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Split Brains

  • 1. What do split-brain patients tell us about consciousness and point of view? Could you imagine what it would be like to be a split-brain patient?
  • 2. Suppose aliens from Mars performed a split-brain operation on you while you were sleeping. In the morning when you woke up, could you find out from your experiences that you had a split brain? Would things look different to you after the operation?

Ned Block

  • 1. What role do blindsight patients play for Block in his discussion of access consciousness? What is he trying to prove? Does he succeed? Why, or why not?
  • 2. Suppose our neuroscientist Ben, working on the problem of consciousness, gets a visit from Block. Block explains how consciousness is a mongrel concept with access and phenomenal consciousness. But Ben shakes his head. He wants to know what difference these distinctions make to consciousness research. He is looking for the biology that causes consciousness. What would be the biology that causes access consciousness? he asks skeptically. It is not a scientific question in his mind, because he cannot picture what access consciousness would be in addition to traditional cognitive phenomena. He challenges Block to tell him why he should think there would be any neural correlates of access consciousness. How might Block respond?
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