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← The raw deal of determinism and reductionism

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Jump to comment 188 by Bernard Hurley

Comment 133 by Zeuglodon :

Comment 129 by Bernard Hurley

The problem, though, is that consciousness obviously feeds back into the world.

Why do you make the distinction between consciousness and the world? Why do you use this dualistic language? We don't, when speaking literally, say for instance that the light from the sun radiates into the world because we recognise that, what ever the source of this radiation, it is part of the world. No mental phenomena are an aspect of the world; we know as a matter of empirical fact that where there are certain configurations of matter there are mental phenomena.

My consciousness of red and yellow, for instance, doesn't sit apart from the workings of my brain. If I see a red dot, I behave differently to how I would if I saw a yellow dot. A skilled neuroscientist could point out the differences at the level of the brain, and an expert on the EM spectrum could describe the properties of red and yellow light. The result is that I'm conscious of the difference, and this feeds back into my behaviour.

What is this "me" that owns this consciousness? Again you are using dualistic language. This is OK if you are merely doing so because the grammar of our language demands it, but you seem to be saying the somehow there is a "me" that somehow owns the chemistry of the brain but does not own the red dot itself. How do you make this distinction? Where does the boundary of the "me" and the "not me" lie? Is it when the light enters my eye? Is it at the retina? Is it somewhere along the optic nerve? Is it at the retina? A little thought reveals that there is no answer to this question.

Shunting consciousness aside into, say, a fifth dimension or another realm merely delays this problem, not overcomes it.

Did I suggest otherwise?

Sat, 21 Jul 2012 07:10:43 UTC | #949728