Sorted by New


On the ontological development of consciousness

how else can what were originally perceptual patterns be explained, except by positing that there is a camera-like entity in the world (attached to some physical body) that generates such percepts?


This sentence makes a big leap. Here, you've vaguely defined consciousness as a camera-like entity that generates such percepts; the percepts in question being, apparently, just those percepts that are too difficult, complex, or high-level to explain in the manner that you were able to explain shapes as percepts derived from pixel maps.

That's why it's a leap in my opinion; you build up from raw percepts to pattern recognition, and from there, to an unspecified level of understanding the world somewhere between that of a baby and that of an adult, using stabilization as the vehicle and providing good examples, analogies, and explanations. But from there, you leap from recognizing shapes to world-perception ontology in one fell swoop, using consciousness as the catch-all. You offer a vague notion of what consciousness does, but no explanation of how it accomplishes it. What are the inputs and outputs of consciousness, and why must it be consciousness that produces those outputs rather than some part of the brain? Or if consciousness is that part of the brain, why is it a camera-like entity attached to the body rather than just circuitry in the body itself?

You go on to offer somewhat of a passing criticism of eliminative materialism, but because of the gaps above, it's not a valid criticism as far as I can tell. I say that because, in addition to the gaps above, the biggest arguments against your thesis ("the ontology...includes...conscious perception") come from physics, physics being at the core of any materialism. So before those arguments can be made, I needed to re-credit eliminative materialism.

When you conclude that consciousness is attached to some physical body, and that consciousness even plays a role in that body's understanding of and functioning within the world, you cannot escape physics. The body's actions within the world are coupled with the body's "understanding" of the world. The electrical signals generated by the brain, sent into the muscles, resulting in accelerations of body parts, are coupled with and motivated by the body's "understanding." Somewhere within that leap you made, there needs to be some explanation of how the consciousness could cause physical phenomena without breaking any laws of physics. That, it seems to me, is much more likely to be impossible than the ability of consciousness-eliminativism to explain these percepts in question.

And both parts are necessary to make sense of percepts.

Why? What does the consciousness part even do, exactly?

the ontology that allows one to conceptualize the material world as existing and not shifting constantly, includes as part of it conscious perception, and could not function without including it

What does the consciousness add to the perception? What does consciousness do that the circuitry of the brain could not possibly do?

Without such a component, there would be no way to refactor rapidly shifting perceptual patterns into a stable outer world and a moving point-of-view contained in it.

Why not?

Why are delicious biscuits obscure?

I think the comments so far are focusing too much on the biscuits, and not enough on the free market. The conundrum, after all, is not the biscuits themselves, but rather their apparently counterintuitive absence from the market.

I'm sure the biscuits are good, fantastic in fact. But the free market is absolutely inundated with food. Food is an easy problem to solve: everyone needs it and everyone likes it, and every civilization throughout history has unsurprisingly churned out thousands of varieties of it. A single average supermarket will contain thousands, if not tens of thousands, of different foods to choose from, no doubt including several hundred types of desserts and pastries. Many of these foods are outstandingly delicious, many arguably more than capable of maxing out the pleasure circuitry in the average consumer's brain.

So we can sort of shift the burden of proof: instead of asking why these biscuits aren't on the market, perhaps it's easier to ask why they should be on the market given all the other foods already there. As mentioned, it's not difficult to please consumers with food, and although each food is unique, the satisfaction and pleasure gained from it is not. Do we have any reason to believe these biscuits offer an amount of pleasure that is not already matched by 1000+ other foods already available and in mass-scale, efficient production?