What tricks do illusions play on the mind?

Thanks to the internet, optical illusions again become popular. Maybe there’s some irony about the revived interest in these visual tricks: the most popular illusions rely on people not looking too closely — and not looking too closely is one of the key side effects of internet-based media use. They are obviously fascinating if you […]

What tricks do illusions play on the mind?

The consciousness illusion


What if the consciousness is created by the brain to keep track on our daily activities? A question to shake the traditional concept of consciousness inherited by the 17th century French philosopher Rene Descartes. Keith Frankish, the author of this article posted below, takes a round on neuroscience analysis on the phenomenal consciousness.

He takes an example of looking at an apple. The visual perception stimulates sensory reactions in our brain that enhances our understanding or action on the apple: the colour of it, how to eat it, what to do with it etc.. These neuronal reactions, known as consciousness, are created by the brain to tackle down our activity with the apple.

In other words, consiousness is pretty much compared to the pill taken by Neo in the movie The Matrix. A different pill would give a different experience. Meaning, a different perception would give a different “consciousness”, or different neuronal stimuli in a neuroscientific jargon and analysis.

Frankish adds to the neuroscientific observation, the idea of perception and its effect on thinking which we can see in Hume’s empiricist philosophy and in Berkeley’s immaterialism. Our story is a narrative speculation of our consciousness that is affected by perceptions. Frankish article below is very compelling: