Philip Clapson is a post-doctoral researcher.
Philip Clapson has developed a new scientific theory of the brain phenomenon misconceived as consciousness. It is founded in physical biology. This both solves the mind-body problem, and more fundamentally, offers neuroscience an approach without non-physically expressible states and conditions, unlike mentalism. However, it also demonstrates that knowledge does not exist, including that of neuroscience, for knowledge is eliminated. The conception of human existence is therefore radically altered.
The World Without Knowledge: The Theory of Brain-Sign.
The research addresses two topics in what is now commonly termed Neurophilosophy. The first is the improbability that consciousness exists.... It seems obvious that consciousness does exist because we are conscious. Moreover, both philosophy and science take its existence for granted. But (by analogy) before Copernicus it was generally assumed the earth must be at the centre of the universe. What misled opinion was twofold. Firstly our (so-called) experience demonstrated that the heavens encircled us and 'turned around an axis through Polaris'. Secondly human beings were so crucial to God (for they were the earthly harbour of his knowing rationality), that they must be the focus of creation. It was as much a shock to our self-regard as our cosmology to discover both assumptions were false. The escalating interest over the last half century in consciousness, and the mind-body problem generally, largely perpetuates the prescientific assumptions of Descartes, and back to the Greeks. I.e. (in modern terms) biology has constructed the centrality of our individual knowing existence. This assumption is deconstructed theoretically and empirically.
The second topic is the presentation of the new scientific theory for the brain phenomenon misconceived as consciousness, viz. The theory of brain-sign. Brain-sign theory commences, not from the assumption that consciousness and the mind exist, but that the universe is solely physical. Human beings, and their antecedents, are biological organisms set in a physical world, and everything about them is physically determined, albeit in a very complex way. What is required is not an assumption of knowledge but a model that describes why there is any brain phenomenon at all. The brain is not a knowledge organ: it is a causal organ. Therefore the brain phenomenon must serve the organism in its causal functioning. Brain-sign does this by signifying what in the world has caused the brain's causal orientation to the world (the cause of causality) for dynamic (i.e. uncertain or imprecise) collective action. Brain-sign theory describes how human beings, and other creatures, can function as collective organisms, thus transcending the limitations of their individuality and vastly enhancing survival, and enabling reproduction. Because it eliminates the irreducible opacities of mentalism, our self-conception and the nature of philosophy and science are recontextualised by being biology.
The first draft of the theory was published as:
(2001) Consciousness: The Organismic Approach, Neuro-Psychoanalysis 3 (2):203-220
Two early papers are available online at Cogprints.org:
(2004) Brain-Sign or The End of Consciousness
(2006) The Theory of Brain-Sign: A Physical Alternative to Consciousness
A slightly modified version appears as:
(2011) The Theory of Brain-Sign: A Physical Alternative to Consciousness. Activitas Nervosa Superior. Vol. 53, 3-4
(2013) The full text of my thesis The world without knowledge: The Theory of Brain-Sign can now be obtained at http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/3560/
October 2011, Durham-Bergen Conference: How to Make Neurophilosophy 'Real': The Theory of Brain-Sign
I worked for many years in the computing industry, publishing in mathematics and computer science. I received an MA in the Philosophy of Psychology at King's London in 1998, and have worked subsequently on brain-sign theory. The PhD was awarded in summer 2012.
Current Position: Associate Research Fellow in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck, University of London.
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