To set the stage, I quote from http://total.eclipse.co.il/2006/05/05/t … ciousness/ , one of the tope Google results for the phrae:
According to a materialist Cognitive Scientist, consciousness can be understood in terms of simple associative interactions among a large number of small simple computing elements. Thus, the problem of consciousness reduces down to understanding the behavior of the individual elements and the interactions between them. This is a reductionist approach, but it is a different kind of reductionism in the sense that the nature and scope of the “modules” is very different.
In contrast, a different approach would be to suppose that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon. Emergence is defined as a state or process in which higher-order or macroscopic properties are irreducible to lower-level properties. Emergent properties are generally unpredictable they are the properties which make something greater than the sum of its parts. This fits well within the Cognitive Science framework. Few scientists believe that a single neuron is intelligent, though somehow the sum of neurons in our brain in their particular order and alignment provide the basis of intelligent behaviour.
I call a halt right there. Few scientists believe that? What about http://discovermagazine.com/2005/jun/single-brain-cell ?
I say "emergent consciousness" is nonsense. Consciousness is nothing more than feedback and echoes. It IS reducible.
In another thread, I said unconsciousness proves that. How on earth could you become unconscious if your consciousness were not entirely dependent upon physical structures? How could you be semi-conscious?
Saying that consciousness is "emergent" is like saying a spreadsheet formula result is emergent. It's a useless word that means nothing.
I see no mystery of mind.
Atoms combine to form emergent molecules.
Just a thought…
My point is that there is no mystery. It's obviously just feedback. There is nothing special or mysterious about self awareness - it's just eavesdropping on the buzz.
Works for me.
And, to go off topic, it “immediately” dies without oxygen just like a candle flame. To me this means it is simultaneously dependent on both constant chemical and electrical activity. I’m still trying to decide what to make of that…
Specifically, does that chemical and electrical activity create the containment mechanism for the consciousness? Or is it, itself the consciousness?
If it is the former, then consciousness merely leaves to where we do not know. If it is the latter, then the consciousness irrevocably dies.
The evidence, in my opinion, points to the second alternative.
However, like the rest of us, I want it to be the first.
Tough town, life.
That's kind of a "tree-falls-in-the-forest/does-it-make-a-sound" kind of question.
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