Empathy – Take 2

I just started reading The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen, the autism researcher who also wrote Mindblindness. The subtitle of the Science of Evil is, On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty. Baron-Cohen’s thesis is: cruelty exists when empathy fails. Baron-Cohen’s definition of empathy First part of definition: “Empathy occurs when we suspend our single-minded […]

A New Take on Consciousness

I just started reading Out of Our Heads by Alva Noë. [1] Noë operates from the premise that consciousness is not merely a mental process that comes from the machinations of the brain. In a wonderfully insightful metaphor he states, “Consciousness is more like dancing than it is like digestion.” Brain and environment The idea […]

Arm as Tool

This is my brother Mike. He is older than me, autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. That’s our Dad in the background. You can see that Mike has something in his hand. Wait, that’s my arm! He must want something. Dad didn’t understand what it was, so I guess Mike wants to use my arm to […]

Philosophical Musings

Intentionality According to The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Intentionality is the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs.” [1] Daniel Dennett, eminent philosopher of consciousness defines “the intentional stance” as a way to view the “behavior of a thing in terms of mental properties.” […]