Re: Asifism

From: Pete Carlton <>
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2007 18:43:17 -0700

On Jun 1, 2007, at 6:53 AM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> I assure you, at least one entity in the universe is conscious: me.
> If evolution could have made me a zombie, it would have. Therefore,
> it seems reasonable to assume that evolution couldn't help but
> grant me consciousness as a side-effect or epiphenomenon, the real
> prize being intelligent behaviour. <snip>

I'm with Dennett too, and I'll bring up the point he made about this
"epiphenomenon" view of consciousness that keeps cropping up. The
point is that whatever consciousness is, it >cannot< be
"epiphenomenal" in the philosophical sense of "having no physical
effects". I'll put it this way: your hands and fingers are physical
objects. When they move, that is a physical event. Whatever causes
them to move, is also a physical event. When you type the words "I am
conscious", that is also a physical event. If you think that your
consciousness is epiphenomenal, you must believe that your being
conscious has >nothing whatever< to do with your typing the words "I
am conscious". It's just a coincidence! The same goes for whatever
makes you >say< "I am conscious". If you really think consciousness
is epiphenomenal, you must endorse something like this:
"I know I'm conscious (for whatever reason). And, for some totally
unrelated reasons having nothing whatever to do with the fact that
I'm conscious, I also >say< that I'm conscious."

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Received on Sat Jun 02 2007 - 21:43:29 PDT

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