• MonisticIdealist
    1
    The best definition of consciousness in my view involves what Philosopher Thomas Nagel mentioned in his paper in 1974 (“What Is It Like To Be A Bat?”).

    Consciousness is an intangible system of potential posessing the essential quality that there is something - anything - it is like to be this system in and of itself. This system can manifest in different configurations of agents, and also “figments” for consciousness to apprehend that aren’t necessarily agents themselves.

    Is there anything it’s like to be a table? Is there anything it’s like to be a computer? If you answer “no” to these questions then this means they are not conscious (yet they may still reside “in” consciousness like a table in a dream).

    Is there something it’s like to be you, me, a chimp, or a dolphin? If you answered “yes” then that means we are conscious.

    So I think that’s an intuitive definition.

    “You only consider yourself conscious right now because there is something it is like to be you.” - Philisopher of mind/ ontology Bernardo Kastrup
  • creativesoul
    6k


    I'm not interested in rhetoric. There's already more than enough of that on this forum. If you're interested... I've offered an argument. If you want me to spend any more of my time here discussing this with you, clearly state which part you're disagreeing with and particularly what that disagreement is based upon.

    Semantics is not equivalent to meaning.
    Semantics is the study of meaning.
    Meaning exists prior to semantics(the study of it).

    Syntax is the way in which linguistic elements (such as words) are put together to form constituents (such as phrases or clauses) b : the part of grammar dealing with this.
    All syntax is existentially dependent upon common language use.
    All common language use is meaningful.
    Meaning exists prior to syntax.

    Semiotics is a general philosophical theory of signs and symbols that deals especially with their function in both artificially constructed and natural languages and comprises syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics.
    All semiotics is existentially dependent upon pre-existing common language use.
    All language use is meaningful.
    Meaning exists prior to semiotics.

    That which exists prior to something else cannot be existentially dependent upon that something else. Meaning cannot be existentially dependent upon semantics, syntax, or semiotics. Rather, all three of those consist of pre-existing meaning. That which consists of something else is existentially dependent upon that something else. Semantics, syntax, and semiotics are all three existentially dependent upon pre-existing meaning.

    So...

    The thread is about consciousness. The contentious matter between us is whether or not it makes sense to draw an association between consciousness and 'genuine meaning', whereas the latter is language use replete with both semantic and syntactic content. The problem, of course, is that that notion of 'genuine meaning' cannot provide a basic enough - read *prelinguistic* - account of meaning. Some meaning exists prior to language. That is genuine meaning.

    Is it enough for consciousness?

    Who knows? I mean what counts as consciousness - according to current conventional standards - is akin to how many grains it takes to make a pile. The criterion for what counts as consciousness has yet to have been clearly set forth in this thread. I'm claiming that some cases of consciousness do not require common language use, whereas others most certainly do.

    Is meaningful language use proof of consciousness? Certainly. I'm guessing that that is what Searle's Chinese Room is all about(what exactly counts as meaningful language use). Is it required for consciousness in it's most simplistic manifestation(s)? I think not.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Some meaning is prior to the ability to sign, speak, write, and/or otherwise utter a common language. Some pre-linguistic meaning is shared between different individuals without any of them realizing, discovering, and/or otherwise becoming aware that that is happening. Some shared meaning is prior to common language.

    Can a plurality of different creatures draw mental correlations between the same things without realizing that they are doing it?

    Of course. We even do that all the time.

    Doesn't drawing a mental correlation between different things require being aware that one is doing so?

    Of course not. We do that(draw mental correlations between different things) unbeknownst to ourselves at the time it is happening. We've all been on autopilot when suddenly we realize we've been doing all sorts of stuff without paying much attention at all to any of it.

    Our being able to even realize that much is existentially dependent upon being able to talk about it. Autopilot happens autonomously. We need not turn on our physiological sensory perception. We must be already having experiences prior to being able to report on and/or talk about them. Being conscious of oneself, and/or one's own worldview requires complex common language replete with the ability to talk about one's own pre-existing thought/belief(mental ongoings).

