Publication details [#7497]

Lurz, R. 2004. In search of the metaphor of the mind: A critical review of Baars' In the theater of consciousness. 12 pp.


Metaphors of the mind abound. The mind has been metaphorically described as an aviary, a telephone switchboard, a ghost in a machine, and a computer - to name but a few. Bernard Baars, in his 'In the theater of consciousness', adds to this venerable list, arguing that the mind can be instructively thought of as a working theater. Baars argues for the aptness of his theater metaphor by showing how it can be used to tell "a unified story" of all the currently available scientific data on consciousness. This paper argues that Baars' theater metaphor is not entirely apt, that once it is unpacked, it suggests a certain relation between consciousness and attention that does not appear to be supported by the currently available data. (R. Lurz)