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Philosophers

Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
G.E.M.Anscombe
Anselm
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
Aristotle
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Augustine
J.L.Austin
A.J.Ayer
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
Isaiah Berlin
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
George Boole
Émile Boutroux
F.H.Bradley
C.D.Broad
C.A.Campbell
Joseph Keim Campbell
Carneades
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Chrysippus
Cicero
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Democritus
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Epictetus
Epicurus
Herbert Feigl
John Martin Fischer
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Michael Frede
Carl Ginet
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
W.F.R.Hardie
William Hasker
R.M.Hare
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
R.E.Hobart
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
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Ferenc Huoranszki
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
Immanuel Kant
Tomis Kapitan
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Christine Korsgaard
Andrea Lavazza
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Leucippus
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George Henry Lewes
C.I.Lewis
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Lucretius
James Martineau
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
G.E.Moore
C. Lloyd Morgan
Thomas Nagel
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
P.H.Nowell-Smith
Robert Nozick
William of Ockham
Timothy O'Connor
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Plato
Karl Popper
Huw Price
H.A.Prichard
Hilary Putnam
Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
Ayn Rand
Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
C.W.Rietdijk
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Josiah Royce
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Paul Russell
Gilbert Ryle
Kenneth Sayre
T.M.Scanlon
Moritz Schlick
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Henry Sidgwick
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J.J.C.Smart
Saul Smilansky
Michael Smith
L. Susan Stebbing
George F. Stout
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Peter Strawson
Eleonore Stump
Richard Taylor
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John Venn
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G.H. von Wright
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R. Jay Wallace
W.G.Ward
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

Michael Arbib
Bernard Baars
John S. Bell
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Walther Bothe
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
Donald Campbell
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
E. H. Culverwell
Charles Darwin
Terrence Deacon
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Paul Ehrenfest
Albert Einstein
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
Joseph Fourier
Michael Gazzaniga
GianCarlo Ghirardi
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A.O.Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Jacques Hadamard
Stuart Hameroff
Patrick Haggard
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
William Stanley Jevons
Pascual Jordan
Simon Kochen
Stephen Kosslyn
Ladislav Kovàč
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Benjamin Libet
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Henry Margenau
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Adolphe Quételet
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Claude Shannon
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
B. F. Skinner
Roger Sperry
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Peter Tse
John von Neumann
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek
 
Bernard Baars

Bernard Baars is a neurobiologist who has helped to develop an ancient metaphor of the mind as theater into a widely-held model and research framework of human consciousness called Global Workspace Theory.

In the Baars model of consciousness, there are six basic elements to the theater metaphor - a stage, spotlights (that focus attention), actors (with their speeches) an audience, that regularly contributes comments about their own ideas, goals, and knowledge bases (perhaps at a subconscious automatic level), a director (or executive function), and "contexts."

If we think of contexts as the current total contents of the "stream of consciousness," as William James called it, it includes many unconscious contributions plus all the current perceptual data that shape the interpretation of the current experience. Context helps to answer to the question "What's happening to me?"

The Theater of Consciousness resembles Daniel Dennett's model of the mind as made up of a huge number of functional homunculi, each with its own goals and purposes.

Dennett's homunculi should not be confused with what Dennett called the "Cartesian theater," in which a single homunculus sits at the center of the brain. This was the idea of a "self as observer" (of what goes on in the consciousness) that was refuted by Gilbert Ryle in his book The Concept of Mind.

Here is Baars' description of the theater of consciousness:

Figure 2-1. A theater metaphor for conscious experience. All unified theories of cognition today involve theater metaphors. In this version, conscious contents are limited to a brightly lit spot of attention onstage, while the rest of the stage corresponds to immediate working memory. Behind the scenes are executive processes, including a director, and a great variety of contextual operators that shape conscious experience without themselves becoming conscious. In the audience are a vast array of intelligent unconscious mechanisms. Some audience members are automatic routines, such as the brain mechanisms that guide eye movements, speaking, or hand and finger movements. Others involve autobiographical memory, semantic networks representing our knowledge of the world, declarative memory for beliefs and facts, and the implicit memories that maintain attitudes, skills, and social interaction. Elements of working memory - on stage, but not in the spotlight of attention - are also unconscious. Notice that different inputs to the stage can work together to place an actor in the conscious bright spot, a process of convergence; but once on stage, conscious information diverges, as it is is widely disseminated to members of the audience. By far the most detailed functions are carried on outside of awareness.

Baars notes that the information-carrying capacity of the conscious stream is very limited. But the access to information structures in the brain is truly vast. Since we have no idea of its information storage capacity, the brain may have access, within seconds, to any of its past experiences.

In our model of information consciousness, an experience recorder, reproducer, and sequencer (ERRS) may provide many of the actors and audience members in the Baars Theater of Consciousness.

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