Friday, April 21, 2006

1.1 What needs to be explained

Definition of Consciousness

Anyone that reads this section will realize a problem. There is no definition of consciousness. The book is about something that is not defined. If we browse to the end of the book, page 332 offers a definition of consciousness. It says,

"Consciousness: What this book is all about. At this early point in the scientific exploration of this phenomenon, it is difficult to define it rigorously.... " and then is goes on giving some characteristics of consciousness.

So what needs to be explained?
"what is the relation between the conscious mind and the electro-chemical interactions in the body that give rise to it" whatever the "conscious mind" happens to be.

Sensory consciousness vs desicion making and memory

Then we go into a bit of detail on what the conscious mind is. "Sensory qualities, (are) the building blocks of conscious experience". And by sensory qualities he refers to qualia.

But then, in page 3 things get a little bit more complicated when the concept of unconscious processes makes its appearance. For example:

"... the point of training is to teach your body to quickly execute a complex series of movements -- returning a serve, evading a punch, or tying showlaces -- without thinking about it." and
"Much high-level decision-making and creativity occurs without conscious thought..."

Is tying my shoelaces not conscious? Sure enough I am not thinking about every movement, but I am certainly conscious that I am tying my shoelaces. So apparently now we added to the bag of "consciousness definition" memory and decision-making, besides qualia.


Post a Comment

<< Home