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The Oceanic Metaphor

Studies in Consciousness
Narrated by: Robert Hermansen
Length: 1 hr and 39 mins

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Perhaps the study of consciousness has an inherent limitation, similar in import to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics or Gödel's incompleteness theorem in mathematics. Perhaps we are like seasoned travelers on a Mobius strip in quest of the "other" side of the band who after long and arduous circular travels come to realize that no matter what route we take we will always only be touching the same surface.

If this is so, then a specialized version of Niels Bohr's complementarity may be an instructive insight for us as we venture forth: "In any given situation, the use of certain classical concepts excludes the simultaneous meaningful application of other classical concepts."

In the study of consciousness it appears we may have to confront an epistemological complementarity where any objective study (via third person analysis) of qualia must by necessity lose in translation a fundamental feature of the very phenomenon under inspection. Conversely, any purely subjective endeavor to explore consciousness must by its very act forego any attempt to maximally objectify what is experienced, lest the experience itself be lost in attempting to exteriorize that which is de facto interior.

©2014 David Christopher Lane (P)2016 David Christopher Lane

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  • Ricardo
  • 01-05-18

very good lecture

I would suggest to do some reading about philosophy of the mind so some of the terms are not lost in translation