Consciousness, Qualia, Power and Self

Intergral Praxis has an interesting post up with videos from Dr. V.S. Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at UCSD, who discusses consciousness, qualia, and self. An interview with David Chalmers discussing his theory of consciousness, the hard problem, and the explanatory gap, and part two of a BBC documentary called “The Century of Self”. This part is called ‘Engineering Consent’, and tells the tale of how power elites used psychoanalytic theories to try and control human populations in an age of mass democracy and global capitalism.

(via Integral Praxis)


  1. The Qualia problem fascinates me. I’ve been gnawing on it since I studied Philosophy of Mind some years back and I still think it should be acknowledged much more explictly as a genuinely problematic border/aporia seperating the disciplines of science and philosophy. It is not for, what I feel are, political reasons rooted in the epistemic dominance of scientific materialism (Daniel Dennet wants Qualia to be disposed of as a working concept – another of those “Science will get to it” promissory notes that Ken Wilber talks about).

    The envelope of Subjective Interiority is still the place where reductive Scientific Materialiasm (capitals intended) falls short. This is not a failing, in my opinion. It’s a border, like I say. An edge. I sometimes wonder if Paul Laffoley isn’t correct and a Mind Physics isn’t what we’re all impatiently waiting on.

  2. But the idea of Qualia being site-specific in the brain and being a sort of virtual/imaginal medium through which meaning cascades… cool. Great link.

  3. I’m in agreement with you there, Yogaboy. As someone who thinks along holistic lines, the idea of Qualia being site-specific in the brain is an interesting concept.

    I finally got through all 4 parts of the entire documentary “The Century of The Self”, which was excellent. For those that haven’t had a chance to see it see it, here’s the link:

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