The Author:

Nicholas Humphrey is author of the widely-read A History of the Mind (1992) and other books including Consciousness Regained and Soul-Searching. He is senior research fellow in evolutionary psychology at the London School of Economics.


Principal paper

  • Nicholas Humphrey, How to Solve the Mind–Body Problem
  • Discussion of Nicholas Humphrey’s Theory

  • Andy Clark, Phenomenal Immediacy and the Doors of Sensation
  • Daniel Dennett, It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature
  • Naomi Eilan, Comment on Nicholas Humphrey’s ‘How to Solve the Mind–Body Problem’
  • Ralph Ellis, Efferent Brain Processes and the Enactive Approach to Consciousness
  • Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Hard Things Made Hard
  • Stevan Harnad, Correlation vs. Causality: How/Why the Mind–Body Problem is Hard
  • Natika Newton, Humphrey’s Solution
  • Christian de Quincey, Conceiving the Inconceivable: Fishing for Consciousness with a Net of Miracles
  • Carol Rovane, Not Mind–Body but Mind–Mind
  • Robert Van Gulick, Closing the Gap?
  • Reply to Commentators

  • Nicholas Humphrey, In Reply
  • From the Commentaries:

    Carol Rovane
    Humphrey's account of the position of qualia in mental life is the most promising and fertile I have seen. I am especially impressed by his pivotal idea that sensation is itself a species of affect-laden intentional activity. This is a genuinely new idea with enormous appeal and explanatory potential, the full measure of which I suspect not even he has taken.

    Robert van Gulick
    Humphrey's article is full of intriguing and original suggestions, pointing out new directions for investigation and probing deep beneath the surface.

    Andy Clark
    I believe Humphrey's careful and progressive story, once insulated from the threat of circularity, holds out the hope of real progress in an argumentative arena depressingly close to a stalemate.

    Natika Newton
    Humphrey's article contains some profound insights... It has the potential to bridge the explanatory gap; no competing theory comes close.

    Christian de Quincey
    Sometimes, after years of painstaking work, someone presents a startling argument that seems to suddenly snatch the ground right from under your feet. And it's back to square one.

    Stevan Harnad
    The problem is hard, and alas Nick Humphrey, like everyone else so far, has failed to solve it.

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