Note on Consciousness

I’m drawn to emergent individualism as a theory of consciousness – somewhat similar to Searle’s biological naturalism in that it grounds consciousness in the biological (but not solely in the biological), but avoiding the naturalism and allowing for the transcendant, particularly in the orientation of the mind (intentionality). As I understand it (and I’m a novice in the emergent world) various properties emerge when a physical system achieves a certain level of complexity, and this seems to me to be supported by the scientific data.

I always keep in mind the danger of conceptual confusions, especially in philosophy of mind.

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6 thoughts on “Note on Consciousness

  1. Ian Thompson (@theisticscience) December 16, 2013 / 11:58 pm

    Is causation that you *should* pay attention to, not (just) properties. This is the same issue as in physics.
    Otherwise, best of luck: you will need it!

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    • whitefrozen December 19, 2013 / 8:25 pm

      How do you mean? Causation in the general sense, mental causation, et al?

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      • Ian Thompson (@theisticscience) December 19, 2013 / 8:40 pm

        I was thinking of mental causation.
        How do loves, desires, reasons and intentions (which are all necessarily mental) have causal effects in the physical world?

        If their effects should be supposed to be already included in physical laws, are you saying that all of the love of good and the truths seen by reason are already hidden in the operation of impersonal physical laws? That recognition of the goodness of God and the truths in reason is a consequence of time evolution following the laws of quantum mechanics and its Schrodinger equation?

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        • whitefrozen December 19, 2013 / 8:47 pm

          Ah, I understand. Thanks for the clarification. I’ll say that first off, I’m a total newbie in the emergent world – but I’m learning. Second – as I see it, such a view, being non-redeuctionist, would not reduce everything to evolution/physical laws etc. If I had to hazard a guess, it seems to me that you can ground consciousness firmly in the biological without reducing it to only the biological, while allowing for the reality of mental causation in the world. But again, emergentism is new to me, and a lot of the language is analytical, which doesn’t help.

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          • Ian Thompson (@theisticscience) December 19, 2013 / 8:52 pm

            You challenge will be to explain how “you can ground consciousness firmly in the biological without reducing it to only the biological” without contradiction, and still “allowing for the reality of mental causation in the world”. I have not seen it explained anywhere, and I doubt it can be done. So: a challenge for you!

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            • whitefrozen December 19, 2013 / 8:56 pm

              Haha, well, I doubt I’ll come up with any groundbreaking theory. But you never know 🙂

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