Consciousness

#1
As ordered,

What is consciousness, or perhaps more appropriately as no-one actually knows, what do you think it is? Are we born conscious? Is a one minute old baby aware of it's existence or is it something which is acquired through brain development a few days/months later? Does consciousness have any effect on our own experience on reality, can we affect reality just by being conscious of ourselves and of our surroundings? Does it have any effect at the quantum level like causing the collapse of the wave function? Can we ever build something conscious?



As usual In Our Time also has the subject covered:


Consciousness
Page BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - In Our Time, Consciousness

Podcast
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/iotp/iotp_19991125-0900a.mp3
Right click save as


Imagination and consciousness
Page BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - In Our Time, Imagination and Consciousness

Podcast
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/iots/iots_20000629-0900a.mp3
Right click save as



The Brain and consciousness
Page BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - In Our Time, The Brain and Consciousness

Podcast
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/iots/iots_19981119-0900a.mp3
Right click save as



DC
 
#7
Technical stuff and it covers a lot of the weird QM details too. The quantum computing technologies table was interesting, I wonder if it's possible to create a higher sense of conciousness with faster connections?
DC...my guess is that speed does not increase the quality of a concious state. Like waking slowly from a sleep... one feels the sun through the window... rubbing ones eyes. The senses kick in only to find what is probably out there anyway and waking quickly is unlikely to change those conditions.
 
#8
Perhaps, I wonder if it is possible to increase the quality of consciousness? I also wonder if consciousness is linked to intelligence? Animals can detect numbers through evolutionary hunting, but they can't do the 2x table. I wonder if it's possible for an intelligence to exist which is on a higher level of human understanding? One that can easily understand complex patterns and perhaps things which we're unaware of, this in turn might bring about a different way of seeing the world.
 
#9
Perhaps, I wonder if it is possible to increase the quality of consciousness? I also wonder if consciousness is linked to intelligence? Animals can detect numbers through evolutionary hunting, but they can't do the 2x table. I wonder if it's possible for an intelligence to exist which is on a higher level of human understanding? One that can easily understand complex patterns and perhaps things which we're unaware of, this in turn might bring about a different way of seeing the world.
Yes...the mind is like a muscle and already you have arrived at a higher state of conciousness as have all atheists in my opinion. One only needs to think about the rubbish of religions to reach a godless 'nirvana'. Intelligence must also be a factor but as psychology informs us, the mind is susceptible to cult influences... victims are taken prisoner regardless of backgound and escape is difficult because their thinking is shut down.
 
#11
Again... In my opinion no better description exists than found here...

Quantum Consciousness
For physicalists/monists it looks increasingly like the solution to Charmer's 'hard problem' Hard problem of consciousness - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is going to have more to do with 'panpsychism' Quantum Consciousness (Stuart Hameroff) - YouTube rather than 'emergence.'

David Chalmers on Emergence - YouTube

'All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is opposed. Third it is accepted as being self evident.'
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Panpsychism is actually now quite a respectable position in the philosophy of mind.

Panpsychism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

'Every important idea in science sounds strange at first.' -Thomas Kuhn Scientist

Galen Strawson is perhaps currently it's most eloquent exponent.

Strawson has argued that what he calls realistic physicalism entails panpsychism. He writes that "as a real physicalist, then, I hold that the mental/experiential is physical." He quotes the physicist Arthur Eddington in support of his position as follows; "If we must embed our schedule of indicator readings in some kind of background,at least let us accept the only hint we have received as to the significance of the background - namely that it has a nature capable of manifesting itself as a mental activity." The editor of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Anthony Freeman, notes that panpsychism is regarded by many as either plain crazy, or else a direct route back to animism and superstition." Panpsychism, however, has a long tradition in western thought.

Galen Strawson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Galen Strawson, Consciousness & Its Place in Nature

Professor Galen Strawson - University of Reading
 

Attachments

#12
Did you study Psychology radiorental? I need to check that vid sometime, bit busy with Xmas.
 
#14
Something like that. A bit more here on panpsychism vs strong emergence.

William Seager: Panpsychism vs. Strong Emergence? - YouTube

Edited to add, and it's merits as a metaphysical position.

David Chalmers: How Does Panpsychism Fit in Between Dualism and Materialism? - YouTube
Not covered is the effect of drugs on consciousness... IMO they can only enhance what is already there but most definately produce distortions too.

Emergence can't be right, or at least not all embracing...one would need to explain the random appearance and subsequent disappearance of living organisms/species.

Contrary to one of the assertions in the vids...I can't accept that consciousness is irreducible... As we age we loose faculties. However being slightly dead is not possible... :)
 
#16
They are clinging onto an impossible hope...it's what religion is fuelled by.

Dead is a condition that we are all aware of... You were dead before you were born.

We all agree that technically the energy that sustains life and consciousness is from the same place but that is not the same as saying it exists as a working model independent of matter. When the matter is destroyed so is individual coherence...unfortunately. There is no evidence that a pile of human ashes from a cremation can be resurrected... at what point death can be defined is the only debate.
 
#18
I doubt that, do you remember the year 1776? The American Revolution? How about 1789? How about the year 233,542 BC? No? Maybe it's because you weren't here AKA you didn't exist. Will you remember the year 2300? Probably not, because you'll be dead, AKA you won't exist. After death is essentially the same as before birth. Just because you existed at a point in between doesn't really account for much. What was once you will still be reduced to atomic matter and go on to make other things, just as the same matter was part of other things before you were born.
 
#19
We all agree that technically the energy that sustains life and consciousness is from the same place but that is not the same as saying it exists as a working model independent of matter. When the matter is destroyed so is individual coherence...unfortunately.
I assume that by 'individual coherence' you mean the sense of self or consciousness. Unfortunately the experimental, as opposed to merely anecdotal evidence, is starting to mount up against the materialist or metaphysical assumption that consciousness is localized in the brain. There are simply now too many anomalies. As a naturalist I’ll follow the evidence, however counter intuitive.

Consciousness Without Brain Activity: Near Death Experiences - Dr. Bruce Greyson - YouTube

The Lancet: Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest
 
#20
I assume that by 'individual coherence' you mean the sense of self or consciousness. Unfortunately the experimental, as opposed to merely anecdotal evidence, is starting to mount up against the materialist or metaphysical assumption that consciousness is localized in the brain. There are simply now too many anomalies. As a naturalist I’ll follow the evidence, however counter intuitive.

Consciousness Without Brain Activity: Near Death Experiences - Dr. Bruce Greyson - YouTube

The Lancet: Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest
RR, there is an equal amount of material debunking the NDE claims... The jury is still out but I have no doubts that consciousness is totally determined by a physical state. Rather like a computer...a complex machine... It needs electricity to run and when badly damaged the data is lost...

It's interesting that consciousness is developed organically but the random forces of evolution can explain just enough to rule out the supernatural stuff in my opinion.
 

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