Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-677
Authors: Thompson, Evan
Title: Dreamless sleep, the embodied mind, and consciousness : the relevance of a classical Indian debate to cognitive science
Online publication date: 2-Nov-2016
Language: english
Abstract: One of the major debates in classical Indian philosophy concerned whether consciousness is present or absent in dreamless sleep. The philosophical schools of Advaita Vedānta and Yoga maintained that consciousness is present in dreamless sleep, whereas the Nyāya school maintained that it is absent. Consideration of this debate, especially the reasoning used by Advaita Vedānta to rebut the Nyāya view, calls into question the standard neuroscientific way of operationally defining consciousness as “that which disappears in dreamless sleep and reappears when we wake up or dream.” The Indian debate also offers new resources for contemporary philosophy of mind. At the same time, findings from cognitive neuroscience have important implications for Indian debates about cognition during sleep, as well as for Indian and Western philosophical discussions of the self and its relationship to the body. Finally, considerations about sleep drawn from the Indian materials suggest that we need a more refined taxonomy of sleep states than that which sleep science currently employs, and that contemplative methods of mind training are relevant for advancing the neurophenomenology of sleep and consciousness.
DDC: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
DOI: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-677
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-publ-550570
Version: Published version
Publication type: Buchbeitrag
License: in Copyright
Information on rights of use: https://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Citation: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Pages or article number: Kap. 37(T)
Publisher: MIND Group
Publisher place: Frankfurt am Main
Issue date: 2015
Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.15502/9783958570351
Publisher DOI: 10.15502/9783958570351
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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