2009/7/31 Rex Allen <rexallen...@gmail.com>:

> So yes, I've no doubt that one can "explain" consciousness by pointing
> to some more fundamental process that you infer from the contents of
> our conscious experience.
>
> But since this more fundamental substrate in turn requires an
> explanation, your net explanatory gain is ZERO.

Merciful heavens, you are very demanding of your explanations!  I
think if this is your criterion of explanatory success it will remain
forever unmet.  Of course, in the end we can only tell tales, but some
of these can be very surprising and enlightening.

David

>
> A further thought:
>
> On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 4:34 PM, David Nyman<david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Of course a computational narrative may turn out
>> not to be the way to go, but I strongly suspect that we still await a
>> revolution in - well not physics, but..what? being-science? (gawd) -
>> that will be in a primary sense generative of persons prior to the
>> generation of appearances.  IOW, there probably has to be some sort of
>> fundamentally implicate-explicate-superexplicate thingamijig going on
>> out there - er, I mean in here.
>
> So if you describe a process that generates persons, how will you
> explain the existence of the generating process?
>
> So if something produces consciousness, what produces the producer?
>
> So yes, I've no doubt that one can "explain" consciousness by pointing
> to some more fundamental process that you infer from the contents of
> our conscious experience.
>
> But since this more fundamental substrate in turn requires an
> explanation, your net explanatory gain is ZERO.
>
> The only thing we have direct access to is our conscious experience.
> Trying to explain the existence of this conscious experience in terms
> of what is experienced inevitably leads to vicious circularity.
>
> So one arbitrary solution is to cut the circle at some preferred point
> and declare what's found at that point to be "fundamental" and
> everything else flows from it.
>
> To me a better solution is to start at the start, and just accept that
> consciousness exists first, uncaused and fundamental.  The contents of
> our conscious experiences exist second, and derivatively.
>
> Where and how do these secondary things exist?  In the same place and
> in the same way that the things that we perceive in our dreams exist.
>
> >
>

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