A philosophical zombie is a hypothetical being that is indistinguishable from a normal human being except in that it lacks conscious experience. When a zombie is poked with a sharp object, for example, it does not feel any pain though it behaves exactly as if it does.

The notion of a philosophical zombie is used mainly in thought experiments intended to support arguments against forms of physicalism such as materialism and functionalism. Since a zombie is physiologically indistinguishable from human beings, its hypothetical possibility is an argument for a consciousness that is more than the sum of neurological pathways and brain states.

Though philosophical zombies are widely used in thought experiments, the detailed articulation of the concept is not always the same. Philosophical zombies were introduced primarily to argue against specific types of physicalism such as behaviorism, according to which mental states exist solely as behavior.

Belief, desire, thought, consciousness, and so on, are simply certain kinds of behavior or tendencies towards behaviors. A philosophical zombie that is behaviorally indistinguishable from a normal human being, but lacks conscious experiences, is therefore not logically possible according to the behaviorist.


Neuroscience of free will refers to recent investigations that have been interpreted as shedding light on the question of free will, which is a philosophical and scientific question as to whether we exercise control over our actions, decisions, or choices. As it has become possible to study the living brain, researchers can now watch the brain’s decision-making process at work.

One significant finding of these studies is that a person’s brain seems to commit to certain decisions before the person becomes aware of having made them. Early studies found delays of about half a second, but in 2008, using contemporary brain scanning technology, scientists were able to predict whether subjects would execute an action up to 10 seconds before the subject became aware of having made the choice.

It may be possible, then, that our intuitions about the role of our so-called conscious “intentions” have led us astray. It may be the case that we have confused correlation of conscious self awareness with causation and decision. Alternatively, self awareness may serve only to recognize an unconsciously motivated will that appears before an action.

This possibility is bolstered by various known illusions and studies showing that humans may not have direct access to various internal processes. The discovery that humans only possess a determined will would have implications for moral responsibility. However, these studies have only just begun to shed light on the role that consciousness plays in actions and it is too early to draw very strong conclusions.


Hylomorphism is the theory that all things are a combination of matter and form. Aristotle was one of the first writers to approach the subject of life in a scientific way. Biology was one of his main interests, and there is extensive biological material in his writings. He believed that while matter can exist without form, form cannot exist without matter, and therefore the soul cannot exist without the body.

According to Aristotle, all things in the material universe have both matter and form. The form of a living thing is its soul. There are three kinds of souls: the vegetative soul of plants, which causes them to grow and decay and nourish themselves, but does not cause motion and sensation; the ‘animal soul’ which causes animals to move and feel; and the rational soul which is the source of consciousness and reasoning which Aristotle believed is found only in man.

A properly organized body is already alive simply by virtue of its structure. However, the property of life or soul is something in addition to the body’s structure. The analogy of a car can be used to explain this interpretation. A running car is running not only because of its structure but also because of the activity in its engine. Likewise, a living body is alive not only because of its structure but also because of an additional property. The soul is this additional property, which a properly-organized body needs in order to be alive.


Automatic parallelization refers to converting sequential code into multi-threaded or vectorized code in order to utilize multiple processors simultaneously in a shared multiprocessor environment.

Though the quality of automatic parallelization has improved in the past few decades, fully automatic parallelization of sequential programs by compilers remains a grand challenge due to its need for complex program analysis and unknown factors such as input data range during compilation.

Gustafson’s Law is a law in computer science which states that any sufficiently large problem can be efficiently parallelized. Gustafson’s law addresses the shortcomings of Amdahl’s law, which does not scale the availability of computing power as the number of machines increase. It removes the fixed problem size or fixed computation load on the parallel processors.

Amdahl’s law, also known as Amdahl’s argument, is named after computer architect Gene Amdahl, and is used to find the maximum expected improvement to an overall system when only part of the system is improved. It is often used in parallel computing to predict the theoretical maximum speedup using multiple processors.


Sahasrara is positioned above the head or at the top of it, and has 1000 petals which are arranged in 20 layers, each of them with 50 petals. It is the seventh primary chakra according to Hindu tradition, and symbolizes detachment from illusion, an essential element in obtaining supramental higher consciousness of the truth that one is all and all is one.

