• Unseen
    121
    WHY is there consciousness? As computers become more and more capable and can interact with people and other computers in complex ways, we as yet have no indication at all that they are the least bit conscious, that consciousness comes with complexity.

    When I talk of consciousness, I'm talking of consciousness=having experiences.

    So, why are we conscious? In addition to humans, evolution also produced plants, and while plants can react to their environment in stimulus/response fashion, there’s no indication whatsoever that plants are aware of themselves as beings.

    Just exactly WHY are humans (and higher animals as well) conscious at all? It seems totally unnecessary and seems to have no survival value, either.

    Is it just an accident of evolution that ended up having no negative survival value? A fluke?

    I can't think of any reason why we need to be having experiences. Can you?

  • Devans99
    2.1k
    A lot of consciousness is self-awareness. I read somewhere that self-awareness comes from the need to be able to differentiate between oneself and the environment. They gave an example of a very simple life form of a few hundred neutrons, one of which was dedicated to this function of differentiating self from environment.

    There is the famous mirror test - they paint a spot on an animal and put the animal in front of a mirror and see if it rubs the spot - ants pass this test - so consciousness is something quite primitive / ancient.
  • Joshs
    712
    I'm not sure what self-awareness is. If it is self-identicality, tthe ability to turn back towards the 'self' that I was a second ago without my exposure to the world intervening and changing the sense of what it is I turn back to, then there is no such thing as self-awareness.
  • Joshs
    712
    I can't think of any reason why we need to be having experiences. Can you?Unseen

    Because the very reason you're posing the question about consciousness comes from an illusion born of the fact that we forget that a few hundred years ago we decided to arbitrarily carve up the world into inanimate and animate, sentient and non-sentient, for the purposes of doing science, . We made a problem out of consciousness by dividing the world in such a way as to make both sides inchoherent.

    "Many philosophers have argued that there seems to be a gap between the
    objective, naturalistic facts of the world and the subjective facts of conscious experience.
    The hard problem is the conceptual and metaphysical problem of how to bridge
    this apparent gap. There are many critical things that can be said about the hard problem
    (see Thompson&Varela, forthcoming), but what I wish to point out here is that it
    depends for its very formulation on the premise that the embodied mind as a natural
    entity exists ‘out there’ independently of how we configure or constitute it as an
    object of knowledge through our reciprocal empathic understanding of one other as
    experiencing subjects. One way of formulating the hard problem is to ask: if we had a
    complete, canonical, objective, physicalist account of the natural world, including all
    the physical facts of the brain and the organism, would it conceptually or logically
    entail the subjective facts of consciousness? If this account would not entail these
    facts, then consciousness must be an additional, non-natural property of the world.

    One problem with this whole way of setting up the issue, however, is that it presupposes
    we can make sense of the very notion of a single, canonical, physicalist description
    of the world, which is highly doubtful, and that in arriving (or at any rate
    approaching) such a description, we are attaining a viewpoint that does not in any way
    presuppose our own cognition and lived experience. In other words, the hard problem
    seems to depend for its very formulation on the philosophical position known as
    transcendental or metaphysical realism. From the phenomenological perspective
    explored here, however — but also from the perspective of pragmatism à la Charles
    Saunders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, as well as its contemporary inheritors
    such as Hilary Putnam (1999) — this transcendental or metaphysical realist
    position is the paradigm of a nonsensical or incoherent metaphysical viewpoint, for
    (among other problems) it fails to acknowledge its own reflexive dependence on the
    intersubjectivity and reciprocal empathy of the human life-world."

    Evan Thompson
  • Unseen
    121
    For me, one of the basic factual issues is that there's a lot of evidence that the active mind is pre-conscious. That, for example, when we decide to do something, that decision was actually made in the brain anywhere from a fraction of a second to a few seconds earlier. Further evidence is that something is filtering our sensory perceptions and deciding which to give us as experiences and which not, Think about it: in no way are you experiencing every single sensory input. Why not?

    Think of a Turing Machine simulating a human but with "nobody home" as far as having experiences. Now, put it in a flesh and blood body. In a way, that's what we are except I (and I assume, you) have experiences.

    On a more practical level, in the interest of making this an active discussion with a lot of participants chiming in, let's keep posts relatively short and to the point. It takes very little time to dash off a long post, and about the same amount of time to read it, but responding point-by-point can be time-consuming, tiring, and daunting. Long posts can thus stifle discussion and discourage participation.

