On 11 December 2013 17:34, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  On 12/10/2013 7:42 PM, LizR wrote:
>
>  On 11 December 2013 10:24, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>  On 12/10/2013 11:54 AM, John Clark wrote:
>>
>> On Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 7:33 PM, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>   > One needs a rigorous definition of what consciousness is, to start
>>> with,
>>>
>>
>>  Examples are usually preferable to definitions.
>>
>>  > and then a theory that explains all its observed features, and makes
>>> testable predictions.
>>>
>>
>>  But that's the beauty of consciousness theories, we can detect
>> consciousness only in ourselves so there are no observed features that a
>> consciousness theory must explain,
>>
>>
>>  Actually there are some observed features.  A sharp blow to the head can
>> create a gap in ones consciousness.  Imbibing various substances that can
>> cross the blood/brain barrier have somewhat predictable effects.  Localized
>> electrical stimulation of the brain produces repeatable effects, both in
>> consciousness and somatic.
>>
>>  If you're assuming there is more to consciousness than the sum of our
> thoughts, experiences, memories, etc - then this *may* be a description
> of features of the contents of consciousness, rather than of the thing
> itself.
>
>
> ?? Are you speculating that there are parts of consciousness we're not
> conscious of?
>

Not exactly. Consciousness has been *defined* as a "bundle of sensory
impressions" - I think this was originally David Hume - but it has also
been defined as something else, which I guess would be called the having of
those experiences. If one defines consciousness as the sum of one's sense
impressions and so on, then the things you mention above affect
consciousness; if not, they affect the contents of consciousness, but in
the latter case the only way that consciousness itself is affected is that
it is either present, or not.

Of course I may be following in the long philosophical tradition of
splitting hairs here.

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