Re: Consciousness is information?

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sat, 16 May 2009 23:03:06 -0700

Kelly Harmon wrote:
> I think your discussing the functional aspects of consciousness. AKA,
> the "easy problems" of consciousness. The question of how human
> behavior is produced.
> My question was what is the source of "phenomenal" consciousness.
> What is the absolute minimum requirement which must be met in order
> for conscious experience to exist? So my question isn't HOW human
> behavior is produced, but instead I'm asking why the mechanistic
> processes that produce human behavior are accompanied by subjective
> "first person" conscious experience. The "hard problem". Qualia.
> I wasn't asking "how is it that we do the things we do", or, "how did
> this come about", but instead "given that we do these things, why is
> there a subjective experience associated with doing them."

Do you suppose that something could behave just as humans do yet not be
conscious, i.e. could there be a philosophical zombie?

> So none of the things you reference are relevant to the question of
> whether a computer simulation of a human mind would be conscious in
> the same way as a real human mind. If a simulation would be, then
> what are the properties that those to two very dissimilar physical
> systems have in common that would explain this mutual experience of
> consciousness?

The information processing?


> On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 3:22 AM, Alberto G.Corona <> wrote:
>> No. Consciousness is not information. It is an additional process that
>> handles its own generated information. I you donīt recognize the
>> driving mechanism towards order in the universe, you will be running
>> on empty. This driving mechanism is natural selection. Things gets
>> selected, replicated and selected again.
>> In the case of humans, time ago the evolutionary psychologists and
>> philosophers (Dennet etc) discovered the evolutionary nature of
>> consciousness, that is double: For social animals, consciousness keeps
>> an actualized image of how the others see ourselves. This ability is
>> very important in order to plan future actions with/towards others
>> members. A memory of past actions, favors and offenses are kept in
>> memory for consciousness processing. This is a part of our moral
>> sense, that is, our navigation device in the social environment.
>> Additionally, by reflection on ourselves, the consciousness module can
>> discover the motivations of others.
>> The evolutionary steps for the emergence of consciousness are: 1) in
>> order to optimize the outcome of collaboration, a social animal start
>> to look the others as unique individuals, and memorize their own
>> record of actions. 2) Because the others do 1, the animal develop a
>> sense of itself and record how each one of the others see himself
>> (this is adaptive because 1). 3) This primitive conscious module
>> evolved in 02 starts to inspect first and lately, even take control of
>> some action with a deep social load. 4) The conscious module
>> attributes to an individual moral self every action triggered by the
>> brain, even if it driven by low instincts, just because thatīs is the
>> way the others see himself as individual. Thatīs why we feel ourselves
>> as unique individuals and with an indivisible Cartesian mind.
>> The consciousness ability is fairly recent in evolutionary terms. This
>> explain its inefficient and sequential nature. This and 03 explains why
>> we feel anxiety in some social situations: the cognitive load is too
>> much for the conscious module when he tries to take control of the
>> situation when self image it at a stake. This also explain why when we
>> travel we feel a kind of liberation: because the conscious module is
>> made irrelevant outside our social circle, so our more efficient lower
>> level modules take care of our actions
> >

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Received on Sat May 16 2009 - 23:03:06 PDT

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