Consciousness, and related notions like sentience and self-awareness, denote the capacity of certain organisms to express recognition of their own presence in the world.

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is knowledge an impediment for seeing things the way they are? is silent observation the true instrument of comprehension?

when we are in a state of not knowing there is much more sensitivity, choiceless awareness, impartial observation, it seems to me.its knowledge the cloud of belief, conclusions preventing the true ...
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31 views

what is the self? does it exist as a reality or just as a belief? [on hold]

what is it labeled as self, I, me, ego? THE SENSE OF SELF IS A MERE PROGRAM INSTILLED IN OUR MIND BY TRADITION, EDUCATION, ?
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81 views

How not to judge?

People constantly say not to judge people, but how is this possible? We all make mental remarks based on our past experience, for instance if I see a single mother smoking cigarettes, I will judge ...
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72 views

Concerning an A.I. system and it's sensory capabilities

If tree falls in a forest and the only 'thing' nearby is an A.I. system (a robot) that detects the event , does the tree make a sound? In other words if the sound waves are 'received' by the A.I. ...
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80 views

What step in this argument is the least valid?

I know this is not a totally formal argument, and it is not mine, I just tried to distill it as much as I could to find where the weakest point is. Please help me if you want. It goes like this: H ...
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51 views

Should “meaning”, as we experience it, be considered qualia?

By qualia - assume as defined in [wikipedia]:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia, give or take ( up to you ) By "meaning as we experience it", perhaps I could just say "meaning", but i want to ...
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32 views

Materialist Epistemology?

In a normal theory of knowledge, a person's phenomenal consciousness is taken as basic. Thus, the sciences are an attempt at explaining the "world" that affects phenomenal consciousness. Excising ...
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78 views

Who is inside and outside the bubble? [closed]

Are some people 'inside the bubble' ie. non thinking and sheep like and other people 'outside the bubble' with self awareness and well developed consciousness? If so is there a way of defining the ...
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34 views

Was there support for panpsychism among the Romantic poets?

Phillip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy and vocal critic of religion, is a supporter of panpsychism, the doctrine that consciousness arises because every inanimate particle actually ...
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107 views

If a brain in a vat never received any sensory input, could it still develop a consciousness? What would a functionalist say?

First of all, I'm not knowledgeable of philosophy by any means (engineering student). However, I was wondering if from a philosophical point of view we could reason about what might happen to a brain ...
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80 views

Why we think that we thinking by ourselves, independent and free

If anything thats every been created depends on its creator. Take computers for example where they think math but its us that programmed them. Then why do we feel that we think by ourselves, is it ...
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64 views

Observation as a non-conscious state of matter?

Observation (unintegrated information) causes changes to physical experiments in the same way conscious observation of information with integration alters experiments. Could observation be a ...
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181 views

Is it truly necessary to upgrade Tononi's criteria of consciousness in the Integrated Information theory?

I am referring specifically to a very recent paper by Max Tegmark, http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.1219 In this paper he proposes 3 more criteria (independence, dynamics, and utility principle) in addition ...
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133 views

Looking for mathematical models of awareness, consciousness, and unconsciousness e.g. Matte Blanco

Question: Do you know of any resources for mathematical models of awareness, consciousness, and unconsciousness? I am doing some work relating pure mathematics (among other things) to ideas of the ...
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180 views

Eastern philosophy for a Western audience

I have been listening to and reading a lot of Alan Watts material on Eastern philosophy which I find to be greatly edifying literature. I am having difficulty finding information on who is currently ...
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62 views

A discussion of consciousness and existence

Consider the following three scenarios: 1) Two clones with the same memories, feelings, etc. are in a room. Clone A is killed by Clone B. Clone B immediately loses all memories of Clone A and the ...
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94 views

How would Kant have responded to Darwin's conception of human evolution?

How would Kant have responded to Darwin? That is, how would Kant's theory on the individual as being comprised of a unity of consciousness (in his critique on pure reason), with the theory of Darwin's ...
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28 views

According to Marx and the Material Theory of History, what is the definition of consciousness?

It's important to note that I'm not referring to class consciousness, or other types of political consciousness. I'm just wondering how he explains the ability of conscious beings to experience ...
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97 views

Argument against conscious Turing machines?

Imagine a non-halting Turing machine that repeats the same calculation forever. Let us assume that each time it runs its algorithm it increments a loop counter. Surely such a machine is conceivable ...
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41 views

Objective qualia definition

I thought of an, as I think, objective definition of qualia which is this: In any material (= physical) system a quale is defined by a boundary from the containing universe and with a negative ...
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125 views

Almost Sure Mind Transfer via Parfit's Identity Theory (interesting thought experiment)

Under Derek Parfit's theory of identity, we should direct our concern to future selves not because they are identical to us, but because they bear some special relation to our current self. He used ...
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24 views

Was Bergson a physicalist?

In Radical Philosophy 92, Sean Watson in his article The New Bergsonianism writes: The first proposition central to any Bergsonist philosophy is simply that (in contrast to the traditional ...
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111 views

Why are things conscious? [closed]

What is the reason for animals or more general entities being conscious? How did this evolve? What is the advantage? I'm aware of ideas that consciousness is merely a illusion, however I find them ...
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120 views

The ultimate definition of being awake? [closed]

What is the ultimate definition of being awake? These are my considerations: At night, when I sleep, I can't say I am a sleep. But when I think about it the next morning, I would say I was asleep. ...
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115 views

Can observers be particles?