    Does consciousness require being aware and/or attentive to oneself(self-awareness) and one's own worldview? Isn't there an actual distinction to be drawn between the kinds of things a creature is even capable of becoming and/or being conscious of? Certainly these groups of things we can become aware and/or conscious of vary according to both, the capability of the creature(humans notwithstanding) under consideration, and the complexity of the thing that we are becoming aware of. What does that thing consist of? What is it existentially dependent upon?

    What is the creature under current consideration conscious and/or aware of?

    Are they becoming aware of that which directly perceptible? Certainly whatever one is becoming aware of existed in it's entirety prior to any creature being able to become aware of it. That's true regarding all discovery regardless of whether or not the discovery is directly and/or indirectly perceptible. Invention is another matter altogether. All invention consists of some novel correlation somewhere along the line. But I digress...

    Being/becoming aware of directly perceptible things does not require common language. Feelings of contentment and familiarity subdue instinctual fear of unfamiliar things. These states of mind help produce expectation. Certainly there is some degree/level/amount of consciousness in these basic cases despite the obvious lack of common language?

    There's shared meaning pervading the flock, despite none of the individuals knowing that much. The group is well nourished, content, and resting. The creatures and their senses are on always on autopilot. Without language not only can they not talk about it, they also cannot have the experience(consciousness) of doing so. The same things are familiar to different individuals nonetheless. Things are familiar nonetheless.

    Unexpected things such as sudden events disrupt such circumstances. A mongoose snatches up a young duckling and runs off as suddenly as s/he appeared. Fear of the unfamiliar/unexpected retakes the wheel from the autopilot of familiarity, contentment, and rest. Not really. Ducks, including the mothers, do not seem at all fearful, and/or otherwise altered in their directed behaviours by such commonly occurring events. Familiarity.

    An unfamiliar stray dog is another matter altogether.

    Do such situations require consciousness? Certainly. Common language? Certainly not.

    There are very simple, repeatable experiments that can be performed in a closely controlled environment which would create the circumstances necessary in order for us to watch it happen. We can provide what it takes for a list of individual creatures make the same connections between different things(between some things of our own choosing). We can monitor these events carefully and watch the creatures' further develop their own 'self-contained' expectations based upon regular and consistent series of events.

    Is that not a real life example... a demonstration... of *some* amount/degree/level of consciousness hard at work?
  • Pantagruel
    150
    Seems like consciousness always appears as a feature of a system, within which it functions. This theory is known as distributed cognition (I've read the term 'embedded cognition' also). It describes how our minds constantly use information and cues from the environment, thus consciousness is not so localized as we like to think.
  • bongo fury
    104
    Some people (i.e. Searle) associate consciousness, in particular, with a linguistic capability having an irreducibly semantic component. Or at least, they associate lack of (or failure to demonstrate) consciousness with a reduction of semantics to syntax. (As in the Chinese Room.)

    This particular association (i.e. consciousness <---> genuine semantics) seems a useful one, to me. What about you?
    bongo fury

    Things were meaningful to us long before we became aware of it.creativesoul

    I guess that nicely expresses denial of the association I proposed? (Maybe so. Not looking for a fight here. Just clarification.)bongo fury

    (I seem to have read 'aware' as 'conscious', but no harm done.)

    Yes. I'm denying the characterization of consciousness as 'genuine semantics'.creativesoul

    Cool. We know where we stand.bongo fury

    But hey, kudos to us for exploring and questioning a bit further, despite the inevitable misunderstandings. I think our concerns are very similar, and there is plenty we could soon agree on, or disagree more clearly on. And in the end...

    Is meaningful language use proof of consciousness? Certainly. I'm guessing that that is what Searle's Chinese Room is all about(what exactly counts as meaningful language use). Is it required for consciousness in it's most simplistic manifestation(s)? I think not.creativesoul

    So an association after all (if only one-way not two-way).

    And maybe worth bringing up after all.
  • creativesoul
    6k


    Meaningful language use is adequate enough evidence to warrant thinking/believing that that user/individual is conscious. With that I agree. However, language use is not necessary for being and/or becoming aware/conscious of everything.

    All consciousness requires a creature capable of attributing meaning. All meaning is attributed solely by virtue of drawing mental correlations, associations, and/or connections between different things.

    So, in short...

