Stathis writes

> photon or to *be* a tree photosynthesising. Most people would say that 
> photons and trees aren't conscious, and therefore they *can* be entirely 
> understood from a 3rd person perspective.

On this list??  You think that most people *here* presume that
photons and trees are not conscious?  On what grounds could
they possibly think that?

After all, Consciousness is Deeply Mysterious, and thus might
penetrate anything or everything to an unknown degree.  In fact,
it may turn out that there exists an inverse square law:  something
is Conscious precisely to the square of the degree that it *appears*
to us  not to be conscious.  (The appearance of consciousness and
evidently conscious exchanges between Conscious entities, you see,
serves as an outlet, and diminishes True Consciousness.) Why not?

> Perhaps this is true, but it is 
> not logically consistent to say that it must be true and still maintain the 
> 1st person/ 3rd person distinction we have been discussing. This is because 
> the whole point of the distinction is that it is not possible to deduce or 
> understand that which is special about 1st person experience (namely, 
> consciousness) from an entirely 3rd person perspective.

Yes, in other words, it is ineffable.

> The aliens I have described in my example [who were very clever and
> who could manufacture consciousness in objects under their control]
> could be as different from us as we are different from trees, and
> they could easily conclude that an emulation of our minds is 
> not fundamentally different from an emulation of our weather.

Oh my.  So while I understood earlier from you that your Martians were
wizards at creating human consciousness in objects, I didn't gather that
they *themselves* were possibly not anything-like-conscious. Have I
misunderstood anything?

Lee

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