[Wittrs] Re: Cayuse- Consciousness bodied and disembodied

  • From: "Cayuse" <z.z7@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 05:50:34 -0000

[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.

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