    Also, as a matter of my own philosophy of philosophy, I'm an ordinary language kind of guy. What this means to me is that if you can state a problem so that even a layperson can understand it, only a solution that a layperson can also understand is a satisfactory solution. Thus, "Go read (this or that) book by (Dennett, Dawkins, Kant, Wittgenstein, or whoever)" isn't a discussion. If you feel they have a point, lay it out succinctl8y and clarly, don't give us reading assignments.

    I'd love it if well-informed nonphilosophers participated along with the philosophers.

    “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”—Albert Einstein
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    I'm not sure what self-awareness is. If it is self-identicality, tthe ability to turn back towards the 'self' that I was a second ago without my exposure to the world intervening and changing the sense of what it is I turn back to, then there is no such thing as self-awareness.Joshs

    I think self-awareness at a basic level is the ability to differentiate oneself from the environment. No easy task. Imagine having to create a computer that could do it? Yet tiny animals with a few hundred neurons are self aware.

    For me, one of the basic factual issues is that there's a lot of evidence that the active mind is pre-conscious.Unseen

    I think emotions and instincts are pre-conscious signals that are interpreted by our conscious minds.

    Maybe we started as very primitive animals with our emotions/instincts hard wired to reactions. For example: sense pain -> react by moving. As evolution progressed, perhaps the circuitry connecting our instincts to actions became more complex and evolved into the conscious mind. Perhaps the processing of the pain signal evolves to 'move then scratch' then to 'move or scratch' and onwards towards more complex logic (and consciousness).

    A conscious computer. Consciousness stems from the need to survive in a potentially hostile environment. How would we endow a computer with self-survival instincts I'm not sure. It would need to sense danger and pain.

    I suppose the nearest everyday equivalent to a computer consciousness is an operating system. It is constantly active (or at least active one every 1/60th of a second or so) and controls the running of the whole computer. An OS is not self aware though. They do not have a nervous system.
  • Possibility
    322
    I'd love it if well-informed nonphilosophers participated along with the philosophers.Unseen

    My current understanding of consciousness is a work in progress (read: crazyism), but it draws from process philosophy and integrated information theory. I’m in the process of trying to formulate it in ways that might eventually make it testable, but I think I’m a long way off, so I’ll just outline the basic idea, and we can go from there...

    A rock lacks consciousness as described, however each molecule in that rock has the capacity to receive some information about its environment - even if that environment consists only of other rock molecules - as well as the capacity to respond to that information. If I pick up a rock from the riverbed and hold it in my hand, the molecules on its surface will respond to a change in temperature, causing a change in adjacent molecules, until the entire rock has responded (only not as a rock). If I break that rock with a hammer, each molecule will respond to the vibration of the impact, but certain rock molecules will also ‘experience’ a change in environment, new information, and respond accordingly (oxidation, etc).

    Does this mean a rock molecule is conscious? Not in the sense of having experiences, because it could only ever be vaguely aware of a momentary interaction with ‘more’. It has nothing to relate each piece of new information to except the sense of this/here/now that constituted its entire universe. This is what I refer to as one-dimensional awareness. Each interaction is a momentary and unrelated transfer of information from one molecule to the next. Anything non-living has one-dimensional awareness.

    Most animals have developed a two-dimensional awareness: they can relate these momentary interactions to each other, and use the information they receive to make sense of their environment in terms of space (in front, behind, above, below, etc) and time, as well as other sense data. This awareness is a matter of distinction - they can prefer certain stimuli based on memory and respond accordingly, but not define or evaluate possibilities at this level. There is no self awareness at this level.

    Humans (and higher animals) have gone on to develop a three-dimensional awareness: they can relate these interactions and the wealth of information they offer to each other and to previous scenarios, and determine a sense of ‘value’ in spacetime. They can develop the capacity to define, quantify, measure and evaluate the ‘best’ of possible responses (based on past experiences and detailed sense data) for future reference. Self awareness occurs at this level, but I would argue that this has created certain problems (eg. a flawed evolution theory).

    There is a four-dimensional awareness, too. Humans have developed the capacity to relate these detailed interactions to each other, to all their previous experiences, and to the experiences of others as communicated to them through various means. This enables us to make sense of the universe well beyond our own existence in spacetime, to empathise with others, understand our place in history, imagine possible worlds, get creative or suggest an explanation for consciousness.

