Other Papers by Teed Rockwell
Both Dennett and his critics believe that the invalidity of the famed Stalinist-Orwellian distinction is a consequence of his multiple drafts model of consciousness.(MDM) This is not so obvious, however, once we recognize that the question "how do you get experience out of meat?" actually fragments into at least three different questions.
(1) How do we get a unified sense of self (out of meat)?
(2)How do we get awareness (out of meat)?
(3) How do we get mental phenomena (out of meat)?
Dennett shows how the MDM has a radical and profound way of interrelating awareness and self in the latter chapters of Consciousness Explained. But the Stalinist-Orwellian distinction can be dissolved by analyzing the nature of mental phenomena, without making any reference to awareness or self or the MDM . This is because The Stalinist-0rwellian distinction rests on much the same category mistake (confusing of parts with wholes) which Ryle pointed out in his Concept of Mind. Once we recognize that a theory of awareness is trying to do something different from a theory of mental phenomena, we can see why Dennett and his critics frequently talked past each other, and how we can resolve these controversies by incorporating something like Rosenthals theory of higher order thoughts into the MDM. (Something he has come very close to doing already in his discussions of the Hunt the Thimble phenomenon) This would require, however, that Dennett abandon his principle of first person operationalism, and recognize that it is possible for us to be mistaken about our own internal states.
4)Beyond Determinism and Indignity: A Reinterpretation of Operant Conditioning
B.F. Skinner's writing on the Free will issue have received much attention because it was assumed that his dismissal of free will was based on his scientific discoveries. In this article, I show that when we look at Skinner's place in the history of psychology, and his own descriptions of his laboratory procedures, we find that Skinner's scientific work offers no evidence for determinism. In fact, it could be argued that it offers partial evidence (although not proof) for the existence of free will. The concept of free choice, although difficult to define or justify, is seen to be fully compatible with the effectiveness and validity of operant conditioning. We must therefore conclude that Skinner has not resolved the free will question, with either scientific facts or philosophical arguments.
5) Altruism, Pity and Compassion.
I no longer agree with everything I wrote in this essay. I was more of a Libertarian and a Nietzschean at the time. But I still agree with most of part 2. Part I Part 2