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Consciousness
#76

Consciousness
A warthog may be aware that there are things it likes to eat in the vicinity.
A mouse might be aware there is something it likes to eat in the vicinity.
Are they conscious.
Weeping
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#77

Consciousness
(11-05-2019, 10:07 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(11-04-2019, 12:30 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: What's the explanation of human consciousness? It evolved.

No. If it "evolved" then at some point it was not in the same state as it is now. You logic is totally flawed. If it evolved, then there was a point it didn't exist.

What "it evolved" doesn't explain is how consciousness of any sort appeared initially. That's not a question that is answered by an evolutionary explanation. It's a similar problem to how life appeared when previously there was non-life. The answer to both is "we don't really know, we just have hypotheses at this point." In both cases, other than the discomfort of not knowing, it's of no consequence to understanding consciousness or life as they now exist, really. Once they were there, they began to develop, and what we now have can be studied and understood.

Consciousness is no different than any other evolutionary trait. If it improves survival, it is selected for. It appears that human levels of self-awareness aren't needed for the vast majority of animals to pass on their genetic material. It is still an open question at this point whether it is going to be selected back out of humans or developed further, or be our downfall. One explanation for the lack of contact with other intelligent spacefaring species is that most of them may not survive to build starships. Perhaps none do. Human-level self awareness may not be sustainable, and so might constitute an evolutionary "hard stop".

Alan V makes the point (which I think is more likely correct that not) that if you accept that machines could become self-aware, then life is not a necessary ingredient for intelligence (or we should better say sentience -- the ability to think abstractly and creatively). Or at least it's not necessary apart from the need perhaps for a living sentience to design and bootstrap it. This is not the same thing as suggesting that rocks could become sentient. It is clearly an evolved characteristic, and that requires life of sufficient complexity replicating itself either naturally (sex) or artificially (e.g., machine sentience).
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#78

Consciousness
(11-07-2019, 02:11 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: A warthog may be aware that there are things it likes to eat in the vicinity.
A mouse might be aware there is something it likes to eat in the vicinity.
Are they conscious.
Weeping

If you disagree with my assessment of consciousness please tell me what yours actually is. Be specific.
He loves me?  Facepalm
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#79

Consciousness
(11-07-2019, 02:11 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: A warthog may be aware that there are things it likes to eat in the vicinity.
A mouse might be aware there is something it likes to eat in the vicinity.
Are they conscious?

Yes.  The structures of the brain supporting consciousness go way back evolutionarily.
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#80

Consciousness
(11-07-2019, 04:04 AM)mordant Wrote: What "it evolved" doesn't explain is how consciousness of any sort appeared initially. That's not a question that is answered by an evolutionary explanation. It's a similar problem to how life appeared when previously there was non-life. The answer to both is "we don't really know, we just have hypotheses at this point."

Here is one such hypothesis from The Consciousness Instinct: Unraveling the Mystery of How the Brain Makes the Mind by Michael Gazzanina, which I mentioned in my post #22, in case you skipped over it:

From our understanding of quantum mechanics, we now know that objectivity does not just pertain to what is inherent entirely in a material system, but to what is inherent in a system-observer pair. “By the mere fact of measuring you are introducing subjectivity into the system.” This is complementarity, and it is an important concept in approaching the mind/brain problem.

Howard Pattee pointed out that “it was the belief that human consciousness ultimately collapsed the wave function that produce the problem of Schrodinger’s cat.” But Pattee suggested that natural mechanisms far simpler than human consciousness could do this, and he proposed that the gap between inanimate and living matter resulted from “a process equivalent to quantum measurement that began with self-replication at the origin of life.” In other words, subjectivity was born with life, not with consciousness, which was a later elaboration. He stated, “Duality is a necessary and inherent property of any entity capable of evolving” and “if we want to understand the idea of consciousness, something fully formed in evolved living systems, we must first understand what makes a living system alive and evolvable in the first place.”