    There may very well be further dimensions...
  • Unseen
    121
    For reasons I outlined above, I don't respond to bedsheet posts point-by-point, so let me take this approach: Remember that I'm more or less granting that we are conscious. Rather, I'm asking why? Was there anything in there about why? since we could operate automatically on the pre-conscious mind without having experiences at all.
  • ChrisH
    132
    since we could operate automatically on the pre-conscious mind without having experiences at all.Unseen

    What's your evidence for this belief?
  • Unseen
    121


    Thoughts and decisions seem to be made pre-consciously before we become conscious of them. Ditto for actions. That implies that consciousness is inactive, passive, and really unnecessary, so why do we have the experiences of feeling in conscious control.

    I don't take or issue reading assignments, but it sounds like you might be interested in aScientific American article titled There Is No Such Thing As conscious Thought by philosopher Peter Carruthers..
  • Anaxagoras
    349
    WHY is there consciousness?Unseen

    I believe the state of being consciousness is an extension of one being sentient.

    Just exactly WHY are humans (and higher animals as well) conscious at all? It seems totally unnecessary and seems to have no survival value, either.Unseen

    The frame of questioning is on par with asking the question of why there is life on this planet? I personally cannot give a definite answer and I don't think no human here could. Although inferring as to why, one could speculate that consciousness by being a byproduct of sentience, is a consequence of the spontaneity of the existence of life on this planet. As for your idea of "survival value" I think the very fact you're using an instrument of a human design to convey your thoughts you deemed important enough to start this conversation, is evidence that there is a value in why humans survived.

    Is it just an accident of evolution that ended up having no negative survival value? A fluke?Unseen

    I personally do not think life was an accident. As a healthcare worker I firmly believe there is a Creator far beyond any text that man can conceive of to describe it, and far too beyond the comprehension of any human language to speak of it. But this is my personal belief to which I concede amounts to my own faith.

    I can't think of any reason why we need to be having experiences. Can you?Unseen

    As I've said already these things have different answers and to ask why we need to have experiences is on par with asking why does life exist?
  • Unseen
    121


    I'll make this short and sweet, as is my preference (hoping you've read my prior thoughts on responding to lengthy posts), so I won't respond to every one of your points, just the ones I have thoughts on and which I think help us understand what's going on.

    First, "sentience" is the condition of having sensory inputs. We have lots of sensory inputs we aren't conscious of, which never turn into experiences. We can see without really attending to everything in our visual field. Something is going on in the pre-conscious mind filtering what we see (by which I mean attend to or notice).

    You may be hinting that we are conscious because our creature gave that to us. This may work for those who believe that the universe was created by a cosmic sorcerer through an act of magic, but I don't believe in magic. You;d have to prove that creator's existence to me first, but I apply Occam's Razor to eliminate an idea that raises more questions than it solves.
  • Anaxagoras
    349
    First, "sentience" is the condition of having sensory inputs. We have lots of sensory inputs we aren't conscious of, which never turn into experiences. We can see without really attending to everything in our visual field. Something is going on in the pre-conscious mind filtering what we see (by which I mean attend to or notice).Unseen

    Of course, a great example is the brain stem and its function. But it doesn't change the fact that sentience is a byproduct of consciousness. Why is it necessary to have sentience along with consciousness? Why is it necessary for a mammal to have sentience if, as you say we can maintain some sensory input without the need of a faculty in this case vision as you say. I only mentioned God in relation to my own explanation, not to make my explanation as an answer to your question.
  • aporiap
    155
    If you just want to know why we are conscious instead of a computer, well then that’s a tractable question for which there’s an answer. It would fundamentally come down to brains having consciousness generating mechanisms which computers -modern day computers don’t have. Maybe there will be artificially conscious systems one day, but this means they have those fundamental mechanisms running.

