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Consciousness

Consciousness


Consc is defined as "what I am". (Note: when you say that, the word "I" points to what I would call "you".) The word "consciousness" has no real meaning apart from the statement "I am conscious". So in CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" we often label it simply "I". Sometimes that means me personally, sometimes (since you're reading it) it means you, sometimes just a generic individual. The meaning should be clear from context.

I Am


This is the fundamental fact of my (or, your) existence - 100% true. The only other certainties come from immediate qualia. Thus when I see red, that's certainly happening. But these are all uncertain: "I saw red a moment ago", "that ball is red", "you see a red ball also", "red is a color", and so on. BTW "I am" is, of course, solipsistic. Indeed, CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" analysis can be thought of as a rigorous development of solipsism. Everything I observe and know comes from / through only one source: my consc, called "I". Analysis must start with that fact.

Time Assumption


At the most fundamental level there's no time, just one instant. But memory recalls a "past", fostering an extremely convincing "illusion" of time passing. Almost always I assume time does exist. But don't forget, it's just an assumption.

Reality Assumption


I watch things change around me, and remember how they were before. I learn they behave predictably. If a ball, for instance, is moving in a direction, a second later it will be farther in that direction. If I put it on a table, leave the room for a day, and come back, it's still right where I left it (unless something moved it). So is the table. When I stub my toe on it, the pain assures me it's real, heavy, hard, and immovable. The persistence and predictability of objects convinces me they exist. There's a "Reality" out there. But remember: it's just an assumption, a deduction.

Actually the above isn't quite true. I didn't "learn" that objects exist. As Kant pointed out the brain is hard-wired to deal with objects, space and time. You might say evolution figured it out, not me. A generic intelligence without that instinct might never understand - or even notice - 3-d "reality". If they did, they'd be terribly clumsy. Take minutes to carefully cross a room, bumping into everything along the way. I'll continue to skip such details.

You assumption: humans are conscious


Some of those other objects, called "humans", are remarkably like me. They look and act like me. I can even interact with them, via talking etc, and they talk back! The "illusion" is so powerful I'm convinced they're conscious. The word "you" denotes such an object: the one I'm talking to. "He" and "she" denote such objects when I'm talking about them. However I don't, and can never, know they're conscious. It's an assumption.

Nevertheless, when discussing like this, the You assumption MUST be accepted. Talking with a non-conscious object makes no sense.

BTW the key complaint about solipsists is: they can't function in society. Logically a solipsist must treat everyone else as an object, a mere thing. A solipsist ought to be autistic, or sociopathic, or - at least - massively selfish and egotistical. But actually, a sensible solipsist believes others are conscious, just as much as you do. We both are making the "You assumption". The only difference between us (regarding this one issue) is: I know and admit I'm making the You assumption. You (in most cases) don't. Hopefully after reading this, you will.

Animal Consciousness


If humans are conscious, what about animals? I'm sure they're every bit as conscious as we are. Even bugs, bacteria? Sure ... but their consc would be limited (in a sense) compared to mine. How about trees? Yes, but again, limited (in a sense). (BTW I suspect a growing tip is the most conscious part of trees.) How about viruses? Well, maybe. Cars, rocks? No.

When we say an animal is conscious, we mean they have a mindonFunctionally central conscious particle, i.e. "you" (per CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" Axiom 2). It's functionally central, and "drives" the body. The whole body isn't conscious, just that mindonFunctionally central conscious particle, i.e. "you" (per CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles"). The statement "Alice is conscious" is shorthand for "Alice is a mindonFunctionally central conscious particle, i.e. "you" which is currently 'driving' that body we call Alice".

OTOH a particle is "fundamentally" conscious (per CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" axiom 1). Unlike an animal body, the particle's consc is as an inherent attribute, like mass or charge. When it's necessary to distinguish, we'll say Alice has "animal consciousness", reserving the word "conscious" for particles.

IGUS


Animal consc uses a mechanism - brain and nervous system - to collect info about the entire body and its environs to one place. Assuming free will (as we do in Elementary CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles") animal consc also requires a control mechanism (cerebellum, etc) allowing that one place to control the body. Call this overall brain mechanism an "IGUS": "information gathering and utilizing system". it doesn't have to be organic. Robots, for instance, have a metal/silicon based IGUS. Although a conscious brain requires an IGUS, an IGUS is not conscious. That requires a mindonFunctionally central conscious particle, i.e. "you".

Is a rock conscious?


No. A rock (or water, or a car, coin, computer, sun, planet etc) doesn't possess an IGUS or a mindonFunctionally central conscious particle, i.e. "you". (As far as I know.) Pantheists might say that a rock is conscious because it's full of conscious particles, but CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" doesn't.

Group Consciousness


There's another way to make sense of a macro object, even a rock, having "group consciousness". QM allows a wavefunction to be shared by all the particles in a macro object. Bose-Einstein condensate is the extreme example. We can also have partially shared wavefunctions in various ways, including entanglement. This "group consc" may well apply to molecules, or hadrons like protons (consisting of quarks). Doug Marman's "all-in-one" force might be modelled, in CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" Analysis, with such wavefunctions. Group consc is an advanced CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" topic, ignore for now.

