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← The raw deal of determinism and reductionism

All About Meme's Avatar Jump to comment 228 by All About Meme

There are definitely times when I catch myself staring directly at something, while slouching motionless in my chair for instance, such as a picture hung upon a wall, but not really being completely "conscious" of it. It's just a "thing" in my optical field of view. My brain is in a "quiescent" mode, so to speak. Most external observers would describe my condition during this moment as "staring off into space".

Then, a moment later, some sort of "language module" kicks in, and a rather frenetic "inner voice" begins making silent comments about the picture -- using English words and phrases.

(Additionally, the damn "music module" always seems to be playing in the background, somewhere, and it is usually playing the very last song I was "conscious" of earlier in the day -- certainly not some random tune.)

I think consciousness IS the "inner voice". Without the English words I'm speaking (internally) to myself, I'm not really "aware" of any particular thing.

That's why I think Steve Zara has the better angle on this debate. It seems reasonable to assume that during the "quiescent" times, I'm simply "monitoring" a stream of sensory input, without really "understanding" it. The "understanding" comes only when the "language module" is triggered.

Just some personal observations, for what they're worth. (And sorry about all the scare-quotes.)

Sun, 22 Jul 2012 06:52:38 UTC | #949811