Brent meeker writes:

> > We would understand it in a third person sense but not in a first person 
> > sense, except by analogy with our 
> > own first person experience. Consciousness is the difference between what 
> > can be known by observing an 
> > entity and what can be known by being the entity, or something like the 
> > entity, yourself. 
> > 
> > Stathis Papaioannou
> But you are simply positing that there is such a difference.  That's easy to 
> do 
> because we know so little about how brains work.  But consider the engine in 
> your 
> car.  Do you know what it's like to be the engine in your car?  You know a 
> lot about 
> it, but how do you know that you know all of it?  Does that mean your car 
> engine is 
> conscious?  I'd say yes it is (at a very low level) and you *can* know what 
> it's like.

No, I don't know what it's like to be the engine in my car. I would guess it 
isn't like anything, but I might be wrong. 
If I am wrong, then my car engine may indeed be conscious, but in a completely 
alien way, which I cannot 
understand no matter how much I learn about car mechanics, because I am not 
myself a car engine. I think 
the same would happen if we encountered an alien civilization. We would 
probably assume that they were 
conscious because we would observe that they exhibit intelligent behaviour, but 
only if by coincidence they 
had sensations, emotions etc. which reminded us of our own would we be able to 
guess what their conscious 
experience was actually like, and even then we would not be sure.

Stathis Papaioannou
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