On 5/27/2013 5:08 PM, Russell Standish wrote:
On Mon, May 27, 2013 at 04:53:56PM -0700, meekerdb wrote:
I don't think consciousness is an all-or-nothing property.  You have
to ask "Consciousness of what?"  There's consciousness of
surroundings: sound, photons, temperature, chemical
concentrations....  There's consciousness of internal states.
Consciousness of sex.  Consciousness of one's location.
Consciousness of one's status in a tribe.  I think human-like
consciousness requires language of some kind.

I would be happy with consciousness of surroundings. It seems to be
the most basic of all the ones you mention there.

It is pretty basic, but I'd say consciousness of some internal states is more basic and occurred early in the evolution of life. Even a cell must know when to divide.

But that's a large class and is not all-or-nothing either. We're conscious of light and it's phase relations which form images, but we don't see the polarization. And we don't see very much of the spectrum. We don't detect magnetic fields and our detection of chemicals in the air is almost non-existent compared to dogs.


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