In the questions from the previous assignment, I assumed that neurons play the central
(and perhaps the sufficient) role in our mental lives. But how do they do it? How can billions
of little cells wired together by ion channels generate the extraordinarily rich psychological
experience we have each waking moment? Here, Douglas Hofstadter tries to answer this question
with an extended metaphor.
Using the Careenium analogies of BB's, groups of BB's, etc, answer the following in 800 words:
1. What is perception?
2. What is a concept? How do concepts develop?
3. How does self-awareness (the sense of "I") develop?
4. How do children learn what words mean?
5. How are decisions made?
6. Where do desires come from?
7. How is behavior generated?
8. Why do different people have different personalities?
9. What do Hofstadter (and previously Smullyan) mean by saying there are two-levels of
analysis, the physical and the personal?
10. What is your opinion of Hofstadter’s metaphors in explaining psychological phenomena?
Are they legitimate? Are they comprehensive? If not, what is wrong with them or why are they
11. Do believe that Hofstadter has solved the problem of where consciousness comes from
or is there still something missing? If so, what is it?