Articles by Marcel Kvassay

The following review articles were originally published in various open-access internet forums. The versions assembled here incorporate minor revisions.


2012


Machines, Intelligence, Consciousness

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Approaches to the study of consciousness can be broadly classified as reductive or non-reductive. Reductionists try to characterize consciousness through cognitive functions that it takes part in, while non-reductionists maintain that this leaves out important aspects of conscious experience. Non-reductionists also tend to dismiss claims that one day we might be able to build a “conscious machine”.

This article offers an informal comparison of two candidate frameworks for the study of consciousness (one reductive, proposed by Aaron Sloman and Ron Chrisley, and one non-reductive, proposed by David Chalmers ) that leads to a surprising result: if we grant non-reductive status to consciousness, then it follows that to build a “conscious machine” must be possible.


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2011


Psychological Foundations of Sri Aurobindo’s Philosophy and His Approach to the Problem of Evil

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This article starts by sketching various layers of consciousness above and below our surface mental awareness, and moves on to consider the psychological roots of the problem of evil. It is based on the system formulated by the Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo.


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2010


Supramental Consciousness and the Logic of the Infinite

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This article explores the intellectual foundations of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy: the overarching framework that he called “the logic of the Infinite,” and the concept of supramental consciousness that he postulated as its executive agent.


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2009


Sri Aurobindo’s “Universal Realism” and the Doctrine of Cosmic Illusion

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Drawing on Sri Aurobindo’s major philosophical work, this article contrasts his views with those of spiritual Illusionism as exemplified by Buddhism and the Mayavada of Shankara.


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A Discerning Tribute    [Review of Heehs: The Lives of Sri Aurobindo]

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A review of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, the latest biography by an American historian Peter Heehs, published by Columbia University Press.


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Heehs on Sri Aurobindo and Indian Communalism

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This article might be regarded as a belated review of Nationalism, Terrorism, Communalism by Peter Heehs, which is eminently relevant even a decade after its publication.


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2005


India as a Synthesis of Cultures    [Review of Heehs: Nationalism, Religion, and Beyond]

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Review of Nationalism, Religion, and Beyond, an anthology of writings on politics, society, and culture by Sri Aurobindo, edited by Peter Heehs.


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