Science

The Significance of Consciousness

Posted 7 Jun 2005 at 18:56 UTC by steve Share This

Is Consciousness a by-product of the human brain or is the brain and the rest of what we call reality, just a bunch of "heuristic concepts constructed from selected perceptual experiences" by our consciousness? This question is explored in a very short paper by Axel Randrup titled, Conscious Experience, Existence, Behavior: Significance of Consciousness. The paper also addresses the question of whether or not the experience of consciousness affects our behavior and, if it doesn't, what its significance might be. The topics of free will and language are also touched on briefly. If this all sounds a little wonky compared to other modern theories of consciousness, that's because it's based on a philosophy called Idealism - "mind over matter". Idealism is as old as Plato and some schools of idealism deny any existence of reality outside of the mind of the observer.


IAAP, posted 8 Jun 2005 at 13:39 UTC by dogsbody_d » (Master)

I've always been somewhat perplexed at the apparent opposition between Realism and Idealism (in the ontological sense).

In argument against Dualism, I'm happy. Either R or I will pop that bubble for you I'd say, but if there really is only one kind of substance that accounts for all the universe and reality and experience and... well, you know, everything, then I'd say that the actual metaphysical nature of that substance is meaningless. What I mean is that whether the universe is made up of matter that interacts in a certain way, or ideas that interact in a certain way, the two are indistinguishable.

Oh, I'm with Dan Dennett on consciousness. Well, this week.

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