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Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness

Discussion in 'Philosophical Forum' started by Madara, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. Madara The Original Uchiha

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    I truly hope you read this ground breaking essay.

    Devianart (Fa v ; D )

    Feel free to respond. I'm looking forward to reading what you want to say.
     
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  2. Purgatory Banned

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    Too lazy to read up on it...
     
  3. Gunners .

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    Meh I don't have the time, can you summarise the main points please?
     
  4. Madara The Original Uchiha

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    Don't be lazy this is a very useful essay.

    Here feel free to read the first section if it interests you continue reading the entire thing.


     
  5. Black Wraith <b>The Chosen One</b>

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    ^When you said the first section I thought you meant the first paragrph or two. Then I croll down and :eek
     
  6. Hwon House of Win

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    Here is the dumbed down version for everyone. Science can explain consciousness on a material level. For example a person can see and react because they have eyes. Those eyes take in light and send an electrical signal to the brain to create an image. However, science hasn't been able to explain the entity inside that sees that image. The eye and the brain are no different then a camera and a memory card, but the camera doesn't actually experience seeing the image as we do.
     
  7. CJC Pearl Jam ftw

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    Sorry the essay was interesting as you said, however got a third of the way down and I really cba to finish it, would be a better thread if you summarised the main issues though. :p
     
  8. Madara The Original Uchiha

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    I think Hwon sort of got the gist of it. The great thing about this essay however is the supporting argument, the examples, the evidence...
     
  9. Near Seeker of Truth

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    Meh, that alot to read, but generally I don't usually like the philosophical approach to explaining consciousness.

    I'll read and come back with a comment later.
     
  10. Moses Banned

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    tl; I'll read it later... Don't feel like in the mood for long reads. I'll comment some other time, questionably today.
     
  11. That looks quite interesting, I'll read after exam season is over.
     
  12. PDQ Meta-Debater

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    I would imagine experience/awareness to simply be an emergent product of the processing which occurs and some grander innate(although likely dynamic) algorithm dictating our personality.

    The problem seems to lie in the fact that our only experience of consciousness is our own. All else is merely theory of mind and I guess what would be called inductive reasoning. Yet on a fundamental level, I think we're less willing to accept anything as conscious unless it fits some predefined bias of humanness or brain activity. So even if we created a robot that was able to learn like a human, have a personality, and do everything a human can do, we would have this reductionist understanding of the underlying mechanisms and avoid any holistic conclusion of consciousness when we ourselves may be subject to the same exact mechanisms without realizing it.

    I think the simple combination of an algorithm processing an output and giving some predetermined response, within the processing part, gives rise to what we would call consciousness, but because it is not us(much like you are not me), we refuse to call it conscious.
    We would easily imagine the same interpretation of blue in our own brains to be roughly the same as the next person, we really have no way of knowing and would most likely assume that a robot would simply be a set of sensors picking up some wavelength, rather than some conscious understanding of this vision of blue.

    So to sum it up, I think the answer to what consciousness is rather so simple a mechanism(in that it's simply an emergent property of internal processing) that we can't accept it on perhaps some pride of wanting to be more than a CPU inside and on a more rational level, because we can't experience that outside of ourselves.

    So we imagine what they call this "extra ingredient"

    Perhaps you could say I'm denying the phenomenon, but I say awareness exists despite the fact that it is emergent in the same way that a car exists despite the fact that it can be broken down into a set of parts(fuel, frame, nuts, bolts, etc.)
    I didn't really follow part 7 about nonreductive explanations but I think it's similar to that?
     
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