Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
> > > > This raises the question again of "what is the minimum duration of a
> > > conscious state"? You mention 5sec as being a long time for a
> > > coincidental match (would there still be two consciousnesses for that
> > > 5sec - I think not), but what about 300msec, or 100msec. There's not
> > > much consciousness in 100msec; so little that it may be occuring
> > > hundreds of times over in different brains.
> > > >
> > > > Brent Meeker
> > >
> > > I think the minimum duration of a conscious experience is of the order
> > > of 100 msec, so if you are shown a red flash it will take at least
> > > long before you perceive a red flash. This implies a minimum duration
> > > for an observer moment, although the interval can be divided up
> > > arbitrarily (for example, in teleportation thought experiments)
> > > the experience intact. However, this raises a difficulty. Suppose you
> > > are shown a red flash and 99 msec later you are teleported to a
> > > place. Once you materialise, your neurons will continue their
> > > of the red flash for another 1 msec and at that point (i.e. 100 msec
> > > after being shown the flash) you will perceive it. Next, suppose that
> > > you have no past but are created at the teleportation receiving
> > > from information *as if* you had been shown a red flash 99 msec ago.
> > > Your newly-created brain will process information for another 1
> msec and
> > > then you should perceive the red flash. However, in this case you have
> > > only been alive for 1 msec, and we can easily change the experiment to
> > > make this interval as short as we want. Does this mean that an
> > > moment can actually be instantaneous?
> > >
> > > Stathis Papaioannou
> > This example implicitly assumes a kind of dualism or cartesian
> theatre in which the brain does some processing *and then* you (the
> really real you) perceives it. This is the idea Dennett criticizes in
> "Consciousness Explained". The perception must be the processing and
> even if the flash is very short and it's perceived duration is very
> short, the brain processes producing that perception can be much longer.
> > Brent Meeker
> Do you doubt that you would perceive the red flash in the case where you
> have not had 100 msec to process it? At the least you would remember
> seeing the flash, implying that the stream of consciousness will survive
> division into arbitrarily small intervals.
> Stathis Papaioannou
Assuming that consciousness supervenes on the physics, this follows just from
the continuity of the physics. But it doesn't follow that there is some
experience corresponding to 1msec of brain processing - it might be that
"seeing the flash" spans some time interval.
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