On Aug 12, 5:05 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 11 Aug 2011, at 08:55, Stephen P. King wrote:

> >    What special sauce? Why is it ok to assume that consciousness is  
> > something special that can only occur is special circumstances? Why  
> > not consider that possibility that it is just as primitive as mass,  
> > charge and spin?
> That would be a category mistake. Mass, charge and spin refer to  
> measurable observable, even apparently related by laws. Consciousness  
> is an attribute of person, which are higher order entity, in most  
> theories.

'Higher order' is conceptual. Consciousness can still be a primitive,
as it is observable, in exquisite detail and consistency to the
subject themselves. Whether the threshold for the observation of
consciousness occurs at the person level, or the organism, cell,
molecule, or atom does not impact it's irreducibility. Whatever the
level, it can be considered a primitive if it is not experienced at a
lower level, which unfortunately is not easy to confirm without doing
some wet work in the brain. Think of it like 'life' itself. Whether or
not a cell or organism is still alive is a primitive. If you zoom in
on the microcosm, that continuum of vitality blurs into molecular
function, but on the macro level, the observation of irrevocable death
is an ordinary and valid phenomenon.


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