Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
> > Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > >
> > > Brent meeker writes:
> > >
> > >> That is not clear to me.  Perhaps it turns on the meaning of
> > >> "content" in an OM.  Generally if my OM's are taken to be on the
> > >> order of a second or longer, I think the order could be
> > >> reconstructed from the content.  But I also think there would be
> > >> exceptions.  For example if I'm startled by a loud noise this
> > >> switches my consciousness on a time scale much shorter than 1sec to
> > >> "What was that!?" and then, deciding it was not important, I switch
> > >> back to what I was thinking of before.  These thoughts are
> > >> connected by *memory* but not by conscious content of OMs.  Maybe
> > >> there is a feeling of continuity in consciousness which doesn't
> > >> survive chopping it up into OMs, i.e. each conscious thought has
> > >> duration and overlaps preceding and suceding thoughts.  But I think
> > >> that either some such overlap or access to memory must be invoked
> > >> to ensure that OMs can be ordered.
> > >
> > > We can distinguish between memory that actually is part of my present
> > > conscious experience, such as when I am in the process of recalling
> > > what I did yesterday, and memory that lies in waiting and available
> > > for access should the need arise, such as just before I decided to
> > > recall what I did yesterday. I would class the latter kind of memory
> > > along with the rest of the machinery required to generate the
> > > appropriate observer moments to give the experience of a coherent
> > > stream of consciousness. If all this machinery were dispensed with,
> > > and the OM's were generated magically just as if the underlying
> > > stored memories etc. were still operational, no difference in the
> > > stream of consciousness could occur.
> > >
> > > Pushing the idea to its limit, not only is it unnecessary for
> > > anything external to the OM's to bind them together, it is
> > > unnecessary for other OM's, past or future, to even exist. I would
> > > still feel I have a past and expect I will survive into the future if
> > > my entire lifespan is just one second long and all my memories false.
> > > My hope that "I" will survive amounts to a hope that somewhere,
> > > sometime, there will be an OM with appropriate memories and a sense
> > > that he was and remains me. If such an OM does exist, it will
> > > consider itself my successor regardless of whether I ever actually
> > > existed.
> > >
> > > Stathis Papaioannou
> >
> > That is not so clear to me as it seems to be to you.
> >
> > Suppose that being conscious is something a brain does.  Then a 
> > Observer-second would be one second of that brain activity.  When this OS 
> > was magically initiated it would already include potentials traveling down 
> > axons, etc, the residue of the previous OS and the precursors of later 
> > milliseconds in this OS.  But those underlying physical processes are not 
> > what we generally think of as conscious.  They are not things we would 
> > report if asked what we are thinking.  Nevertheless they may be necessary 
> > for the continuity of consciousness, where consciousness here means the 
> > inner narrative - the story I tell myself in my head.  In these thought 
> > experiments about OMs there seem to be two contrary implicit assumptions:
> >
> > (1) that just the content of the inner narrative constitutes consciousness, 
> > as in the analogy of cutting up a book and then reconstructing it's order 
> > from the content of the segments,
> >
> > (2) the feeling of continuity remains in a segment 1sec or 0.1sec or 
> > 0.01sec even if that is too short a segment to allow reconstruction of the 
> > order from the content.
> I suppose you could say that there is no feeling of continuity from one 
> microsecond to the next in a normally functioning brain either, because it 
> takes many microseconds to make a thought. My point is that whatever it takes 
> to make a thought and however vague the distinction between one thought and 
> the next is, arbitrarily slicing up the physical activity underlying 
> consciousness should not make a difference to the sense of continuity,

Should not, assuming physicalism? Should not, assuming

> and no explicit ordering is necessary. The counting sequence "one, two, 
> three" may involve millions of slices of brain activity or computer emulation 
> activity spread throughout space and time, and it may take many of these 
> slices to form a moment of consciousness just as it takes many milliseconds 
> of normal brain activity to form a moment of consciousness, but the feeling 
> of continuity should be preserved.

Why? Maybe it supervenes on whatever propels one physical state
to evolve into another.

> Stathis Papaioannou
> _________________________________________________________________
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