On 12 December 2013 11:20, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  On 12/11/2013 12:56 PM, LizR wrote:
>
> 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.
>
> OK.  That's reifying the set of experiences into a kind of vessel that
> holds the experiences.  That seems like a mistake to me.  Didn't Hume also
> say that however he tried he could not have an experience that had no
> content?
>
> Yes. I'm not saying this is a correct definition (you will recall that I
was very hesitant in my phraseology) - but it does appear to be a widely
held (mis?) conception that consciousness is not just a bundle of
sensations. I think one has to at least allow that the sensations are
analysed, that there is something involved in thinking about them, and that
perhaps that something isn't part of the "Humean bundle". Also, the
experiences hang together in various ways - the flash of lightning I
experienced was the same violet colour as previous ones I've seen, or at
least my memory thereof, and it was, like them, followed by a roll of
thunder. This correlation could well be explained simply by regularities in
the nature of the world, however (I think Hume said something similar), but
it could point to something which is organising the sensations - maybe a
virtual reality renderer in the brain.

Either I have some point to make, or maybe I just need more coffee...

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