Generally Quantum mechanics divides a system into what is to be observed and an observer. This is usually taken to be some macroscopic measuring device (sometimes taken to be some human being in ...
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102 views

Temporal Consciences theories, what is meant by “temporal extension”?

I am reading an article on the overview and various theories of temporal consciousnesses. I have stumbled across some jargon that I can't seem to grasp. Retentional Model: our experiencing of ...
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189 views

Would rebuilding a human body rebuild the person it was?

I have zero background in philosophy, so forgive me for...asking this in an informal manner. We have a hypothetical scenario. Suppose that our consciousness at some time were reducible to ...
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111 views

Is the concept of a universe of holographical nature discussed in philosophy?

In Michael Talbot's Book 'Holographic Universe' he comes up with some very interesting concepts regarding the nature of the universe (although much of the book is half-esoteric nonsense). Especially ...
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106 views

Are simple physical laws actually simple?

This is a question about the philosophy of physics. If one takes a glance at the philosophy of mathematics its easy to see that the idea of number is filled with philosophical niceties and is a much ...
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48 views

How do we understand something?

Is there some theory that explains this. When I reflect on how I reason through to an understanding of something (the Eureka moment), it appears that to me that the steps are never sufficient and that ...
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249 views

How is synthetic a priori knowledge possible?

One of Kants example of this kind of knowledge is the knowledge of geometry, that is of space itself. It is a priori as it cannot be otherwise - it is independent of experience because it is a ...
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What does it mean to have a sense of geometry innate to us - if that is in fact the case?

Most people, if asked whether they know any geometry, will answer no; but most, if not all, can recognise a straight line, a right angle, or a circle; of course they will not be able to define them as ...
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389 views

Does anyone assert the real existence of p-zombies?

Philosophical zombies are usually presented as, let say, "conceivable" and then this assertion is used to infer dualism. Have any philosophers taken the position that p-zombies are in fact real, and, ...
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120 views

What scientific evidence is there that our actions are pre-conscious?

I recall reading some article or other some time ago that it had been demonstrated that our actions are apparent before we are entirely conscious of them; and here we are not talking about fractions ...
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Is human consciousness encoded in DNA in an infinitely regressive way?

Human DNA contains roughly 3 Billion base-pairs. That is 1.5 Gigabytes of data. This can easily fit onto a small usb memory stick. Can something as complex as a human consciousness be derivable from ...
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269 views

What makes a computer artificially intelligent?

What features would make a computer be considered truly artificially intelligent? Better question yet, what would make a computer truly intelligent and conscious? (true artificial intelligence is an ...
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56 views

What is the evidence that subjectivity is objectifiable?

Ray Brassier, a British Philosopher in this interview says: My claim is not that science has succeeded in explaining consciousness, but only that considerable progress has been made, and that the ...
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218 views

Is meditation valid to study consciousness scientifically?

In the study of consciousness, neuroscience observes mental phenomena through physical correlations, using techniques such as fMRI, PET and EEG. These are considered valid and reproductible, and can ...
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Is the android a kind of mankind?

In St.Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica, it said But to know distinctly what is contained in the universal whole is to know the less common, as to "animal" indistinctly is to know it as "animal"; ...
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231 views

Are Douglas Hofstadter's views on consciousness taken seriously by philosophers?

I'm reading "Godel, Escher, Bach", and Hofstadter's idea that consciousness emerges out of strange loops born out of experience. Now, I know nothing about the philosophy of consciousness at all. But ...
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122 views

Is self-consciousness because of complexity?

Suppose I have enough material from the chemistry periodic table and also I have enough power to combine and concatenate them to create a complex human once at a time; Does this complexity guarantee ...
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Sentience vs. consciousness vs. awareness

Dictionary definitions such as this one often seem to use the terms sentience, awareness, and consciousness as if they are synonymous with each other. Is this really the case? If not, how do they ...
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154 views

How close are we to conquering death?

The background for this question is basically I am struggling with the problem of coping with grief of loss of loved ones, past or imminent. (See Death) However, I have been aware of the concept of ...
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401 views

Can we tell whether human groups or societies are behaving as superorganisms?

An anthill can be described as a superorganism, with behaviours and interactions much more complex than those of an individual ant. We could find analogies between the superorganism and other living ...
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158 views

Did something improbable happen when I became conscious?

Let's take that person's subjective experience of the universe is given. If we take for example one particular person - lets say the person that is reasoning about this question (denoted with I in the ...
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316 views

Does knowledge exist outside human consciousness?

Wikipedia defines knowledge as "familiarity with someone or something" and Plato defined knowledge as "justified true belief". Belief and familiarity is something that only a sentient being can have, ...
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329 views

The problem is choice, (paradox) Or is enhancing choice the solution to increasing free will [closed]

While reading Incognito by David Eagleman, there was a chapter about justice and the neural plasticity of the brain. The ability (or in some cases inability) to regulate "moral" functioning. The legal ...
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215 views

Is reincarnation possible for a concious computer?

The physical substance of a computer can deteriorate and eventually stop functioning, but the immaterial program & its state can be transferred to another computer. Its conciousness is effectively ...
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282 views

Why do scientists get bent out of shape when mystical interpretations of physics are brought up? [closed]

Science typically refers people to Philosophy when such subjects are brought up. But yet they know that there are profound metaphysical implications of the physics of the last century, and since the ...
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If I upload my brain into a computer is it still me?

I think the answer is yes but I know a lot of people disagree. So, I would like to ask these people when exactly does it stop being me. Let's say I want to upload my brain into a computer using the ...