    Consciousness is existentially dependent upon meaning.
    Meaning is not existentially dependent upon natural/common language.
    Consciousness is not existentially dependent upon natural/common language.

    This - of course - is too vague. Meaning, like thought, belief, and knowledge begins simply and grows/evolves in complexity.

    Meaning predates natural/common language solely by virtue of rudimentary level thought/belief.

    ...maybe worth bringing up after all.bongo fury

    Interesting to me. You writing all this down?

    :wink:
  • creativesoul
    6k
    I think our concerns are very similar...bongo fury

    I've written more than enough...

    I want to read. Your concerns have yet to have been expressed here. Care to?
  • bongo fury
    104
    You writing all this down?creativesoul

    Can you doubt it?

    All meaning is attributed solely by virtue of drawing mental correlations, associations, and/or connections between different things.creativesoul

    Agreed. But then, the same old problem. Conscious (mental correlations), or unconscious?

    I'm suggesting, conscious where the meaning is genuine, in the sense of not reducing, like the light-heat connection for the thermostat, or the salivation-bell connection for Pavlov's dog, to syntax. (You don't like widening linguistic terminology to symbolic functioning in general, I do. That difference between us is negotiable, I expect.)

    Genuine, though, in what more positive sense? (You might ask.)

    Here I have to contradict your cherished separation of meaning from its study - from "semantics". Genuine meaning, worthy of associating (roughly at least) with consciousness, is for me a semantical understanding, exercise of the high level social skill of agreeing which words or pictures or other symbols we are to suppose are pointed at (directed at, thrown at, landed on, applied to, attached to) which things.

    The dog plays fetch with sticks. We play fetch with words.

    The dog understands where the stick was thrown towards, and where it landed, out of a range of possibilities. But it doesn't, as we do, understand what a word was pointed at, or even that anything got pointed, at all; even though it might be trained or innately disposed to respond a certain way (which we of course may interpret semantically). Understanding and recognising the semantic relation is a much harder game, which, by contrast, the human infant very soon delights in.

    The dog is conscious, I conjecture, roughly to the (rather limited) extent that it can join in the harder game.

    Thank you for looking.
  • Basko
    13
    How would you explain what "Quantity" or "Shape" is to someone? I don't think you can. I think there are concepts that us humans just "start off" with like shapes, quantities, space, time that cannot be represented by anything more basic. Just think about it. If you define A using concepts B, C and D and proceed to define those using their own different concepts etc etc you'd never be done defining things. Nothing would make sense, because everything just has an infinitely long definition. There has to be a set of concepts you just "know" that you use to define others.khaled

    Of course ! I never said that someone could comprehend everything just by the definitions, but definitions can at least give some ideas of something. I would not say that Humans are born with some "prior concepts" but rather with some prior intuitions - E.Kant -, concepts are more practical and are formed by induction of different phenomenons - or knowledge -, intuitions are not clear, abstract and fuzzy, it's more like a feeling.
  • Basko
    13
    Seems like consciousness always appears as a feature of a system, within which it functions. This theory is known as distributed cognition (I've read the term 'embedded cognition' also).Pantagruel

    Thx for sharing, i didn't knew this theory. I will check it out
  • Basko
    13
    Thx for your dedication on this thread :smile: I enjoyed reading you
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    We have this feature we call consciousness. I guess that it is an emergent feature of the way the brain works. Most of the brain is outside of the conscious facility. It isn't "unconscious" it just doesn't "report everything" to the conscious facility -- which is a good thing. Were the whole brain conscious, it would be like riot in a stadium--impossible to think.

    So, the brain-outside-of-the-consciousness-facility is where most of our thinking is done. It's altogether ours, we do it, but we can't observe it. The activities of the brain-outside-of-the-consciousness-facility pass things along to the conscious facility. So, if I ask you, "What is Mary's telephone number", the answer appears and you tell me what it is. HOW the brain found the number, and WHERE exactly it was stored, and by WHAT MEANS it delivered it to your tongue to speak, isn't open to the conscious facility's observation. fMRI machines can capture some of the processing that delivers up Mary's number.

