

The Theater of Consciousness Revisited

The Multiple Drafts Model in Action

6. Time and Experience

Fleeting Moments and Hopping Rabbits

How the Brain Represents Time

Libet's Case of "Backwards Referral in Time"

Libet's Claim of Subjective Delay of Consciousness of Intention

A Treat: Grey Waiter's Precognitive Carousel

Loose Ends

7. The Evolution of Consciousness

Inside the Black Box of Consciousness

Early Days

Scene One: The Birth of Boundaries and Reasons

Scene Two: New and Better Ways of Producing Future

Evolution in Brains, and the Baldwin Effect

Plasticity in the Human Brain: Setting the Stage

The Invention of Good and Bad Habits of Autostimulation

The Third Evolutionary Process: Memes and Cultural Evolution

The Memes of Consciousness: The Virtual Machine to Be Installed
What is a
virtual machine ?

8. How Words Do Things with Us

Review: EPluribus Unum?

Bureaucracy versus Pandemonium

When Words Wont to Get Themselves Said

9. The Architecture of the Human Mind

Where Are We?

Orienting Ourselves with the Thumbnail Sketch

And Then What Happens?

The Powers of the Joycean Machine

But Is This a Theory of Consciousness?


10. Show and Tell

Rotating Images in the Mind's Eye

Words, Pictures, and Thoughts

Reporting and Expressing

Zombies, Zimboes, and the User Illusion

Problems with Folk Psychology

11. Dismantling the Witness Protection Program


Blindsight: Partial Zombiehood?

Hide the Thimble: An Exercise in Consciousness-Raising

Prosthetic Vision: What, Aside from Information, Is Still Missing?

"Filling In" versus Finding Out

Neglect as a Pathological Loss of Epistemic Appetite

Virtual Presence

Seeing Is Believing: A Dialogue with Otto

12. Qualia Disqualified

A New Kite String

Why Are There Colors?

Enjoying Our Experiences

A Philosophical Fantasy: Inverted aualia

"Epiphenomenal" Qualia?

Getting Back on My Rocker

13. The Reality of Selves

How Human Beings Spin a Self

How Many Selves to a Customer?

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

14. Consciousness Imagined

Imagining a Conscious Robot

What It Is Like to Be a Bat

Minding and Mattering

Consciousness Explained, or Explained Away?

Appendix A (for Philosophers)

Appendix B (for Scientists)

Top of Page | CE Opinion | Sort by Topic | Sort by Title | Sort by Author