What is Consciousness?

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happynewyear
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What is Consciousness?

Post by happynewyear » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:52 pm

I don't mean conscience.Is it created by the brain or is the brain a vechicle that consciousness uses? :shock:
Superdude
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Superdude » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:47 pm

Of course there are many theories to try and answer this historical question

one of them (and many more are on this site) is

http://www.ted.com/talks/vs_ramachandra ... ation.html

if you havent heard of this site before, be prepared for the biggest wealth of information to ever channel through your computer!
bockedy
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by bockedy » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:28 pm

That's a really interesting question, and in my youth my ignorance of the possibilities led me to think that my personal experience of consciousness was perhaps evidence of a supernatural "soul".

My own guess, based on what I've read in Edelman's "The Remembered Present" and Deacon's "The Symbolic Species" who can explain this stuff far more eloquently than I ever could, is that it's directly related to our unique language ability. We continuously symbolically encode what we perceive, and that process gives rise to the inner sensation of consciousness. Higher animals without language abilities like dogs etc perceive things in much the same way as us via their senses, but without the continuous symbolic encoding, they have no inner dialogue of consciousness, which is like an extra layer on top of our base perception.
May Ea smite thee with the might of his fist!
Ygern
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Ygern » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:15 am

It's a very complicated subject, and it's one of those questions where the answers aren't clear-cut yet.

Dan Dennett has some ideas on the subject

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOxqM21qBzw

And there was another interesting series of presentations at the Science Network

http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/b ... ession-4-1
(Stuart Hameroff, V.S. Ramachandran etc)
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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anadub25
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by anadub25 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:19 pm

John Searle is good on this subject, if a bit mechanistic. 'What's it like to be a Bat?' is also very illuminating.

Personally, I think any examination of human mind must have as its primary reference point that which is particular to the human mind-language.
"Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis."

- Sigmund Freud -
happynewyear
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by happynewyear » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:58 pm

Some interesting comments and links.
But is my Consciousness and your Consciousness the same?
Is Consciousness universal?
Do animals have Consciousness or even trees and other plant life?
Is Consciousness the same as awareness?
When I go to sleep where does Consciousness go????
Rev j.jones
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Rev j.jones » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:05 pm

yea I checked out a few of those lins too, heavy stuff.

I like that question, where does my consiousness go when I go asleep? for that matter where does it go when your knocked out? or is it that the consiousnees goes asleep or gets knocked out?
"The Meek a'int gonna inherit shit"
"I've got a hell of a lot of weapons to fight! I got my claws, I got cutlasses, I got guns, I got dynamite, I got a hell of a lot of fight! I will fight!" Rev Jones cured religion for 950 americans.
Ygern
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Ygern » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:09 pm

A simplistic answer to where your consciousness goes when you are asleep is - nowhere. It is still there, but in a different state - just as if you drink too much alcohol, you will still have consciousness, but in an altered state. (Unless you really drank too much... :wink: )

An example of this is dreaming - you are definitely still asleep but some dreams show that you can still be exceptionally self-aware, even if the dream content lacks coherence & doesn't always make the best sense.

Certain animals have shown signs of being self aware up to a certain point, although not with the same complexity that we experience.

See: http://ecoworldly.com/2009/08/04/elepha ... ness-test/

I really could recommend that you give the Daniel Dennett video that I linked to above a try. He is one of the best when it comes to explaining concepts as clearly & simply as possible.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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ctr
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by ctr » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:15 pm

Dreams etc came up on an All in the Mind podcast lately...

see Here
Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver
Rev j.jones
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Re: What is Consciousness?

Post by Rev j.jones » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:48 am

I always felt animals could be aware of themselves but to see it tested

"The test is now referred to as mirror self recognition (MSR). The test indicates self-awareness of a higher, and formerly, distinctly human level. The test is also thought to correlate to higher brain behaviors such as empathy and altruism."

I thnik this is pretty cool also

fast forward if you have no patience but its worth watching the whole thing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgxlcE7_fkQ
"The Meek a'int gonna inherit shit"
"I've got a hell of a lot of weapons to fight! I got my claws, I got cutlasses, I got guns, I got dynamite, I got a hell of a lot of fight! I will fight!" Rev Jones cured religion for 950 americans.
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