    Your conscious mind did not do much of the work composing your OP, just as my conscious mind is mostly an observer watching the words come off my fingertips. I have no idea how the brain-outside-of-the-consciousness-facility assembles ideas, sentences, paragraphs, etc. and sends them off to the fingers or tongue for transmission.

    Speaking of fMRIs, the dogs below are displaying a lot of attention. They are subjects in a canine cognition research program, and just right now a human is explaining what they will all be doing in the next phase--while holding up a tennis ball. Once trained to put up with the MRI, they hop right up and are given various stimuli--sounds, odors, pictures, words, etc. to see what happens in their heads. Brains all work pretty much alike, so it s quite relevant to our brains.

    tumblr_pvvymmyEQC1y3q9d8o1_540.jpg



    I suspect the "you can't even step into the same river once" quip was somebody's attempt to top Heraclitus.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k
    I suspect the "you can't even step into the same river once" quip was somebody's attempt to top Heraclitus.Bitter Crank

    Right, and it's fun as something like a Woody Allen joke . . .
  • creativesoul
    6k


    :blush:

    Pardon my lack of social etiquette Basko. I haven't even addressed the OP directly, although if anything I've said is worth anything at all, hopefully there have been some purely accidental connections/relevance to it.

    I'll read it and at least address it.

    You're more than welcome. I find most of the talk about consciousness to be... well... errr.... um.... misguided, to say the least.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    All meaning is attributed solely by virtue of drawing mental correlations, associations, and/or connections between different things.
    — creativesoul

    Agreed. But then, the same old problem. Conscious (mental correlations), or unconscious?
    bongo fury

    And yet that's not a problem on my view. That's part of the point I've been painstakingly making here. When we're discussing consciousness, the discourse needs to include not only the candidate(creature), but also what *exactly* the candidate is conscious/aware of, and/or attentive towards?

    That approach/framework dissolves the purported problem.

    To ask whether or not mental correlations are conscious or unconscious is to ask whether or not the thinking/believing creature is aware of their own thought/belief(mental correlations). Being aware that one is thinking, being aware that one has beliefs, being aware that one is in the grip of expectation/fear, being aware that one has mental ongoings, being aware that one is drawing correlations, associations, and/or connections between different things requires complex natural/common language that is replete with names for mental ongoings.

    So... not the same old problem!

    Hence, in the very beginning of our exchange I clearly expressed the need to take proper account of thought/belief, paying particularly close attention to the actual differences between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief. One result of employing such a method is that realize that people are not even conscious of the fact that they are thinking/believing creatures until long after language use has begun in earnest. As it stands, you've neglected this.

    Genuine meaningful language use does not guarantee that that user is capable of thinking about it's own thought/belief.

    On my view, being aware of one's own consciousness is being aware of one's thought/belief. That kind of self-awareness(self-consciousness) can only come after/with complex natural/common language use replete with names for mental ongoings. That level of consciousness - being aware of one's own mental ongoings - is existentially dependent upon quite a bit more than mere meaningful language use.


    I'm suggesting, conscious where the meaning is genuine, in the sense of not reducing, like the light-heat connection for the thermostat, or the salivation-bell connection for Pavlov's dog, to syntax. (You don't like widening linguistic terminology to symbolic functioning in general, I do. That difference between us is negotiable, I expect.)

    I'm not going to agree that consciousness requires meaningful language use, because everyday facts show otherwise.

    I've offered more than adequate argument/ground against this notion of 'genuine meaning' that you're working from. It's inherently inadequate for taking proper account of prelinguistic and/or nonlinguistic thought/belief, and hence meaningful attribution(as well as some amount/degree/level of consciousness) that first happens/emerges and/or persists prior to either the structure of language(syntax/grammar) or the study of meaningful language use(semantics). As heretofore argued, it's also inherently incapable of taking proper account of self-consciousness.




    I want to say a bit here regarding the characterization/terminological choices displayed in the above quote.

    The salivation-bell 'connection' for Pavlov's dog?

    That correlation was drawn by Pavlov, not the dog. The dog's correlation was between the bell and being fed. Hence, the salivation is evidence that the dog has/holds expectation. He believes he's about to eat(expects to be fed) when he hears the bell. That is - in part - because of the consistency of past events. Expectation(thought/belief about what's about to happen) ensues as a result of the dog's successive repeated mental correlations drawn between those things.

