[Wittrs] Re: Cayuse- Consciousness bodied and disembodied

  • From: "Cayuse" <z.z7@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 13:26:50 -0000

> [Cayuse:]
> Would it be possible for you to be loyal without a body?
> [Bruce:]
> After I'm gone, hopefully those who knew me still consider me loyal. 
> In other words, what we have to say about a person's loyalty is irrelevant to 
> his body. 
> I'm inclined to say, not all concepts all relevant in all contexts.

After you're gone those who knew you would not say that "Bruce is loyal" but 
rather "Bruce was loyal".
In the same way the statement "Bruce is a person" would only be valid while 
Bruce is alive 
(to indicate, for instance, that I'm not talking about a dog called Bruce), 
after which it must be replaced by "Bruce was a person".

> [Cayuse:]
> 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, 
> [Bruce:]
> Again, the concept of thinking may or may not be linked to a location. 
> Question: Where were you thinking? Ans: In the shower. OK. 
> But, for the most part, location isn't a relevant consideration to evaluating 
> and understanding the thought. In the brain? 
> Yes, perhaps, if that is the object of study, viz., the brain activity 
> associated with thinking.,

I'm not sure of the relevance of this to the discussion we're having -- 
I only mentioned thinking to show that there are other aspects of the data of 
conscious experience than just the visual data, 
to indicate my agreement with your preceding comment.

> [Cayuse:]
> But I still have no idea what it means to say "I experience my consciousness".
> [Bruce:]
> Perhaps you have seen no use for this concept. People who are obsessed with 
> unwelcome thoughts do.

It's not that I have seen no use for this concept but rather that I can't make 
any sense of the statement.

> [Cayuse:]
> If so then what is it that is conscious 
> [Bruce:]
> I am conscious. I am conscious of myself being conscious of myself, or 
> self-conscious, if you will. 
> An infinite regress would be neat but I can't see to make it happen.

I'm asking what the word "I" denotes in the claim "I am conscious", 
but I'd also be interested to hear how the word "conscious" is being used when 
that claim is made.

> [Cayuse:]
> Is conscious experience anything more than the sum total of the data that 
> constitute it?
> [Bruce:]
> Yes, The mode I'm in, the felt-sense, the feeling state, the hurried or slow 
> down thoughts.... 

These are just parts of the data that constitute consciousness.

> I guess we could treat everyone the way we treat the computer or the TV. 
> We don't ask of these physical objects whether they have a point of view 
> apart from the context they are processing and transmitting.

The way I treat the TV is quite different to the way I treat the dog, which is 
quite different again to the way I treat another person. 
I don't ask dogs whether they have a point of view apart from the context they 
are processing and transmitting. 

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