“Any living thing that ‘records’ information is introducing a form of subjectivity into the system.” A symbol is arbitrary, so while natural laws are inexorable and universal, rules that apply to symbols can be changed and are arbitrary. Pattee asserted that “it is precisely this natural symbol-matter articulation that makes life distinct from non-living physical systems.”

Biosemiotics is the semiotics of living systems. Semiotic systems pair signs and meanings with a code which is included within the system itself, and not imposed externally. Such assignments are arbitrary, like sounds for meanings in language, and came into existence through random molecular resorting. In other words, matter can self-organize in another way besides the laws of physics or evolution. “In its informational (subjective) mode, DNA follows rules, not the laws of physics.”

“There can be no self-awareness without a self. The first steps must be toward a delimited self.” Consciousness of such a self is further down the road, and is a relatively simple matter of perceiving an already existing self. Thus consciousness depends upon discrete living systems.

In other words, self-organization organized selves which loaded the dice of chance events in their own favor. Consciousness later evolved as a series of strategies.
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#81

Consciousness
(11-07-2019, 11:47 AM)Alan V Wrote:
(11-07-2019, 02:11 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: A warthog may be aware that there are things it likes to eat in the vicinity.
A mouse might be aware there is something it likes to eat in the vicinity.
Are they conscious?

Yes.  The structures of the brain supporting consciousness go way back evolutionarily.

So you're saying a mouse is conscious ? How do you know this ? Define "consciousness".
And what exactly are they, and what do they go back to, and what are your references and how do you know this ? 
It's not as though you have any credibility in Neuro-science.
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#82

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 01:47 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: So you're saying a mouse is conscious ?
Yes.
Quote: How do you know this ?
Have you ever tried to hit one with a hammer?
Quote: Define "consciousness". 
Awareness.
Quote:And what exactly are they 
In humans. The brain stem, thalamus and parts of the cerebral cortex.
Quote:and what do they go back to
The formation of those specific areas of the brain.
Quote:and what are your references and how do you know this?
The library.
Quote:It's not as though you have any credibility in Neuro-science.
Yeah, but I've watched mice avoiding danger, dogs dreaming about themselves and squirrels problem solving.
He loves me?  Facepalm
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#83

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 01:47 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: So you're saying a mouse is conscious ? How do you know this ? 

Abductive reasoning.  "Abductive reasoning is a form of logical inference which starts with an observation or set of observations then seeks to find the simplest and most likely explanation for the observations. This process, unlike deductive reasoning, yields a plausible conclusion but does not positively verify it." -- Wikipedia

(11-08-2019, 01:47 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: Define "consciousness". 

Experience.  Any experience -- sensory experience, feeling emotions, thinking, dreaming, planning, and so on. We don't even have to add "subjective" or "phenomenal" since those adjectives are really redundant. This perspective is per neuroscientist Christof Koch, and is gleaned from his latest book The Feeling of Life Itself.

(11-08-2019, 01:47 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: And what exactly are they, and what do they go back to, and what are your references and how do you know this ? 
It's not as though you have any credibility in Neuro-science.

Haven't you been following the discussion?  I have provided references to the informed opinions of neuroscientists, philosophers, and others throughout.

Correction: "Michael Gazzaniga" is the correct spelling.

I look forward to your positive contributions to this discussion.
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#84

Consciousness
(11-06-2019, 01:17 PM)Dānu Wrote: He didn't misrepresent you, douche bag, he said that if it evolved then at some point it existed in a different state, which is true, and is implied by what you wrote.  His conclusion that it then therefore must have not existed at some point is also true.

He did misrepresent me, blockhead, and you've clearly misread what I wrote as well.

YES, what I wrote implies that HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS evolved at some point and, as I said, OF COURSE it did ... and I SAID it did MULTIPLE TIMES.

But this does NOT contradict the fact that it DOES NOT imply that CONSCIOUSNESS FULL STOP evolved .... because CONSCIOUSNESS FULL STOP is not identical in meaning to HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS. Get your fat head around the fact that both you and him gave FEEBLE responses that COMPLETELY MISSED MY POINT.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#85

Consciousness
(11-06-2019, 12:46 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(11-06-2019, 12:07 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: https://bigthink.com/philip-perry/the-un...ists-state

Quote:U.K. physicist Sir Roger Penrose is yet another supporter of panpsychism. Penrose in the 80's proposed that consciousness is present at the quantum level and resides in the synapses of the brain. He is famous for linking consciousness with some of the goings on in quantum mechanics.

It's not as if all scientists aren't on my side. Panpsychism may be in the minority ... but it is on the rise even within the scientific field.

But "Scientists disagree with you" isn't actually an argument so I don't know why you bothered to use it. It's pointless if they're drawing irrelevant conclusions from their findings. If X is untestable by science then Y finding isn't relevant to it ... but that doesn't stop some scientists saying otherwise. Sure, the evidence that is found is objective but, like I said, that doesn't mean that scientists, who are human after all, can't draw irrelevant conclusions from that evidence.

I "bothered to use it" because I am curious about the warrant for your perspectives, which seem like unwarranted and uneconomical speculations otherwise.  With the Penrose quote, you have begun to offer a warrant.  Would you care to elaborate on how you think quantum mechanics pertains to consciousness?

NO.... providing the fact that a scientist, Penrose, also thinks panpsychism makes sense is NOT providing a warrant. "a scientist thinks X is true" and "there is scientific evidence of X" is NOT the same thing and it's NOT an argument. My point was the point out that it's NOI TRUE that all scientists are against panpsychism BUT IT'S IRRELEVANT ANYWAY ... because it's NOT an argument to say "scientists agree with me" or "scienists disagree with you."

The 'scientific evidence' on this matter is IRRELEVANT when PURE LOGIC demonstrates that THERE CANNOT BE ANY EVIDENCE OF TOTAL NON-CONSCIOUSNESS ANYWAY ... so it's not even a scientifically verifiable matter! The whole IDEA of asking for 'evidence' that consciousness is that all we can ever have evidence of WHEN IT'S TRUE BY DEFINITION ANYWAY .... it's a POINTLESS RED HERRING.

It's NOT fucking rocket science that EVIDENCE is EMPIRICAL.... EMPIRICISM is EXPERIENCE-BASED and CONSCIOUSNESS IS EXPERIENCE/subjectivity.

It's really not that complicated ONCE YOU THINK IT THROUGH.

But bah, I'm wasting my time here because (almost) nobody seems capable of listening or reading.

P.S. Capslock isn't emotion on my part ... or 'shouting' .... it's just me making the key words bigger to see if it helps people read.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#86

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 11:40 AM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: NO.... providing the fact that a scientist, Penrose, also thinks panpsychism makes sense is NOT providing a warrant. "a scientist thinks X is true" and "there is scientific evidence of X" is NOT the same thing and it's NOT an argument. My point was the point out that it's NOI TRUE that all scientists are against panpsychism BUT IT'S IRRELEVANT ANYWAY ... because it's NOT an argument to say "scientists agree with me" or "scienists disagree with you."

The 'scientific evidence' on this matter is IRRELEVANT when PURE LOGIC demonstrates that THERE CANNOT BE ANY EVIDENCE OF TOTAL NON-CONSCIOUSNESS ANYWAY ... so it's not even a scientifically verifiable matter! The whole IDEA of asking for 'evidence' that consciousness is that all we can ever have evidence of WHEN IT'S TRUE BY DEFINITION ANYWAY .... it's a POINTLESS RED HERRING.

It's NOT fucking rocket science that EVIDENCE is EMPIRICAL.... EMPIRICISM is EXPERIENCE-BASED and CONSCIOUSNESS IS EXPERIENCE/subjectivity.

It's really not that complicated ONCE YOU THINK IT THROUGH.

But bah, I'm wasting my time here because (almost) nobody seems capable of listening or reading.

P.S. Capslock isn't emotion on my part ... or 'shouting' .... it's just me making the key words bigger to see if it helps people read.

I disagree.
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#87

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 11:42 AM)Alan V Wrote:
(11-08-2019, 11:40 AM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: NO.... providing the fact that a scientist, Penrose, also thinks panpsychism makes sense is NOT providing a warrant. "a scientist thinks X is true" and "there is scientific evidence of X" is NOT the same thing and it's NOT an argument. My point was the point out that it's NOI TRUE that all scientists are against panpsychism BUT IT'S IRRELEVANT ANYWAY ... because it's NOT an argument to say "scientists agree with me" or "scienists disagree with you."

The 'scientific evidence' on this matter is IRRELEVANT when PURE LOGIC demonstrates that THERE CANNOT BE ANY EVIDENCE OF TOTAL NON-CONSCIOUSNESS ANYWAY ... so it's not even a scientifically verifiable matter! The whole IDEA of asking for 'evidence' that consciousness is that all we can ever have evidence of WHEN IT'S TRUE BY DEFINITION ANYWAY .... it's a POINTLESS RED HERRING.

It's NOT fucking rocket science that EVIDENCE is EMPIRICAL.... EMPIRICISM is EXPERIENCE-BASED and CONSCIOUSNESS IS EXPERIENCE/subjectivity.

It's really not that complicated ONCE YOU THINK IT THROUGH.

But bah, I'm wasting my time here because (almost) nobody seems capable of listening or reading.

P.S. Capslock isn't emotion on my part ... or 'shouting' .... it's just me making the key words bigger to see if it helps people read.

I disagree.

"I disagree" is not an argument. It just shows that you've got nothing.

And you CAN'T have anything ... this is the whole point. You can't make X = not X. You'd say "I disagree" if I said "a square has four sides" if you were attached to the belief that it didn't have four sides ....

So many fuckers who will disagree for the sake of it even when a tautology is against their side.

It's one thing to disagree with somebody, disagreement is fine, but when you'll disagree when somebody says that X is X ... you're just being a fucking brick wall.

You have to at least be able to admit you're wrong when it's been spelled out very clearly. Nobody has to concede their whole position ... but at least admit that X is X. If you can't admit that we can't have empirical evidence of the non-empirical .... then you may as well think that we can have a 5 sided square as well. It's beyond idiotic ... it's either sheer dishonesty or a case of cognitive dissonance so severe that it makes disagreements with you a complete waste of time. If you're going to have a mature disagreement with somebody ... you HAVE to be able to admit that X is X and not X is not X ... otherwise you're no better than somebody who just says "Well, I have faith" ... No, in fact YOU'RE WORSE than them because AT LEAST THEY ADMIT IT.

You haven't even BEGAN to engage in reasoning if you can't admit that X is X.

If somebody demonstrates that your position leads to holding that "X is not X" and you still cling to your position ... then nobody should bother discussing it with you... it's as simple as that. You have to at least be able to concede if somebody shows that your position leads to a flat out logical contradiction. It's really fucking stupid. I really am still surprised today at HOW MANY people are THAT FUCKING IRRATIONAL.

My past self didn't agree with me ... but only because my past self hadn't thought about this ... and my past self would listen because my past self would fucking realize that saying that X = not X rather than change your belief is the FUCKING DEFINITION of SHEER IRRATIONALITY.

Like I said, it's even worse than admitting to ignoring evidence and saying that you rely on faith ... because at least then you'd admit it and be aware of your own irrationality. This is having faith without even realizing it. And it's either sheer cognitive dissonance or total irrationality ... because when it's a belief that you're NOT attached to then you will happily recognize the problem with a flat out contradiction.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#88

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 11:48 AM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-08-2019, 11:42 AM)Alan V Wrote: I disagree.

"I disagree" is not an argument. It just shows that you've got nothing.

Actually I already offered my arguments in my earlier posts, but you disagreed with or ignored them.

Of course, you are so confident you are right that you can only assume others haven't understood you properly, and have no proper arguments of their own.

I find it very interesting that the two people in this discussion who are the most confident that they are right have diametrically opposed viewpoints. I would very much like it if you both fleshed out your positions. Evie, I already asked you about your understanding of quantum mechanics and how that influenced your opinions. Or is your argument merely philosophical?
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#89

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 09:31 AM)NorthernBen Wrote: Yeah, but I've watched mice avoiding danger, dogs dreaming about themselves and squirrels problem solving.

The Aplysia or sea slug, with a nervous system of only some 10,000 neurons, is able to learn and respond persistently to stimuli. Complex reactive behavior on its own does not necessarily indicate consciousness. Indeed, as the epipehomenalists would point out, it's not at all clear what consciousness adds to the equation as it seems that such behaviors are possible in its absence. If you can pinpoint what exactly it is that consciousness adds, you might have a litmus test for it. I think the behaviors you mention thus fail as a litmus test for consciousness.
[Image: signature%20The-Ascension-of-Iweko.jpg]
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#90

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 01:20 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(11-08-2019, 09:31 AM)NorthernBen Wrote: Yeah, but I've watched mice avoiding danger, dogs dreaming about themselves and squirrels problem solving.

The Aplysia or sea slug, with a nervous system of only some 10,000 neurons, is able to learn and respond persistently to stimuli.  Complex reactive behavior on its own does not necessarily indicate consciousness.  Indeed, as the epipehomenalists would point out, it's not at all clear what consciousness adds to the equation as it seems that such behaviors are possible in its absence.  If you can pinpoint what exactly it is that consciousness adds, you might have a litmus test for it.  I think the behaviors you mention thus fail as a litmus test for consciousness.

That's a good point, and it's entirely possible for nature to evolve different strategies to do some of the same things.  In the case of plants and certain animals, what we are seeing may be entirely because of their chemical reactions to stimuli.  Or it may be because they have subjective experiences, pleasures and pains for instance, which guide them toward certain behaviors.  My own opinion is that if animals have the same kinds of brain structures which we have confirmed are associated with consciousness in humans, it's a reasonable assumption that the animals experience some degree of consciousness as well.
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#91

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 11:35 AM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-06-2019, 01:17 PM)Dānu Wrote: He didn't misrepresent you, douche bag, he said that if it evolved then at some point it existed in a different state, which is true, and is implied by what you wrote.  His conclusion that it then therefore must have not existed at some point is also true.

He did misrepresent me, blockhead, and you've clearly misread what I wrote as well.

YES, what I wrote implies that HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS evolved at some point and, as I said, OF COURSE it did ... and I  SAID it did MULTIPLE TIMES.

But this does NOT contradict the fact that it DOES NOT imply that CONSCIOUSNESS FULL STOP evolved .... because CONSCIOUSNESS FULL STOP is not identical in meaning to HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS. Get your fat head around the fact that both you and him gave FEEBLE responses that COMPLETELY MISSED MY POINT.

You're a fucking moron.

First of all, you omitted the key context of what I wrote here, namely that the above was true IF he was referring to human consciousness specifically. That's the fallacy of contextomy, aka "quote mining," and is the behavior of human scum like dishonest creationists, and apparently you as well.

Second, your moronic blather here misses the point that the problem is not that he or I missed any point, but that you equivocated upon whether you were referring to human consciousness specifically or human consciousness generally, as unless you conflate the two, your complaint against Bucky makes no sense. You complaining that Bucky was making a stupid remark about human consciousness specifically and then complaining that what, according to you was a remark from Bucky about human consciousness specifically, was a misrepresentation of your point about general consciousness, is simply completely illogical. Bucky's remark could not possibly be a misrepresentation of your point about general consciousness if it was only about human consciousness. However, if it was a remark about general consciousness, and you knew it was, as your reply clearly indicates, then your complaining that it was a remark about human consciousness specifically was a lie. You can't have it both ways, Evie. You're talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Third, since I didn't address your point, your claim that I missed your point is basically nothing more than groundless shit you've pulled from your ass. I understood your point, and at the very least, left it undisturbed by pointing out that I thought Bucky was wrong about the implications of evolution and therefore his complaint was invalid. That you seem to want to try to accuse me of having had any part of your discussion in order to find some reason to insult me simply shows what a shitty person you are. I had little interest in YOUR POINT because as I just noted, your arguments are truly FRESHMAN LEVEL. I understood your point perfectly fine, I chose not to address it.

I can't believe you are really this stupid. This is Drich level douche baggery. So take your lies, bullshit, and asshatttery and shove them up your rectum. You're just another one of those morons who, mistakenly thinking he is good at philosophy, wastes everybody else's time in class by pontificating ex cathedra about his own opinion on the issue. I think you've suggested that you have some issues along the autistic spectrum. If that is true, then I can well believe it, because you appear to have zero insight into both your own behavior and that of others.
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#92

Consciousness
(11-07-2019, 02:11 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: A warthog may be aware that there are things it likes to eat in the vicinity.
A mouse might be aware there is something it likes to eat in the vicinity.
Are they conscious.

What sort of absurd question is this?  Of course they are conscious.
The two most common definitions of conscious I could find: "aware
of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings" and
"perceiving, apprehending, or noticing with a degree of controlled
thought or observation".

What's your definition of "conscious" Bucky?

Dodgy
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#93

Consciousness
I have read enough of certain respected neuroscientists and philosophers to understand that even the present experts disagree about what consciousness is and does. That's part of the reason why this is such a fascinating issue to discuss, even when the discussion becomes heated.
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#94

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 02:17 PM)Alan V Wrote: I have read enough of certain respected neuroscientists and philosophers to understand that even the present experts disagree about what consciousness is and does.  That's part of the reason why this is such a fascinating issue to discuss, even when the discussion becomes heated.

Well, I'm glad to have someone as well-read and open-minded as you contributing their thoughts on the matter. Unfortunately, I'm not able to participate at more than a superficial level these days. It is one of my favorite topics though, and I wish I had more time for it and this discussion.
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#95

Consciousness
I find the AI perspective gives an entirely different slant on things. Rather than asking what something is or isn't, AI asks why it exists. This works whether it's consciousness, emotions, intelligence, life etc. There are no universally agreed definitions for any of these terms, but it doesn't really matter if you pick a working definition that is helpful for what you want to do. For example, my working definition of intelligence is the ability to adapt to unknown environments. (I'm now thinking a more specific working definition in terms of understanding intelligence as a self-organising system). Often when people can't agree it is because they are each using completely different definitions.

If you're trying to build intelligence from the ground up then you need to start looking at  what you need and why. And the same applies to consciousness. Why would it be advantageous for an agent to be conscious and aware of what it is doing? In this regard I see consciousness as checks and balances. An agent can evolved to react to its immediate environment, but it's also useful to check whether the evolved response is actually a good thing. Emotion is considered to narrow the range of behaviours or actions given specific circumstances (think the fight or flight response) while cognition is considered to widen this range. But cognition requires consciousness. For example, a thirsty animal may see a watering hole and be desperate to go there and start drinking. But consciousness and cognition can act as a counter-balance to this because even though no predators are being sensed the animal could be aware of the increased risk of them hiding and waiting to ambush thirsty prey. Yes that can be an evolved response, but that won't work if the environment changes too quicker than can be evolved for.

An animal that has to work with other members of its pack in order hunt will also need a sense of self in order to evaluate its own position in a team strategy as well as to predict what other members are likely to do next. And this requires consciousness.

Consciousness is not a binary condition which you either have or don't have. We each have it in different degrees. After all, people go to counselling to understand why they act the way they do and how their past has shaped them.
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#96

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 03:30 PM)Mathilda Wrote: If you're trying to build intelligence from the ground up then you need to start looking at what you need and why. And the same applies to consciousness. Why would it be advantageous for an agent to be conscious and aware of what it is doing? In this regard I see consciousness as checks and balances. An agent can evolve to react to its immediate environment, but it's also useful to check whether the evolved response is actually a good thing. Emotion is considered to narrow the range of behaviours or actions given specific circumstances (think the fight or flight response) while cognition is considered to widen this range. But cognition requires consciousness.

This is why I doubt plants have consciousness.  Why should they?  They have no abilities of fight or flight in the face of threats.  Instead, they seem to have specialized in a remarkable number of chemicals responses to different situations.

In his Principles of Psychology, William James said something similar to what you wrote.

Quote:Blow bubbles through a tube into the bottom of a pail of water, they will rise to the surface and mingle with the air. Their action may again be poetically interpreted as due to a longing to recombine with the mother-atmosphere above the surface. But if you invert a jar full of water over the pail, they will rise and remain lodged beneath its bottom, shut in from the outer air, although a slight deflection from their course at the outset, or a re-descent towards the rim of the jar when they found their upward course impeded, would easily have set them free.

If now we pass from such actions as these to those of living things, we notice a striking difference. Romeo wants Juliet as the filings want the magnet; and if no obstacles intervene he moves towards her by as straight a line as they. But Romeo and Juliet, if a wall be built between them, do not remain idiotically pressing their faces against its opposite sides like the magnet and the filings with the card. Romeo soon finds a circuitous way, by scaling the wall or otherwise, of touching Juliet's lips directly. With the filings the path is fixed; whether it reaches the end depends on accidents. With the lover it is the end which is fixed, the path may be modified indefinitely.

...

The pursuance of future ends and the choice of means for their attainment are thus the mark and criterion of the presence of mentality in a phenomenon. We all use this test to discriminate between an intelligent and a mechanical performance. We impute no mentality to sticks and stones, because they never seem to move for the sake of anything, but always when pushed, and then indifferently and with no sign of choice. So we unhesitatingly call them senseless.

Of course, this needs to be modified somewhat since thinking machines are now an obvious exception.

(11-08-2019, 03:30 PM)Mathilda Wrote: Consciousness is not a binary condition which you either have or don't have. We each have it in different degrees. After all, people go to counselling to understand why they act the way they do and how their past has shaped them.

We each experience changes to our consciousness every day as we sleep, dream, and wake. Some drink or use drugs as well. No, consciousness is not just one thing, and it can even be present for one thing while absent for another.
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#97

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 09:31 AM)NorthernBen Wrote: Have you ever tried to hit one with a hammer?

Avoidance reflexes and instincts do not prove consciousness.  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_reflexes
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar...8808000020
You'll have to do better than that.


Define "consciousness". 
Quote:Awareness.

Rejected. A jellyfish exhibits avoidance and awareness. It has never said to be "conscious".
https://jeb.biologists.org/content/210/20/3616.short

Quote:The library.

So you're guessing and really don't know.

Quote:Yeah, but I've watched mice avoiding danger, dogs dreaming about themselves and squirrels problem solving.

All presumptuous projection.
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Consciousness
Edited ....
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#99

Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 02:10 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(11-07-2019, 02:11 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: A warthog may be aware that there are things it likes to eat in the vicinity.
A mouse might be aware there is something it likes to eat in the vicinity.
Are they conscious.

What sort of absurd question is this?  Of course they are conscious.
The two most common definitions of conscious I could find: "aware
of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings" and
"perceiving, apprehending, or noticing with a degree of controlled
thought or observation".

What's your definition of "conscious" Bucky?

Dodgy

OK then, show me the positive test results and studies that show them to be conscious.
About 10 for each would suffice. Hop to it.  

While it may be totally NEW to you and the total amateurs in this thread, there are OBJECTIVE TESTS which point to animal consciousness.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_consciousness
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Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 01:20 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(11-08-2019, 09:31 AM)NorthernBen Wrote: Yeah, but I've watched mice avoiding danger, dogs dreaming about themselves and squirrels problem solving.

The Aplysia or sea slug, with a nervous system of only some 10,000 neurons, is able to learn and respond persistently to stimuli.  Complex reactive behavior on its own does not necessarily indicate consciousness.  Indeed, as the epipehomenalists would point out, it's not at all clear what consciousness adds to the equation as it seems that such behaviors are possible in its absence.  If you can pinpoint what exactly it is that consciousness adds, you might have a litmus test for it.  I think the behaviors you mention thus fail as a litmus test for consciousness.

Does this slug thing actually display complex reactive behaviour, or does it just move when you poke it with a stick?
We are talking about differing levels of awareness are we not?
He loves me?  Facepalm
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