Brent Meeker writes:> 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 > > this> >  > > 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) > > leaving> >  > > the experience intact. However, this raises a 
difficulty. Suppose you> >  > > are shown a red flash and 99 msec later you are 
teleported to a > > distant> >  > > place. Once you materialise, your neurons 
will continue their > > processing> >  > > 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 > > station> >  > > 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 > > observer> >  > > 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.That's true, but it still allows that the 
process underpinning consciousness can be arbitrarily divided up. I think 
others on the list have used "observer moment" to mean these arbitrarily small 
time slices, even though you can't actually observe anything during one of 
them.Stathis Papaioannou
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