    If your question is broader and asks why at all is there consciousness, then it’s not satisfyingly answerable (just a brute fact, like the existence of charges and mass) and -imo- on par with asking why is the universe this way instead of some other possible way or why am I me and not you.
  • Unseen
    121


    Sentience is there prior to conscience. Something in the pre-conscious selects what becomes part of our experience. My definition of consciousness is the state of having experiences.
  • Unseen
    121


    No, you miss my point entirely. I'm asking why we are conscious when all of our thoughts and activities originate on a pre-conscious level. Consciousness, thus, seems gratuitous. We could function as we do without having any experiences whatsoever. So why do we have them. Why aren't we like plants?
  • aporiap
    155
    It looks like you support your claim ‘we could function without having experiences’ by trying to decouple conscious experience from the actual mental processes - ‘there are plenty of sensory inputs we aren’t conscious of’ and ‘most decisions seem to be made seconds before our being aware of them’. Firstly not every decision has been demonstrated as temporally decoupled - those decision experiments are for in-the-moment predictions using available sensory cues, they don’t demonstrate the same for future-oriented goal making or for deliberative reasoning. Secondly, I don’t think a time delay definitively decouples what imparts consciousness from, say, decision making systems or sensory input: the thing which causes the time delay may simply be the time it takes for the signal reach and effect the speech and motor centers involved in providing the response to the behavioral task. But say they really are decoupled, why couldn’t consciousness play important roles in other mental processes - goal setting and goal refining, socializing and interpersonal interaction, meta cognitive reasoning. Maybe it just gets the salient and relevant inputs as prepackaged and refined representations for those roles. If that’s the case then while the consciousness imparting system is distinct, it is involved in some other important processing going on and so has a reason to be there.
  • ChrisH
    132
    I don't take or issue reading assignments, but it sounds like you might be interested in aScientific American article titled There Is No Such Thing As conscious Thought by philosopher Peter Carruthers..Unseen

    Very interesting. Thanks.
  • Unseen
    121


    You wrote: Firstly not every decision has been demonstrated as temporally decoupled - those decision experiments are for in-the-moment predictions using available sensory cues, they don’t demonstrate the same for future-oriented goal making or for deliberative reasoning. Secondly, I don’t think a time delay definitively decouples what imparts consciousness from, say, decision making systems or sensory input: the thing which causes the time delay may simply be the time it takes for the signal reach and effect the speech and motor centers involved in providing the response to the behavioral task. But say they really are decoupled, why couldn’t consciousness play important roles in other mental processes - goal setting and goal refining, socializing and interpersonal interaction, meta cognitive reasoning. Maybe it just gets the salient and relevant inputs as prepackaged and refined representations for those roles. If that’s the case then while the consciousness imparting system is distinct, it is involved in some other important processing going on and so has a reason to be there.

    My reply: You feel you are doing these things because you are conscious of doing them, but something is presenting these "perceptions" to the consciousness. Have you ever been driving and realized at some point that miles have gone by, with actions and decisions being made, and yet you know that the conscious "you" was operating on auto-pilot? When you argue by giving me questions rather than facts (e.g., " why couldn’t consciousness play important roles in other mental processes") that is just speculation and doesn't really answer why. Remember, I'm not denying that we're conscious. I'm not even denying that we may need to be conscious to function. I just can't figure out why we need to be conscious. Many plant species preceded higher mammals on Earth and, thus, have longer records of evolutionary success, proving that consciousness need not have any survival value at all.
  • Possibility
    322
    If you look at evolutionary theory as a matter of survival value, then no, there is no reason for us to have conscious experiences at all. There is also no reason for us to have soft, sensitive skin or the capacity for abstract thought, either. Or to reproduce sexually, or to be artistic, or any number of capacities that humans and other animals have developed.

    But I disagree that ‘survival value’ is the motivating force behind evolution. And it’s not an external Creator Being, either.

    We could function as we do without having any experiences whatsoever.Unseen

    That depends what you mean by ‘function as we do’. I’m not sure about you, but there are plenty of my normal daily activities that require me to have experiences.
  • Unseen
    121
    I’m not sure about you, but there are plenty of my normal daily activities that require me to have experiences.Possibility

    So, a sophisticated Turing Human couldn't function simply in terns of executing a program, but we'd have to give such a human the capacity to have experiences?

    Explain.
  • Possibility
    322
    So, a sophisticated Turing Human couldn't function simply in terns of executing a program, but we'd have to give such a human the capacity to have experiences?

    Explain
    Unseen

    My daily activities are not restricted to conversations on a computer, for starters - which is, I believe, the limit of the Turing test at this stage. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    I’ll admit I’m struggling with information theory, but I think IF you gave a computer system the capacity to process information from experiences in the same elaborately complex, 4-dimensional manner as humans have worked their way up to, you could hypothetically end up with a better example of human potential. In my opinion, we took a wrong turn with the concept of ‘self’ and we’ve been struggling with one hand tied behind our back for millennia.