Artificial Consciousness


We can make a special artifical object, like a robot, with an IGUS. To make it conscious, presumably all you have to do is somehow hook a mindonFunctionally central conscious particle, i.e. "you" into the nexus of that IGUS control system. A conscious robot (if it ever exists) can be called an "android".

Note, it would be more accurate to call this "artifical animal consciousness": the android is an artificial animal. The source of its consc is the same as an animal's: a particle (the mindonFunctionally central conscious particle, i.e. "you"). There's no such thing as a (fundamentally) artificial consciousness.

Is a galaxy conscious?


Does a galaxy, for instance a large spiral, have an IGUS with a mindonFunctionally central conscious particle, i.e. "you"? Who knows? It kind of looks like a giant amoeba or something, doesn't it? But such speculations are definitely ignorable here.

Subjective / Objective Duality


Consc is the 1st person, subjective view. In the objective, or 3rd person, view, we're looking at external objects. But there still has to be someone doing the looking. So the distinction is (when you get right down to it) meaningless. Any povpoint of view requires a consc at the (functional) center. That CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" must be "looking at" (perceiving, relating to) something, or else it's just "nirvana" (nothing). 1st person alone is meaningless without another "person", and that other is meaningless unless I'm perceiving it. So the difference between subjective and objective is merely one of emphasis. All views must be subjective. Nevertheless this duality is often a useful concept, but take it with a grain of salt.

Objective reality doesn't really exist


As Bishop Berkeley pointed out, it's reasonable to say objective reality doesn't exist, only I and my qualia. I.e., deny the reality assumption. But even if there's no object, there is still a "relation with" the object. The relation definitely exists although the object is only a deduction, a guess. This distinction can be important, even in Elementary CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles".

Notational Abuse


Above are two examples of a common type of notational abuse in CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles". When a phrase makes no sense as it stands - refers to something which can't exist - CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" just assumes it means something similar which DOES exist. Thus particle consc can not be artificial, but animal consc can. So "artificial consc" MUST refer to artificial ANIMAL consc. Similarly, we refer to an object like a rock as though it really exists. But in fact, it's just a guess; only our relation to the supposed rock is real. So the word "rock" becomes a handy shorthand notation for "the relation (I, rock)". CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" does this constantly. Whenever a statement seems impossible, you should know: it doesn't mean what it says. Once you realize that it should always be very clear what is really meant, just as in these two examples.

Free Will


If you have free will, your decisions are not (entirely) determined by external factors, and they affect your behavior. Intuitively it seems that we do have free will. But it's conceivable that the rest of the brain (ROB"Rest of Brain", leaving out the mindon) actually makes all the decisions, and tricks us into thinking we did it. That's called "confabulation". It certainly happens sometimes, as with reflex actions. It's also possible that whether the decision is really made by the mindonFunctionally central conscious particle, i.e. "you", or by ROB"Rest of Brain", leaving out the mindon, either way it's entirely determined by the environment, predictable. This is an important topic for Advanced CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" but in elementary discussions we always assume free will. After all, it probably can never be proven humans don't have free will. It makes little difference in most cases, and the discussion is much simpler with Free Will.

Human free will is unclear, but what about a particle? Again, it's possible all its decisions are forced by external events, and it's confabulated into feeling otherwise. However QM denies that. QM strongly indicates that particle behavior is essentially random and unpredictable (Heisenberg Uncertainty, etc). Plus, if the particle's conscious decisions have no effect, then why is it conscious? So even in advanced CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" we figure the particle does have free will - even if humans don't.

Introspection


CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" has a formal model of consc but at this time there's no need to spell it out. I use facts about consciousness wherever they come up in the discussion. Since consc is defined as "what I am" information about it must come from introspection. I expect that your introspection yields the same answers as mine. That is, we agree on fundamental facts about consc. Of course there will be disagreements but hopefully these can be left for advanced CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles". A number of introspective facts have already been mentioned: consc happens in an instant, it seems that I have free will (but may not), etc. No doubt you agree so far.

Introspection is aided by listening to other's ideas, of course. I've read almost all authors who have anything sensible to say about it. There are many facts about consc I didn't think of myself, they were pointed out by someone else. Naturally that's enhanced my consc model. But it's important to note that ultimately the only authority is introspection. Others can suggest ideas, but only I can decide they're right. Similarly, if you don't agree with my views on consc you'll have to substitute your own. Fortunately CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" analysis works with any halfway-sensible model.

CPConscious Particle, or "Theory of Conscious Particles" is essentially subjective, so it's not (traditional) science. We might call it "subjective science". From the scientism povpoint of view, this is no good. Sorry, that's the only way to study consc. If you can't go along with it, fine, step out of the way - there's plenty of room in the dustbin of history - and let the rest of us figure it out.
generated on 2017-11-20 20:47:46