From: Jason Resch 
Sent: Monday, July 04, 2011 1:30 AM
Subject: Re: consciousness

On Sun, Jul 3, 2011 at 10:32 PM, B Soroud <> wrote:

  "if you are thinking about consciousness, then what else could it have been 
but consciousness that caused you to think about it"

  Are you saying consciousness literally causes you to objectify consciousness? 
Consciousness as a base is required to reflect on consciousness... the question 
is whether consciousness can truly be objectified or only falsely so.

There appears to be some confusion.  This is what I am saying:

Selva asked if consciousness is causally effective.  My response is a thought 
experiment designed to show that it is:

1. Assume consciousness is not causally effective
2. It follows that consciousness has no effects
3. If consciousness has no effects, then whether present or not it makes do 
difference in what happens
4. Consider a universe identical to this one only without any consciousness 
(this is possible only in the case where consciousness is causally inert)
5. This universe would have zombie humans that talk about consciousness, that 
appear to wonder about consciousness, that write e-mail threads about 
consciousness, and so on, yet all this is happening in a universe where 
consciousness does not exist.
6. It seems odd that there would be zombies talking and wondering about 
consciousness in a universe where there is no such thing as consciousness.

If on the other hand, consciousness is causally effective, as I believe it is, 
then zombie universes cannot be identical to our own.  Perhaps you see nothing 
wrong with a zombie universe with beings wondering about consciousness, but if 
you do, then you should doubt the assumption made at step 1.



Hi Jason,
My only difficulty with this reasoning is the treatment of consciousness as if 
it is an object/property. It seems to me that consciousness is a process that 
should not be treated as other qualia. It is what generates the qualia. Yes it 
can represent itself to itself, ala self-awareness but is it an object per say? 
Maybe not.

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