Consciousness is humanity’s most primary and fundamental experience yet it is also its most elusive. Just what is consciousness? This question has plagued history’s greatest philosophers and scientists. Subsequently this has produced the most polarised views that include dualism and the soul (that mind and brain are distinct) to the most reductive elements of naturalistic materialism where some even argue that what we experience as consciousness is merely an illusion that arises from modal brain states.
Georges Rey is Professor of philosophy at The University of Maryland. He works primarily in philosophy of mind and cognitive science and has written numerous articles on the problems surrounding (ir)rationality, concepts, linguistic competence, qualitative experience and consciousness as well as the book Contemporary Philosophy of Mind, where he defends a computational/representational theory of mind as a strategy for dealing with them.
He has been a visiting professor at MIT and Stanford University and holds a PhD from Harvard University.