Virtual Reality: Consciousness Really Explained!

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Jerome Iglowitz, Jun 17, 2010 - Consciousness - 604 pages
I think this is the first scientific and actual solution of the Mind-Brain problem. Using results of recent mathematics, it finally provides an actual solution. But human beings have a real and scientific place in this solution -they are not mere "zombies"! Latest and much improved 3rd Edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and rewarding
read, February 2, 2011
By David Nyman (York, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Virtual Reality: Consciousness Really Explained! (Hardcover)
I came to "Virtual Reality: Consciousness Really Explained" as an interested layman, with a professional background in computing, and a 40-year fascination for anything related to mind and cognition. On an initial reading (of the on-line version) I concluded firstly that it would take further study to get properly to grips with the range and depth of the ideas, and secondly that I expected it to repay the effort. I've been studying and pondering it for some time now and this assessment has only been strengthened.
Some of the ideas developed in the book weren't entirely foreign, as related thoughts had occurred over the years (though not nearly so clearly worked out). I've tried to analyse these independently and by absorbing as much of the literature as was intelligible to me. Jerome Iglowitz has done his thinking and studying too, and thinkers who feature to varying degrees in the pages of "Virtual Reality" are Hilbert, Dennett, Merleau-Ponty and Ernst Cassirer (whose work this book introduced to me, and on which it draws quite extensively). But Jerome Iglowitz hasn't merely passively absorbed the ideas of other thinkers; he has quietly and patiently worked out his own distinctive approach and presents it here with considerable intuitive power and depth.
The project of "Virtual Reality" is nothing less than to try to give an account of how we, as organisms originally embedded in an unspecified environment, can come to grips with a "world". Prior to reading "Virtual Reality" I'd been attempting to conceptualise the creature-environment relationship as residing in some kind of "integrative principle" whose role would be to construct a composite reality on the maximally differentiated primary substrate described by micro-physical theory. In this regard, I found the quasi-operationalist ideas developed here by Jerome Iglowitz of great interest as an alternative to theories primarily focused on representationalism. The book develops the concept of an "interface" - an evolved "line of cleavage" between inner and outer worlds - as the "mathematical ideal" or indeed, in a sense the integration, of all possible operative modes of constructing the organism's "external environment". But crucially, unlike eliminative-materialist theorists of the Dennett ilk, it doesn't resort to the desperate measure of "explaining away" the irreducible actuality of such an interface. After all, any such move is equivalent to reducing the available realist postulates to the single one of a "bare externality", and given that such an externality must be, from a Kantian perspective, wholly uninterpreted in itself, this collapses the available postulates to a single, unknowable - and hence presumably forever unknown - externality. To say the least, such a prospect wouldn't leave us very much of interest to contemplate!
Thus if we seek a "necessary" explanation of the conditions under which there can be a knowable world, we can't avoid acknowledging the actuality of such an interface; to postulate its merely imaginary or metaphorical existence begs all the important questions, and indeed amounts to arguing in a circle from the a posteriori facts. Such realism with respect to the experiential interface is the point at which Jerome Iglowitz respectfully parts company with Daniel Dennett, even whilst acknowledging the contribution of the latter's "hetero-phenomenological" rigour in encapsulating precisely the crux of the disagreement. The source, in my view, of this conceptual divergence is that

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