Is Consciousness an Illusion?

20 March 2017

Prominent philosophers go head to head in this New York Review of Books piece. Thomas Nagel writes a critical review of Daniel Dennett's new book From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. Front and center in Dennett's picture is the difference between the "manifest image"—a colorful world filled with ideas, experiences, colors, sounds, emotions, and ordinary objects—and the "scientific image"—a more barebones picture of atoms, subatomic particles, and forces. In essence, Dennett wants to reject the manifest image altogther; he claims that consciousness is an illusion. Nagel is not convinced, and he explains why in the article.

Is this manifest image we have of the world really mistaken? Is consciousness an illusion?

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