Murray Shanahan: Consciousness and Philosophy of Mind (Summary, 2024)

“On the philosophical front, my work has been much influenced by the later writings of Wittgenstein, which I see as an antidote to our natural dualistic tendencies. The upshot is that, rather than asking what consciousness *is* (and placing a heavy metaphysical burden on that word), we should ask how words like "consciousness" are used. The most detailed exposition of this idea, which excavates the very roots of philosophy, is in Chapter 1 of my 2010 book "Embodiment and the Inner Life". But the first paper I published on the theme was "Global Access, Embodiment, and the Conscious Subject" (2005), where I blended it with two other ideas that have dominated my thinking, namely *global workspace theory* (GWT) and the importance of *embodiment*. Part of the motivation for that paper was to show that a philosophical stance inspired by Wittgenstein is compatible with the aims of a science of consciousness (another theme explored in my 2010 book).”