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Title: Time, Consciousness, and Information
Authors: Toker, Daniel
Advisors: Elga, Adam
Department: Philosophy
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: My thesis consists of two parts: a philosophical study of consciousness and a neuroscientific study of time perception. For the philosophy portion, I examine the idea that information can serve as a metaphysically fundamental category to which consciousness can be reduced. I ultimately recommend a view that I call "informational idealism," which is that information is ontologically primitive, that the mental reduces to the informational, and that the material is ontologically secondary to both the informational and the mental. For the neuroscience portion, I tested the hypothesis that drift in mental context, which I measured as the change in neural activity in brain regions that encode mental context, is predictive of people's estimates of elapsed time. I found that although neural drift in brain regions identified as encoding mental context does not correlate with time perception, neural drift in caudate nucleus does predict estimates of elapsed time. Finally, the conclusions of both the philosophy and neuroscience portions were considered as potential tools with which to solve various puzzles that arise out of the philosophy of time.
Extent: 104 pages
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Philosophy, 1924-2016

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