    The light-heat connection for the thermostat?

    Because all meaning is attributed and the attribution of meaning requires a creature capable of drawing mental correlations between different things, and thermostats are not, it makes no sense whatsoever to talk about any meaningful connection/association/correlation for a thermostat.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    - Does consciousness = Awareness ?
    - Does consciousness = Attention ?
    - Does consciousness = Both ? or Something else ?
    Basko

    Consciousness = the ability to form, have, and/or hold thought/belief and all that that entails. The complexity level of the consciousness is proportional to the complexity level of the creatures' thought/belief.

    Thought/belief consists of mental correlations, associations, and/or connections drawn between different things.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Brains all work pretty much alike, so it s quite relevant to our brains.Bitter Crank

    Indeed.
  • luckswallowsall
    61
    It does equal awareness, but not necessarily self-awareness.

    With regards to attention: it may not imply attention in *every* sense but there is a very good sense in which you are attending to something simply by being conscious. There is a sense in which by simply being conscious you are attending to what you're conscious of ... since the being aware or conscious orf X equates to attending to X.
  • bongo fury
    104
    it makes no sense whatsoever to talk about any meaningful connection/association/correlation for a thermostat.creativesoul

    Well, exactly. That's why I'm calling it mere syntax. We agree on much, as I keep saying.

    Does consciousness equal:

    • Awareness?
    • Attention?
    • Experiencing?
    • Thoughts/mental ongoings?
    • Belief?
    • Reasoning?
    • Meaning?
    • Thoughts about thoughts?
    • Mental correlations?
    • Mental associations?
    • Mental connections?
    • Expectation?
    • Fear?

    Does any of these do the trick? Or can all of them be unconscious?

    I suspect they all can, on any definitions plausibly grounded in common usage. (Fear, maybe not yet, but soon, when we start attributing it to some gratuitously cute robot.)

    So, taking the bull by the horns, what distinguishes, for example, conscious meaning from unconscious meaning: genuine from fake? That was my reason to invoke Searle and his Chinese Room, and you got that, totally. As here:

    When we're discussing consciousness, the discourse needs to include not only the candidate(creature), but also what *exactly* the candidate is conscious/aware of, and/or attentive towards?creativesoul

    That would be Searle's message, too, I think.

    It leads, of course, to the question how or roughly when a creature achieves consciousness of the (external or internal) objects of its awareness, attention, thought, belief, correlation, expectation, etc.

    Thanks for sketching your approach to that question, and thanks for looking at mine!
  • Basko
    13
    Your conscious mind did not do much of the work composing your OP, just as my conscious mind is mostly an observer watching the words come off my fingertips.Bitter Crank

    I think "observer" isn't the right word to use to describe consciousness. Observer means that the one is "looking at" something - in this case some brains activities -, i would rather say that the conscious mind is experiencing within some brain activities. Then, the question is, those experiencing within some brain activities impact the outcome or the structure of those brain activities ? or it's just a passive experience.

    If experiencing something doesn't change the outcome or the structure then the hard problem kicks in .. Why we experience ?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.2k
    Good point. Where does the conscious mind enter into this process? I think I read your post, to which I think I am responding. That didn't happen in the part of the brain I can't observe, I'm thinking. I think I decided to write this response, and I think I rejected the first offerings that came out. As a consequence I had to think a bit (consciously) about what I wanted to say here.

    My conscious mind definitely does not like the idea that it is just a figurehead of the "real" brain, mind, that operates out of sight of the public, and the conscious facility. But it is possible, that what I identify as the "conscious me" isn't much more than a shadow puppet manipulated by the "real me".

    The "real me", out of sight, busy doing god knows what behind the screen, experiences what it gets from the sensory data feeds, what it imagines, what it wishes for, what it fears, etc. The "invisible real me" projects the shadow puppet because it is just very useful to have a business rep out front which can deal with other business reps, which are also 'out front'.

    This probably doesn't help much.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Does consciousness equal:

    Awareness?
    Attention?
    Experiencing?
    Thoughts/mental ongoings?
    Belief?
    Reasoning?
    Meaning?
    Thoughts about thoughts?
    Mental correlations?
    Mental associations?
    Mental connections?
    Expectation?
    Fear?