Often referred to as the thousand petaled lotus, it is said to be the most subtle chakra in the system, relating to pure consciousness, and it is from this chakra that all the other chakras emanate. When a yogi is able to raise his or her kundalini or energy of consciousness up to this point, the state of Samadhi, or union with God, is experienced. It is often related to the pineal gland and the violet color.

There are several systems, such as some Tantric and Tibetan ones, that describe chakras in or connected closely above Sahasrara, but that are still part of it as a system. One system commonly described to be in it, sharing some of its petals, is Sri chakra.

In the West, it has been noted by many that Sahasrara expresses a similar archetypal idea to that of Kether or “crown” in the kabbalistic tree of life, which also rests at the head of the tree and represents pure consciousness and union with God.



Metaphysical naturalism refers to a belief about the totality of what exists. It is a belief that nature is all that exists and assumes that observable events in nature are explained only by natural causes. It entails that all concepts related to consciousness or to the mind refer to entities which are reducible to or supervene on natural things, forces and causes. More specifically metaphysical naturalism rejects the objective existence of any supernatural thing, force or cause, such as are described in humanity’s various religions and mythological accounts.

Most metaphysical naturalists agree that the fundamental constituents of reality, from which everything derives and upon which everything depends, are fundamentally mindless. So if any variety of metaphysical naturalism is true, then any mental properties that exist are causally derived from systems of nonmental properties, powers, or things.

Humanity’s existence as conscious and intelligent animals, is explained not as the outcome of intelligent design nor as a mere accidental combination of chemicals (such as originated life), but as the product of a dynamic, random system that generates highly complex order on its own, without any guidance. Since this entails that the properties of living organisms have been derived from random generation of diversity, genetic drift and natural selection, naturalists interpret individual organisms and species as not having any theleological purpose whatsoever, moral or otherwise, as nature is the cause and nature has no plan.

One major way in which naturalism explains things better than alternatives is that if the supernatural exists, whether as gods, powers, or spirits, it is so silent and inert that its effects are almost never observed, despite vast and extensive searching. Even the relatively few alleged observations take place only under dubious conditions lacking in sound empirical controls or tests, and on those occasions when they are subsequently subjected to sound controls or tests, they turn out to be false. Our inability to uncover clear evidence of anything supernatural is somewhat improbable if anything supernatural exists, but very probable if nothing supernatural exists, and therefore metaphysical naturalism is probably true.


The psychosomatic theory of dreams proposes that dreams are a product of dissociated imagination, which is dissociated from the conscious self and draws material from sensory memory for simulation, with sensory feedback resulting in hallucination. By simulating the sensory signals to drive the autonomous nerves, dreams can affect mind-body interaction.

In the brain and spine, the autonomous “repair nerves”, which can expand the blood vessels, connect with pain and compression nerves. These nerves are grouped into many chains called meridians in Chinese medicine. While dreaming, the body also employs the chain-reacting meridians to repair the body and help it grow and develop by sending out very intensive movement-compression signals when the level of growth enzymes increase.

This theory was proposed by Y.D. Tsai as part of his psychosomatic theory of dreams. Inside each brain, there is a program ” I ” (the conscious self) which is distributed over the conscious brain and coordinates mental functions (cortices), such as thinking, imagining, sensing, moving, reasoning … etc. “I” also supervises memory. Many bizarre states of consciousness are actually the results of dissociation of certain mental functions from “I”.


The third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept referring in part to the brow chakra in certain Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. It is also spoken of as the gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness.

In New Age spirituality, the third eye may alternately symbolize a state of enlightenment or the evocation of mental images having deeply personal spiritual or psychological significance. The third eye is often associated with visions, clairvoyance, precognition, and out-of-body experiences.

In Hinduism and Buddhism, the third eye is a symbol of enlightenment. In the Indian tradition, it is referred to as the gyananakashu, the eye of knowledge, which is the seat of the ‘teacher inside’ or antar-guru. The third eye is commonly denoted in Indian and East Asian iconography with a dot or mark on the forehead of deities or enlightened beings, such as Shiva, the Buddha, or any number of yogis, sages and bodhisattvas. This symbol is called the “Eye of Wisdom”, or, in Buddhism, the urna. In Hinduism, it is believed that the opening of Shiva’s third eye causes the eventual destruction of the physical universe.

