Peter Jones writes (quoting Bruno Marchal):

> > People who believes that inputs (being either absolute-material or
> > relative-platonical) are needed for consciousness should not believe
> > that we can be conscious in a dream, given the evidence that the brain
> > is almost completely cut out from the environment during rem sleep.
> The brain didn't evolve to dream.

Clearly the brain *did* evolve to dream, although we don't really understand 
evolutionary advantage of dreaming, or for that matter sleeping. But that is 
beside the point: the question is whether interaction with an external 
is necessary for consciousness, and I think dreaming is one situation which 
that it is not.

(To be fair, one could argue that dreaming does involve environmental input in 
at the very least there is proprioceptive feedback from the rapid eye 
and there is no dreaming during non-REM sleep. However, I think that is just a 
technical detail, as it is easy enough to imagine a brain dreaming without this 
or with the input provided by self-exciting neurons.)

Stathis Papaioannou
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