On 5/29/2013 12:38 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 29 May 2013, at 08:33, meekerdb wrote:

On 5/28/2013 11:13 PM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 28 May 2013, at 19:23, meekerdb wrote:

On 5/28/2013 9:04 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 28 May 2013, at 01:53, meekerdb wrote:

On 5/27/2013 2:18 PM, John Mikes wrote:
do you indeed exclude the "other" animals from being selfconcious? or - having a logic on their own level? Or any other trait we assign (identify?) for humans - in our terms?

A question about plants (rather: about being conscious):
you may feel free to define 'being conscious' in human terms, or mammal (etc.) terms, but the "response" plants exude to information (circumstances, impact. etc.) shows reactivity we may appropriate to us humans.

So do not deny consciousness from fellow DNA-bearing plants.

How about the DNA-not-bearing other creatures? (crystals, stones, water, impact you may call energy, - whatever?)
Anthropocentric? zoocentric? phitocentric? what-CENTRIC?

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.

Hmm... I would have agreed some years ago. I would have even say that consciousness always involve consciousness of time. But I am no more sure on this. Some altered conscious state seems to be like being conscious of literally only one thing; being conscious, and nothing else, but such state are quasi not memorizable, and might quite exotic. Sometimes there is consciousness of something, but which is not related to anything temporal or spatial. My be in math some feeling like that can occur, when understanding a proof, for example.

Many aspect of human consciousness requires languages, but humans have still a big part of the animal consciousness. You don't need language to feel the hotness of a fire.

Then you are agreeing now. If you agree that consciousness can have different aspects and some aspects may be lacking in some species, then consciousness is not all-or-nothing.

Consciousness can take many shapes.
I would say it is "all-or-nothing", like a continuous function is either non-negative or negative, even if it can be close to zero.

I don't see the analogy. I don't think consciousness can be negative, or even that it can be measured by one dimension. "All-or-nothing" would be a function that is either 1 or 0.

The point is more that it is > 0, or 0.

If you can be conscious of red and green, then I'd say you are more conscious than someone who is red/green colorblind (albeit by a tiny amount).

That is about consciousness' content. Not on being or not conscious.

In order to have beliefs about arithmetic requires that you be conscious of numbers and have a language in which to express axioms and propositions. I doubt that simpler animals have this and so have different consciousness than humans.

Most plausibly. But this again is about the content, and the character of consciousness, not the existence or not on some consciousness.

You seem to regard consciousness as a kind of magic vessel which exists even when it is empty. I think John Mikes is right when he says it is a process. When a process isn't doing anything it doesn't exist.

I don't venture to say less consciousness because I think of it as multi-dimensional and an animal may have some other aspect of consciousness that we lack.

Sure. Bats have plausibly some richer qualia associated to sound than humans. But what we discuss is that consciousness is either present or not. Then it can take many different shapes, and even intensity, up to the altered state of consciousness. Cotard syndrom is also interesting. People having it believe that they are dead, and some argue that they are not conscious, but in fact what happen is that they lack the ability to put any meaning on their consciousness.

"Put meaning on consciousness"? That makes no sense to me. They are obviously conscious of some things. If they were unconscious they couldn't respond.

It shows that consciousness seems independent of the ability to interpret the consciousness content. Many pathological states of consciousness exist, but none makes me feel like if consciousness was not something (rich and variated) or nothing. You refer to the content of consciousness, not consciousness itself.

But you seem to contend that there can be consciousness without content - which 
I find absurd.


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