I was absent today, but I interviewed Olivia, Anthony, and Emily for what I missed. In class, we went over our next project which will entail interviewing different teachers about their teaching philosophies. We also watched 13 minutes of John Searle’s Ted Talk on consciousness, which I have taken notes on below. However, I’m sad that I missed the Scottish comedian video.
- Consciousness is not part of the physical world (it belongs to the soul)
- It either exists or it doesn’t exist at all
- It does not belong to science
- Science is objective and consciousness is subjective, therefore consciousness is not related to science
- Consciousness is a biological phenomenon like photosynthesis
- It does not exist it is an illusion
- Maybe it exists, it’s a computer program running in the brain
- Consciousness is heavily influenced by behavior
- Maybe consciousness exists but it can’t make any difference to the world
- Common sense definition: consists of all those states of feeling, sensations, awareness. It begins in the morning when you wake up and goes on until you die or go unconscious.
- Dreams are a form of consciousness.
- The mind-body problem can be solved: all of our conscious states are caused by lower-level neurological processes in the brain. They are realized in the brain as higher-level features.
- Your brain can go from consciousness to unconsciousness based on the molecules in our brain
- If it consciously seems to you that you are conscious, then you are conscious
FEATURES of consciousness
- It’s real and irreducible, you cannot get rid of it
- Conscious states have a qualitative character to them
- Conscious states are subjective because they only exist as experienced by a human or animal subject
- Comes in unified conscious fields
- Functions causally in our behavior
Early objection responses:
- If consciousness exists it’s a computer program running in our brain (we know that’s wrong) Human consciousness has something more than that. Consciousness creates an observer-independent reality. The things we observe are only relative to conscious observers. Some computations are intrinsic.