>> The problem is that cells are defined and understood only through being
>> observed with our phenomenal consciousness.
> Not "only". Cognition and instrumentation are needed too.

Yes. But the instruments are observed. All the instruments do is extend
the causal chain between your phenomenality and the observed phenomena.
Provided you can justify the causal source...all is OK... but that's part
of the critical argument process using existing knowledge. The observer is
fundamentally in the causal chain from the deepest levels all the way
through all of the instrumentation and into the sensory systems of the
observer. The observer is part of every observation.

>> That process, for the reasons
>> that I have been outlining, can never supply a reason why it shall be
>> necessarily 'like something' to be a cell of a collection of them.
> I'm afraid that reason has passed me by

If it occurs to you... let us know... there's a Nobel prize in it.

>> That
>> reason is buried deep in the fabric of things. If you understand the
>> underlying structure giving rise to phenomenality then the underlying
>> structure will literally predict the existence, shape, size, behaviour
>> and
>> interconnectivity of neurons and astrocytes _in order_ that you be
>> conscious.
> And do you understand the underlying structure ?

I have my models. Others have models (see refs in previous post). All
anyone has is models. The point is that it's possible to get an
understanding of it _because_ the underlying structure is as responsible
for phenomenal consciousues as anything else - indeed phenomenal
consciousness is the first place to start because it is the most evidenced
thing. It literally _is_ observation/evidence. It participates (is
mandated by science) in every scientific observation.

>> Our logic is all backwards: We need to have a theory predicting brain
>> material. A theory based on brain material cannot predict brain
>> material,
> Why not? Cars cannot understand themselves, but they
> cannot understand anything else. The fact that the brain
> is being refelexively usd to understand itself is
> a unique feature of cosnciousness studies,
> but it is not clear why it make cosnciousness studies flatly
> impossible.
> You might expect it to make the study of consiousness
> easier, in sone respects.

The current literature has traced the conscious processes of primordial
emotions (those related to the 'appetites'/homeostasis) out of the cortex
to the basal areas and into the reptilian brain. This has been done

Derek Denton
The primordial emotions: The dawning of consciousness

Phenomenal consciousness does not need a cortex to exist. It does not need
an explicit self model or reflexivity/indexicality. The "I" of a lizard
can be implicit (it hurts 'ME', I am hungry, I need air etc...ergo

This means that single neurons and/or small groups of neurons are all that
is needed for _phenomenal_ consciousness.

'Consciousness' is therefore at least traced back through the vertebrate
line of evolution and to the very origins of the basal brain structures.
This supports the potential for cosnciousness in possibly in invertebrates
and back to single cell animals...

Consciousness is not a 'high level' emergent property of massive numbers
of neurons in a cortex context. It is a fundamental property of matter
that single excitable cells make good use of that is automatically
assembled along with assembling cells in certain ways.

colin hales

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