In his book about consciousness entitled 'The Astonishing Hypothesis', Francis Crick argued that the traditional conceptualizations of the soul as a non-material being must be replaced by a materialistic understanding of how mind emerges from the biological structure of the brain. The astonishing hypothesis about consciousness has two main points: (1) Crick's main goal is to find a neural mechanism that will explain consciousness, particularly in the context of visual awareness. (2) Consciousness and short term memory need the activity of reverbratory circuits to maintain them. Crick's hypothesis has its own problems. Three significant philosophical errors are worth mentioning: (1) Crick is inconsistent in his account of the reductionism of consciousness to neuron firings. The puzzle is that Crick advocates eliminative reductionism while he leans towards causal emergentism in practice. The standard philosophical argument against eliminative reduction of consciousness is that there were a perfect science of neurobiology still there would be two distinct features: the neurobiological pattern of neuron firings and the feelings. So one can get a causal reduction of pain to neuron but not an ontological reduction. (2) Crick is unclear about the logical structure of the explanation he is offering. His preferred way of speaking is to say that he is looking for the 'neural correlates' of consciousness. But in his own term 'neural correlates' cannot be the right expression. (3) Third, he misunderstands problem of 'qualia': how it is possible for physical, objective, quantitatively describable neuron firings to cause qualitative, private, subjective experiences? How, to put it naively, does the brain get us over the hump from electrochemistry to feeling? This is the hard part of the mind-body problem that is left over after we see that consciousness must be caused by the brain process and in itself is a feature of the brain.
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