    But that’s a very big ‘IF’. The biggest problem I see is with our capacity for interconnectedness: humans can potentially feel a connection to the universe on a complex cellular or even subatomic level that I’m not convinced can be replicated digitally. That we often dismiss or oppress experiential information gleaned in this manner is beside the point - the dialectic is part of what makes us human.

    Having said that, humans ‘function’ at a wildly diverse range of awareness levels every day, and we still call most of them ‘human’. Consciousness is arguably unnecessary for survival of the species at this point, but I would argue that a lack or deficiency of consciousness is threatening continued success for the diversity of life on a global scale, at least.
  • leo
    458
    Just exactly WHY are humans (and higher animals as well) conscious at all? It seems totally unnecessary and seems to have no survival value, either.Unseen

    Consciousness has value in the sense that there are experiences that make consciousness worth it, there are experiences that make you glad to be alive rather than dead.

    As to the survival value of consciousness, any answer will depend on unprovable assumptions, so an answer that will satisfy you will depend on what you are willing to believe.

    If you assume that each conscious experience maps to a specific pattern of electrical activity (motion of electrons) in the brain, then you see consciousness as an epiphenomenon that cannot cause anything, and so from that point of view it seems unnecessary, redundant.

    But how can you know whether consciousness reduces to that? Our perception is limited. We can't 'see' the consciousness of others, we're just measuring electrical activity of their brain, we're just seeing their facial expressions or behaviors, we can't see what they experience. So if our perception is limited in that way, it's very possible our consciousness doesn't reduce to motions of electrons in our brain, that it is more than that, and that even if you assembled what you perceive to be a copy of your brain, it's very possible there would be a necessary ingredient missing for that copy to have the same consciousness as you, or for it to have consciousness at all, because you wouldn't have assembled correctly the part that you don't perceive.

    Maybe consciousness is necessary in ways that the eye can't see.
  • Unseen
    121
    My daily activities are not restricted to conversations on a computer, for starters - which is, I believe, the limit of the Turing test at this stage. Correct me if I’m wrong.Possibility

    You're not wrong, but I'm asking you to suppose AI proceded from there to the next level. Japan is already producing some remarkably (creepily) realistic robots.If Turing machines reach a point where all they need is a "social stimulus value" (looking and behaving like people), it doesn't strike me they'd necessarily need to be conscious and having the experience of BEING. They could simply be executing software.

    Reflexive actions aside, it seems ALL of our sensory input is processed and filtered in ways we are unaware of, automatically and beyond our control, as it were.
  • Unseen
    121
    [quote="leo;279278"]If you assume that each conscious experience maps to a specific pattern of electrical activity (motion of electrons) in the brain, then you see consciousness as an epiphenomenon that cannot cause anything, and so from that point of view it seems unnecessary, redundant.

    But how can you know whether consciousness reduces to that? Our perception is limited.[/quote]

    Yes, our perception is limited. Limited to what the pre-conscious mind—which is actively filtering our sensory input and making the actual decisions—gives us.Remember, research shows that decisions we make are made before we become aware of them by anywhere from a fraction of a second to several seconds. Our decisions come into our conscious mind, our experience, as faits accompls.

    Unless that research is disproven, your conscious mind is totally passive and does nothing.
  • Possibility
    322
    We’re only unaware of the processing of sensory input because our conscious thinking is concerned with the more informative details of our experience. In most cases, we’re less concerned with what is happening around us because it tends to be fairly predictable, or it enables us to function sufficiently without conscious thinking. That doesn’t mean the conscious mind is on ‘auto-pilot’ - it’s just busy with something else, like replaying memories or imagining possible futures.

    Perhaps we can think of the conscious mind as CEO, with the majority of the work carried out by other systems that have been trained or trusted to do so - because it doesn’t really provide us with any vital new information. Many decisions come into our conscious mind not so much as a fait accomplis, but as a formulated plan awaiting executive sign-off. We can trust it’s all been taken care of, we can go back over the data ourselves and make sure, or we can apply new information as it comes in - even in that last fraction of a second. Prediction accuracy in the research shows that the conscious mind can still change the outcome.

