Poetic. From Joshua Rothman at New Yorker:
Four billion years ago, Earth was a lifeless place. Nothing struggled, thought, or wanted. Slowly, that changed. Seawater leached chemicals from rocks; near thermal vents, those chemicals jostled and combined. Some hit upon the trick of making copies of themselves that, in turn, made more copies. The replicating chains were caught in oily bubbles, which protected them and made replication easier; eventually, they began to venture out into the open sea. A new level of order had been achieved on Earth. Life had begun.
The tree of life grew, its branches stretching toward complexity. Organisms developed systems, subsystems, and sub-subsystems, layered in ever-deepening regression. They used these systems to anticipate their future and to change it. When they looked within, some found that they had selves—constellations of memories, ideas, and purposes that emerged from the systems inside. They experienced being alive and had thoughts about that experience. They developed language and used it to know themselves; they began to ask how they had been made.
In the course of forty years, and more than a dozen books, Dennett has endeavored to explain how a soulless world could have given rise to a soulful one. His special focus is the creation of the human mind. Into his own he has crammed nearly every related discipline: evolutionary biology, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence. His newest book, “From Bacteria to Bach and Back,” tells us, “There is a winding path leading through a jungle of science and philosophy, from the initial bland assumption that we people are physical objects, obeying the laws of physics, to an understanding of our conscious minds.” More.
And the more he tried, the more impossible it became. But a wealth of papers can be written on the subject.
See also: Thomas Nagel: Daniel Dennett “maintaining a thesis at all costs” in Bacteria to Bach and Back
Physicist: Regrettably, materialism can’t explain mind
Split brain does NOT lead to split consciousness? What? After all the naturalist pop psych lectures we paid good money for at the U? Well, suckers r’ us.
Does the ability to “split” our brains help us understand consciousness? (Apparently not.)
What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness
Or else: Consciousness as a state of matter
Researcher: Never mind the “hard problem of consciousness”: The real one is… “Our experiences of being and having a body are ‘controlled hallucinations’ of a very distinctive kind”
Searle on Consciousness “Emerging” from a Computer: “Miracles are always possible.”
Psychology Today: Latest new theory of consciousness A different one from the above.
Evolution bred a sense of reality out of us
Claim: Science is afraid of animal consciousness. Why? Won’t crackpot theories work as well as they do for human consciousness?
So then: Question: Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?
Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away
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