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#436103 - 10/24/10 03:43 PM Re: The Consciousness [Re: LordofDarkness]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
I prefer to think in terms of awareness. There is awareness, then there is willpower. Determination and ability to act. Consciousness hardly matters at all. Let alone the fancy schmanzy concept of unconsciousness. All awareness in all its derivatives and possible permutations emanate from the governing body of the "you" which has the power to take action.

The dance of shadows on the cave wall of your imagination is little but a distraction which fragments your ability to focus and act.
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#436111 - 10/24/10 04:05 PM Re: The Consciousness [Re: LordofDarkness]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Philosophers have had a very hard time, for a very long time, reconciling materialism (as we understand it) with consciousness (as we understand it). Most philosophers who write on this subject are, let's say, cautious about saying there's anything mysterious or supernatural about consciousness. The prevailing view is that it is probably not very mysterious at all -- the mystery is, how do we characterize it in a way that is accurate and satisfactory, but also compatible with our other commitments?

But, at the same time, philosophers don't necessarily have a firm grasp of what is involved in a commitment to "materialism". Which means: Maybe we don't understand what consciousness is. Maybe we don't understand what "materialism" means, or why we should adhere to it. My own view is that we are probably ignorant on both counts.

The way I see it, perhaps we are posing the question in a backwards way. Instead of asking whether you can reconcile something reasonably resembling the idea of "consciousness" with an unwavering commitment to materialism, maybe we should go the other way: maybe we should see whether we can arrive at something reasonably resembling "materialism", starting with an appropriately rich account of consciousness. It may not be the materialism we're used to, and might even be antithetical in some ways; but if it sums up the really important commitments that make materialism attractive to us, maybe it doesn't matter if we're not "materialists" per se.

This is all very veiled, but it would take some VERY heavy philosophical lifting to support all of this. I'm just saying, sometimes when you turn a problem upside down, something interesting falls out.
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