    When I say ‘informative’, I mean information we don’t already have. We take note of changes in the environment, but this information has usually been assigned as a rule to particular systems to ‘take care of it’. It’s easy enough to train these systems to retain more or less of that sensory information (not the raw data) within reach of our conscious mind, if we want. It requires the time and resources of our conscious mind to put it in place, though.

    Suffice to say, I disagree that the research proves your conscious mind is totally passive and does nothing.

    As for the Turing machines, I think it’s possible for computer software to eventually trick most humans with an imitation, but how long they can be fooled for depends on how conscious they are in that moment of certain subtle differences in how we respond to experiences, that cannot be replicated.

    We may eventually have to train our minds to detect this artificiality, in the same way we’ve learned to detect when an email from the bank is fake. It starts with consciousness.
  • Unseen
    121
    I don't think anyone of note believes that the conscious mind micromanages sensory input to the degree you imply, making the pre- or sub-conscious mind basically an employee of the conscious mind.

    Any citations of researchers who support this view?

    Also, with all due respect, please be more brief. Einstein once said, “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”
  • aporiap
    155
    You feel you are doing these things because you are conscious of doing them, but something is presenting these "perceptions" to the consciousness. Have you ever been driving and realized at some point that miles have gone by, with actions and decisions being made, and yet you know that the conscious "you" was operating on auto-pilot?Unseen

    Well I think here you're mixing up attention with consciousness. You're still conscious [having experiences] of the road and what actions you are doing, just not focused or attending to them. These are being triggered by the intrinsic circuitry which simply has qualia associated with it or causes qualia. Secondly, I don't think just because most reasoning and decision making can be done on autopilot doesn't mean all forms of reasoning can. Decisions involving self inhibition - stoping yourself from reaching for the cookie; deliberative reasoning involving language, future and goal oriented reasoning-- are things that I think require heavy attention-load and intentional decisions.

    When you argue by giving me questions rather than facts (e.g., " why couldn’t consciousness play important roles in other mental processes") that is just speculation and doesn't really answer why. Remember, I'm not denying that we're conscious. I'm not even denying that we may need to be conscious to function. I just can't figure out why we need to be conscious. Many plant species preceded higher mammals on Earth and, thus, have longer records of evolutionary success, proving that consciousness need not have any survival value at all.
    Well, so evolution is not a convergent process; there's nothing restricting successful organisms from having different design plans-- anything that can survive and reproduce will. Secondly just because consciousness is not advantageous for a certain kind of organism doesn't mean it isn't advantageous for another. Plants and animals have completely different metabolisms- plant's don't need to do more than extend leaves out for their energy while animals need move around and search through their environments to find their food and survive. Clearly a certain kind of nervous system is needed for conscious experiences -- and that kind happened to work in a way that either promoted or did not effect survival in any negative way.
  • Unseen
    121
    I gather that you disagree with some of the things I said, but did you at any point explain why we need to be experiencing the world to function? Why do we need to be conscious, or do we? Is consciousness just a gratuitous add-on to our functioning?
  • thedeadidea
    98
    I think I am apathetic to the point where whatever the truth is..... *shrug*

    You could argue plants are conscious under the definition of OP simply by understanding an event unfolding, plants have a complex of biochemical communication...

    But they are not conscious in that anthropocentric definition... I think the amazing things about humanity and their consciousness is to create and impute meaning. Trying to build these faux premises ambiguous semantic universals as empathetic signifiers of significance is just a bit myopic.

    Whatever happened to joy for joys sake or experience for experience sake....
    For argument sake if on the 25th of december the materialist consciousness professor says he cracked the hard problem finally.... Would you live your life significantly differently? Would it ruin Christmas?

    What human beings call consciousness, meaning and truth seems tied to human beings unique abilities of language use and impute meaning. I would say our minds are more geared for strategy than some 21st century conception of ego just as I question whether we are designed for truth.
    More likely our truth/falsehood is an assessing mechanism to refine the industriousness of our endeavours in filtering signs.
    The looking for the future divination in goats bowels and looking for the broken brush as evidence of where prey items in which to hunt is an extension of the same kind of all too human assignment of meaning in different contexts.
  • Relativist
    730
    WHY is there consciousness?Unseen
    Presumably it is a product of biological evolution. Should we ask why marsupials have pouches for their young, or why anteaters have long skinny tongues? The existence of these various adaptations do not imply there's a teleological reason for it. Rather, it just seems to be a product of chance adaptation to chance environment.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment