The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

What the heck is consciousness anyway?
(12-16-2015, 08:44 AM)Rynn Wrote: Have you looked into the current understanding of consciousness in neurosciences?

I have. They've moved beyond philosophy to observation, but as of yet don't have sufficient means to formulate meaningful experiments, or even really say what their observations mean in terms of qualia. I've been climbing all over the literature in Neuroscience, as well as the literature in Theories of mind in philosophy, as well as the literature in Artificial Neural Networks.

The current neuroscientific observations show clearly that when such and such happens, so-and-so part of the brain is in use. They identify a 'reward pathway' which appears to be associated with pleasure, for example. They observe patterns in neural excitation which are correlated with apparent expectation and disappointment. They observe which parts of the brain are responsible for interpretation of sensory information, and identify some very regular patterns in those parts of the brain. All of which is good work, but none of which explains how the subjective experience emerges. Indeed, we still lack the concepts to say how subjective experience arises at all, because we still don't have a real definition for subjective experience.

(12-16-2015, 08:44 AM)Rynn Wrote: It's obviously far from complete and there are many unanswered questions (from the hard problem to the exact relationship between intelligence and qualia) but it would be a useful starting point.

Agreed, it was very useful. But that 'hard problem of consciousness' is still there. It's like the 700 nm electromagnetic radiation is one concept, and 'red' is a completely different one. They may pick out the same physical phenomenon or prompt, but they are different concepts, and one of them includes the idea that something exists which experiences it, but either concept can exist independently of the other.

I think consciousness doesn't exist until there's a context, purpose, or goal for the information one processes to become relevant to. A context provides a foundation or organizing principle for a map of concepts and world model which I think is a fundamental part of consciousness.

Messages In This Thread
What the heck is consciousness anyway? - by Bear - 12-16-2015, 08:31 AM
RE: What the heck is consciousness anyway? - by Bear - 12-16-2015, 09:16 AM

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)