According to Max Heindel’s Rosicrucian writings, the third eye is localized in the pituitary body and the pineal gland. It was said that in the far past, when man was in touch with the inner worlds, these organs were his means of ingress thereto, and they will again serve that purpose at a later stage. According to this view, they were connected with the involuntary or sympathetic nervous system, and to regain contact with the inner worlds it is necessary to establish the connection of the pineal gland and the pituitary body with the cerebrospinal nervous system. It was said that when that is accomplished, man will again possess the faculty of perception in the higher worlds, but on a grander scale than it was in the distant past, because it will be in connection with the voluntary nervous system and therefore under the control of his will.

Some writers and researchers, including H. P. Blavatsky and Rick Strassman, have suggested that the third eye is in fact the partially dormant pineal gland, which resides between the two hemispheres of the brain. The pineal gland is said to secrete dimethyltryptamine, which induces dreams, near-death experiences, meditation, or hallucinations. Various types of lower vertebrates, such as reptiles and amphibians, can actually sense light via a third parietal eye, a structure associated with the pineal gland, which serves to regulate their circadian rhythms.


Philosophy of mind is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body. The mind-body problem, or the relationship of the mind to the body, is commonly seen as the central issue in philosophy of mind, although there are other issues concerning the nature of the mind that do not involve its relation to the physical body.

Dualism and monism are the two major schools of thought that attempt to resolve the mind-body problem. Dualism is the position that mind and body are in some way separate from each other. It can be traced back to Plato, Aristotle, and the Samkhya and Yoga schools of Hindu philosophy, but it was most precisely formulated by René Descartes in the 17th century. Substance dualists argue that the mind is an independently existing substance, whereas Property dualists maintain that the mind is a group of independent properties that emerge from and cannot be reduced to the brain, but that it is not a distinct substance.

Many modern philosophers of mind adopt either a reductive or non-reductive physicalist position, maintaining in their different ways that the mind is not something separate from the body. These approaches have been particularly influential in the sciences, particularly in the fields of sociobiology, computer science, evolutionary psychology and the various neurosciences. Other philosophers, however, adopt a non-physicalist position which challenges the notion that the mind is a purely physical construct.

Reductive physicalists assert that all mental states and properties will eventually be explained by scientific accounts of physiological processes and states. Non-reductive physicalists argue that although the brain is all there is to the mind, the predicates and vocabulary used in mental descriptions and explanations are indispensable, and cannot be reduced to the language and lower-level explanations of physical science. Continued neuroscientific progress has helped to clarify some of these issues. However, they are far from having been resolved, and modern philosophers of mind continue to ask how the subjective qualities and the intentionality of mental states and properties can be explained in naturalistic terms.


The term intentionality was introduced by Jeremy Bentham as a principle of utility in his doctrine of consciousness for the purpose of distinguishing acts that are intentional and acts that are not. The term was later used by Edmund Husserl in his doctrine that consciousness is always intentional, a concept that he undertook in connection with theses set forth by Franz Brentano regarding the ontological and psychological status of objects of thought.

It has been defined as “aboutness”, and according to the Oxford English Dictionary it is “the distinguishing property of mental phenomena of being necessarily directed upon an object, whether real or imaginary”. It is in this sense and the usage of Husserl that the term is primarily used in contemporary philosophy. The concept of intentionality has its foundation in scholastic philosophy with the earliest theory being associated with St. Anselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God and his tenets distinguishing between objects that exist in understanding and objects that exist in reality.

A major problem within intentionality discourse is that participants often fail to make explicit whether or not they use the term to imply concepts such as agency or desire, or whether it involves teleology. Most philosophers use intentionality to mean something with no teleological import. Thus, a thought of a chair can be about a chair without any implication of an intention or even a belief relating to the chair. For philosophers of language, intentionality is largely an issue of how symbols can have meaning.

In current artificial intelligence and philosophy of mind, intentionality is a controversial subject and sometimes claimed to be something that a machine will never achieve. John Searle argued for this position with the Chinese room thought experiment, according to which no syntactic operations that occurred in a computer would provide it with semantic content. As he noted in the article, Searle’s view was a minority position in artificial intelligence and philosophy of mind.