    Does any of these do the trick? Or can all of them be unconscious?

    I suspect they all can, on any definitions plausibly grounded in common usage. (Fear, maybe not yet, but soon, when we start attributing it to some gratuitously cute robot.)
    bongo fury

    The invocation of "unconscious" is unhelpful.

    Being conscious of the trees involves drawing correlations between the trees and other things. That takes place long before the creature can become aware of that. The tree is significant to the dog as a result of the dog drawing mental correlations, associations, and/or connections between the tree and other things. The dog is conscious of the tree. It is aware of the tree. It is attentive towards the tree.

    The dog does not know this.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    So, taking the bull by the horns, what distinguishes, for example, conscious meaning from unconscious meaning...bongo fury

    I've set out my own view. You've invoked the "conscious/unconscious" dichotomy(problem). I've already explained how to dissolve it(how it's not a problem on my view). That's been left sorely neglected while you continue to fly around in the bottle that you popped the cork to.

    All meaning is attributed by conscious creatures. Not all of those creatures realize what's going on.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Thanks for sketching your approach to that question, and thanks for looking at mine!bongo fury

    :smile:

    Thanks for the nicety.
  • bongo fury
    104
    The "invisible real me" projects the shadow puppet because it is just very useful to have a business rep out front which can deal with other business reps, which are also 'out front'.Bitter Crank

    So,

    - Does consciousness = shadow-business-rep-puppetry?
    - Does consciousness = any combination of this with any of the many other suggestions?

    But then, do you mean any shadow-business-rep-puppetry, including the clearly unconscious kind which I presume is implemented in my PC as operating system "shells" and the like?

    And if not, how do you narrow it down?

    Sorry to butt in.
  • unreadpages
    3
    Consciousness : Quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneselfBasko

    Within oneself sounds geographical, are we talking about a location in space? Or does the word "within" have an archaic sense related to the association of a self with a biological enclosed system (body), the primal idea of space? Internality is a concept that needs some explanation.
  • unreadpages
    3
    The "real me", out of sight, busy doing god knows what behind the screenBitter Crank

    Again the concept of "inside/outside" where "/" = skin (or screen). Somehow the real thing is enclosed and hidden. And it sure is. When I think (intellect), I am outside my real self and cannot reach it; but paradoxically by self-alienation that's how I know I am real. But "what am I" surges up (another spatio-geographical concept); is it necessary that I am something that can be referred to as "what"?
  • creativesoul
    6k
    it makes no sense whatsoever to talk about any meaningful connection/association/correlation for a thermostat.
    — creativesoul

    Well, exactly. That's why I'm calling it mere syntax. We agree on much, as I keep saying.
    bongo fury

    We agree upon less, I think, than you seem to think/believe.

    There is no syntax for the thermostat either.

    Syntax is existentially dependent upon pre-existing meaning. Syntax is the structure of common language. Semantics is the study of meaning. The term "syntax" was invented as a means to separate meaning from structure. The problem is that that is prima facie evidence of an utterly inadequate *metacognitive* notion/conception/idea of meaning hard at work. The structure/grammar/syntax of common language is one part of the meaning. That move, that separation, is a mistake in thought/belief about meaning. It is a mistake in the study of meaning.

    By the way, I'm not making up the idea that semantics is not equivalent to meaning. I'm just pointing it out. So, you can reject and/or dismiss that if you so choose. However, in doing so you'd be showing unshakable certainty in false belief.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    All this talk about unconscious as compared/contrasted to conscious is very unhelpful. It adds nothing but unnecessary confusion to our understanding.

    All undeniable examples of consciousness, all undeniable candidates/creatures who we say, without pause, are conscious creatures are thinking/believing creatures. They are conscious of something or other. No conscious creature is conscious of everything, including all of their own thought/belief(including the very thing that happens that makes them conscious creatures to begin with).

    All thought/belief consists of mental correlations drawn between different things. All meaning involves precisely the same process(thought/belief formation).

