Sunday, April 23, 2006

1.3 My approach is a pragmatic, empirical one

A working definition

Here Koch tells us why he didn't define consciousness. He says that a formal definition of consciousness "is likely to be either misleading or verly restrictive, or both". Fair enough. So he gives an operational definition; "consciousness is needed for nonroutine tasks that require retention of information over seconds". Hmm... it smells like a conflictive operational definition. I don't want to judge it before we see what he'll do with it, but it seems to me that it can have lots of caveats. Such as; when I do a routine task I'm not conscious?; what if I forget what I was conscious of before a second passes by?; what if I retain the information for several seconds affecting my behavior but can't recall it verbally?.


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