Yes, but you would still have to give meaning to half-conscious (or
1/10th conscious any other such real number). What about double
conscious? Or is consciousness bounded by a given number (eg 1).

I do not know how to give meaning to these questions. 

I do appreciate the analogy with the question "What is the first
mammal". Mammalness involves a range of phenotypic features that
separates mammals from reptiles, yet undoutedly there were interim
forms that exhibited some but not all features of mammals. Were these
animals mammals or reptiles? Perhaps the question is meaningless, and
that a different classification is needed.

If that is the case, then the question of whether babies are conscious
or not may not actually be meaningful. They exhibit certain
characteristics at some points, whereas others kick in later. The
ability to keep track of external objects even when hidden from view
happens pre-lingually, for example (babies are surprised when an
object disappearing behind a screen is not there when the screen is
removed, for example), whereas self-awareness is apparently not
present until 18 months or so. Long term memories are not laid down
til much later, but even then, how long is long term. My son at age
2.75 could remember events that happened a year earlier, at age
1.75. Yet now (at age 7) he has trouble remembering things that
happened at age 4.


On Thu, Jun 30, 2005 at 07:07:35PM -0700, Jonathan Colvin wrote:
> Russell Standish wrote:
> > This leads to a speculation that memories are an essential 
> > requirement for consciousness...
> I'm sure they are. Awareness with no memory would be complete confusion
> (you'd have no idea what any of your sense qualia refer to; or of much else,
> either). That's why consciousness is *not* a binary phenomenon. As babies
> grow and gain memories and knowledge, they *gradually* become conscious.
> This is one reason ethicist Peter Singer ascribes a lower intrinic
> person-ness to infants and the mentally retarded as compared to competant
> adults.
> Jonathan Colvin

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