Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
> >> 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.

Hmmm. Are you sure? Is an earthbound astronomer fundamentally
part of a supernovca which exploded millionsof years ago ? What
do you mean by "fundamentally" ?

> > 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
> empirically.
>
> 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
> behave).
>
> 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.

There are a number of leaps there. from "basal" areas
to "single neurons", for instance.

> cheers
> colin hales


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