    Everything ever spoken, written, and/or otherwise uttered directly involves the aforementioned mental correlations. Some thought/belief is prior to language acquisition. All thought/belief is meaningful to the thinking/believing creature. All thought/belief has efficacy regardless of the complexity thereof.

    When we become - sometimes quite painfully - aware of the fact that we've been mistaken about something or other, and we have the means to account for it, we can avoid cognitive dissonance. When we cannot believe what we're experiencing, we're doubting our physiological sensory perception and/or our own thought/belief about what has just happened and/or is still happening.

    It's all about thought/belief people!

    When we report upon consciousness, we had better base that report upon knowledge of that which existed in it's entirety prior to our report. Thought/belief is one such thing - and must be if it has evolved over time. Consciousness is as well.

    Kant's Noumena unfortunately fails us here. That is a self-inflicted wound. A limitation of sheer will fed by language use itself. Kant attempts to delimit our thought about ding an sich or things in themselves. This would include everything prior to language. Kant - for some reason unbeknownst to me - stipulates that we cannot know anything about that which existed prior to our awareness/consciousness of it. Based upon that false premiss, he continues to drive a wedge between mind and world. Noumena is a Kantian child posing as a rule of all thought regarding what and/or how we ought proceed with our metacognitive endeavors(reasoning).

    I put it to everyone out there that we need not know everything about something to know some things about something. This holds good regarding that which existed prior to language itself. Creatures are very attentive, quite conscious, of certain things. These things are part of bigger events, and the totality of these events captures the creatures' entire attention. We can watch this happen over and over again. The simplest correlations we can verify involve a creature with a multifaceted biological system replete with several different kinds of physiological sensory perception(a sensory organ system).

    The creature does not know that this is happening, but it most certainly is. So...

    When talking about consciousness, it would behoove us all to keep in mind that we ought be focusing upon both, the candidate and what the candidate is purportedly conscious of.

    Being aware, conscious, and/or otherwise attentive towards something(consciousness) has a minimalist criterion at it's heart - and it must in order to be amenable to evolution without invoking unnecessary entities. This minimalist criterion must consist of that which is necessary and sufficient for all known examples of consciousness. It must be able to somehow progress/increase in complexity over time, perhaps over lifespans, and throughout the history of that particular species' time on earth(humans in mind).

    An adequate outline.

    It need not fill in all the blanks so much as it need to provide the framework which is capable of being used to do so. That is explanatory power. Given my own strict adherence to certain rules and/or guiding principles along with a fondness for Ockham's Razor, that power is inherent in the notion of thought/belief that I work from because that notion is based upon the strongest possible justificatory ground(universal quantification regarding verifiable/falsifiable statements).

    It's all about thought/belief. Get thought/belief wrong, and you've most certainly gotten consciousness wrong - somewhere along the line - as an inevitable logical consequence.

    Mental correlations happen autonomously. We need not 'turn it on'. We cannot turn it off. All conscious creatures - and thus all consciousness - involve(s) exactly that(mental correlations). It does not involve the creature being conscious that they are conscious(that they form, have, and/or hold thought/belief). It does not involve the creature knowing that their own behaviour is informed, directly effected/affected, and/or otherwise influenced by the never-ending process of mental correlations being drawn between different things.

    As best we can tell, the only conscious creatures aware of the fact that they are conscious creatures are humans. We become conscious of our own thought/belief(worldview) solely by virtue of complex common natural language replete with names for our own mental ongoings. The common sense as well as logical(on pains of coherence) point here - of course - is that prior to becoming aware that one is conscious... one is already conscious.

    Becoming aware that one is conscious requires complex natural/common language. Being conscious does not.

    Not all conceptions/notions/ideas/frameworks of consciousness are on equal footing. As far as I'm aware, no conventional school of thought has ever gotten it right(well-grounded and amenable to evolutionary progression without anthropomorphism, the obliteration of meaningful language, and/or the personification of animals).

    To ask whether or not some thought/belief is a conscious or unconscious one is to neglect the fact that all thought/belief is formed by a creature capable of drawing mental correlations between different things, and that that is *precisely* how anything and/or anyone becomes conscious.

    Not all creatures are aware of their own thought/belief. They are conscious nonetheless... of a plethora, a smorgasbord, a panopoly of other things.
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