[Bruce:] Bruce can be described a person apart from any body part. [Cayuse:] But not apart from a body. [Bruce:] Why not? That I'm loyal doesn't refer to any body part.
Would it be possible for you to be loyal without a body?
[Bruce:] I experience my consciousness [Cayuse:] I see the monitor screen. [Bruce:] Yes. That's an object. But I have other experiences which are not objectified. My sense of self, of being me and not you, the felt sense of impending doom, the weariness of....
Yes, there are other aspects of the data of conscious experience than just the visual data, e.g. the process of thinking. It can be useful to say "I was thinking" if the word "thinking" is taken to denote some aspect of information processing going on in a physical organism, and if the word "I" is taken to denote that physical organism (consider the contrast with the statement "I was daydreaming"). But I still have no idea what it means to say "I experience my consciousness".
[Bruce:] Aren't we conscious of the data and conscious that we are conscious of the data?
If so then what is it that is conscious that we are conscious of our consciousness of the data? -- i.e. we enter an infinite regress. Is conscious experience anything more than the sum total of the data that constitute it?
[Cayuse:] There is more to the data of conscious experience than just the empirical. [Bruce:] I need help in getting this. Give an example.
E.g. the imagination -- scenarios can be imagined that have never been encountered in sense data. This is what enables us to create hypotheses, to invent new technologies, to dream, fantasize, and hallucinate, in the absence of ongoing input from the sense organs.
[Cayuse:] That loop is part of our conceptual model of an organism's ability to process information. According to that model, there is no reason why that information processing cannot go on "in the dark" [Bruce:] Right!. Most of what goes in with us we are not immediately aware of. But remains consciousness in the sense that it is potentially accessible to consciousness.
This misses the point. Whatever role you might attribute to consciousness, there is no reason why that role too cannot be performed in the absence of any conscious experience of it.
[Cayuse:] If you specify some aspect of behavior as being dependent upon conscious experience, [Bruce:] then, of course, one can question the dependency. But this way of putting it splits consciousness from behavior. If, alternatively, behavior is only behavior (in contrast with reflex movements) if it is informed by and an expression of consciousness (if we think this way) then behavior isn't dependent upon consciousness
I don't know what you mean by behavior being "informed by and an expression of consciousness" unless you're using the word 'consciousness' to denote an aspect of information processing (I would guess that to be the case given your expression "informed by"), which then raises the question why that aspect of information processing too cannot be performed in the absence of any conscious experience of it. ========================================== Need Something? Check here: http://ludwig.squarespace.com/wittrslinks/