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Consciousness: Organisms looked within and discovered they had selves?


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

Rocks have minds?

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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Dennett has a philosophical arch-nemesis: an Australian named David Chalmers. Chalmers, who teaches at N.Y.U. and at the Australian National University, believes that Dennett only “sort of” understands consciousness. In his view, Dennett’s theories don’t adequately explain subjective experience or why there is an inner life in the first place.
That guy (DD) seems to have some talent for writing 'bzdury' in the fiction genre, but definitely I'd prefer the Cinderella story. At least it seems more serious: a pumpkin turned carriage, mice turned horses, grasshopper as 'cochero' (did I make that up?). Then right at the climax the nervous young lady ran for the door but forgot to wear her sandals. That's how they tracked her down to a tiny cave in the middle of nowhere, next to the elegant 'bruja' that talked to a mirror on the wall, constantly asking about Cinderella's cousin. The stubborn mirror kept saying that Cinderella's cousin was smarter than the elegant 'Baba jaga' and that was not nice, because it was not politically correct. As professor Lennox has said, nonsense remains nonsense regardless of who says it. Now that some big circus have closed their shows, clowns are out of work, but they could be hired to replace the materialist daydreamers in some academic circles. At least the clowns could be more entertaining that the zombies that write or speak all that hogwash out there these days. Oh, well. What else is new? In any case, 1 Corinthians 1 affirms that some of us commoners could sweep and mop the floor with all the foolishness presented by the so called “four horsemen of the New Atheism” and their cousins. They probably would fail to answer easy biology questions, like a Canadian professor did a couple of years ago here in this site. Those 'umnitsy' wouldn't understand what made a physics professor do a post-doc in biology and write a textbook on systems biology.Dionisio
March 29, 2017
01:13 PM
Good post, News. Thank you.Truth Will Set You Free
March 29, 2017
07:44 AM

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