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JCS-Online: A digest of the key debates

The JCS-Online email discussion forum has generated some heated debates and we have selectively archived a few of the most interesting threads here. This page is updated daily as new contributions are received. There are currently the following threads available:

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Synchronous oscillations and the Emperor's New Clothes?

This thread grew out the hard problem debate in JCS. In defence of his functionalist dissolution of the problem of phenomenal experience, Thomas Clark cited Thomas Metzinger's chapter "Faster than Thought -- Holism, Homogeneity and Temporal Coding" in the Conscious Experience collection. This led to an outspoken attack by Keith Sutherland in which the term "homuphobia" was coined for the "fear of homunculi, agents and Cartesian theatres".

Metzinger's original article has three principal threads to it: the problem of "binding" in perception, the use of connectionist models in cognitive theory, and the attempt to develop a "bottom-up" theory of the self. The resulting commentaries have been classified into three sub-sections:

The Binding Problem

Computational Theory and Connectionism

Subjectivity and the Self

Forget qualia, zombies and zimboes

Why Now?

The Observer in Quantum Mechanics

Contentless Awareness and the PCE

The Hard Problem -- Short Contributions

The Purpose of Consciousness

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