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Some suggest that it mysteriously emerges, others speak of some kind of downward causality. I can make no way forward toward deciding whether there is something special about consciousness or whether it is just another surprising manifestation of this inexplicable existence.

Perhaps all I can say is that consciousness is different from the surprises of gravity and water. Is this the only reason we want to make more of it than water? Does our consciousness point to something else, perhaps some monumental error of modern science Nagel? The debate regarding consciousness is embed in a our current epoch.

While reductionists will think the matter settled, all they have done is kicked the mystery can down the road. The same goes for any dualist resolution. Suppose, as some have suggested, that there is an elemental consciousness.


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Then what? This, again seems to me no more mysterious than light. All existence is impossible.

God. People. World.

Why not consciousness and neutrinos in the same universe? You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.

Notify me of new posts via email. Our habits, acquired through self-exploration and the installation of memes, conspire together to produce a more or less orderly, more or less effective, more or less well-designed virtual machine, the Joycean machine. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.

Email required Address never made public. Name required. Rationalising The Universe one post at a time. Desert Beacon High Desert Progressive. Stephen Wolfram Blog God. While Dennett is a philosopher, he approaches the problem from this perspective, the perspective of the natural sciences. Which is fine, except that it basically turns philosophy into a handmaiden of the natural sciences.

In the other approach, we take up consciousness as consciousness, beginning with the whole and considering the parts only in its light and as its content.

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Consciousness is envisaged as a kind of clearing in which things come out into the light. What we can apprehend through our finite abilities to perceive and know might only be the tip of an iceberg, of something that completely escapes our mind and senses. Otherwise, freedom falls prey to the determinism of cause and effect. Another is that thinking about the phenomenon as distinct from the way the thing is in itself reminds us of our finite nature, teaches us humility. I am not the only one perplexed by what we call consciousness. Why does it seem so utterly different?

Limits of teachers’ consciousness about processes of production and reduction of bullying

But is it really any more mysterious than gravitational attraction, electrons, or water? But all of it, to me, appears inexplicable or worse. The debate, or at least our modern one, regarding the nature of consciousness attends to whether consciousness is some sort of derivative of neurons and some such biological matter. Some suggest that it mysteriously emerges, others speak of some kind of downward causality. I can make no way forward toward deciding whether there is something special about consciousness or whether it is just another surprising manifestation of this inexplicable existence.

Perhaps all I can say is that consciousness is different from the surprises of gravity and water.

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Is this the only reason we want to make more of it than water? Does our consciousness point to something else, perhaps some monumental error of modern science Nagel? The debate regarding consciousness is embed in a our current epoch. While reductionists will think the matter settled, all they have done is kicked the mystery can down the road.

Consciousness

The same goes for any dualist resolution. Suppose, as some have suggested, that there is an elemental consciousness. Then what? This, again seems to me no more mysterious than light. All existence is impossible. Why not consciousness and neutrinos in the same universe? You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. For Dennett, the self is a virtual entity produced by a Pandemonium of demons, an interplay of blind processes occurring in the brain. Individually, none of the demons are conscious.

It does this largely by the cultural imposition of memes. In computing, demons are background processes that handle specific tasks. Some demons activate and run parallel even while others remain asleep, awaiting activation. However, from the Christian perspective, there is a strong demonic undertow to his entire argument. As one of his self-stated aims, Dennett wants to undermine our belief in God.

There is only a struggle for existence among coalitions of demons, among subprocesses inside our brains, a struggle that resembles the fight for survival arbitrated by natural selection. Our habits, acquired through self-exploration and the installation of memes,.

By yoking these independently evolved specialist organs [that is, the demons] together in common cause, and thereby giving their union vastly enhanced powers, this virtual machine, this software of the brain, performs a sort of internal political miracle: It creates a virtual captain of the crew, without elevating any one of them to long-term dictatorial power.

First one coalition and then another, shifting in ways that are not chaotic thanks to good meta-habits that tend to entrain coherent, purposeful sequences rather than an interminable helter-skelter power grab.

The resulting executive wisdom is just one of the powers traditionally assigned to the Self Our brain is possessed by demons whose incessant struggle for survival and dominance produces a kind of software — the Joycean machine. But remember: the machine is virtual. As such, it only produces the illusion of a self and, along with it, a fictitious stream of conscious experience: subjectivity.

Reflections on the Problem of Consciousness

Actually, though, the demons are in charge. Why is the self, according to Dennett, merely a fictional entity? His conception of reality is in turn deeply rooted in the traditional philosophical conception res. This circumstance provides us with a point of attack. As I recall neither does Dennett.

He confidently announced that consciousness was its manifestation: some sort of coherent electrical waves. However, he added, we will never know why these particular states produces consciousness. Forgive here my Newtonian perspective. I am less familiar with that of GR, but the observation and the conclusion would be the same: why the world is the way it is and does the things it does is a complete and impenetrable mystery.

I experience my attraction to the earth and cannot fathom why it is so, only that it is so. That which attempts this fathoming is consciousness: that which asks why. Consciousness is our only direct experience of that impenetrable mystery: of the why that has no answer, that which makes a world possible and the way it is. There are two ways of approaching consciousness.