A blog devoted to issues in language, epistemology, metaphysics, and mind
I have made my paper for the Syracuse SPAWN conference temporarily available here. I am sure it will undergo drastic changes after the conference.
You never define consciousness at all in your paper. Just say that content shows up and, oh by the way, we could say that consciousness is conscious of the content or there is consciousness of the content. Consciousness is a paradoxical object. And this I think is why defining it is so troublesome. If consciousness is separate from what it is conscious of--that is, if there is content and consciousness and they are not the same---then paradox. For if the notion or the sense of consciousness arises--it must be content and not consciousness, since consciousness is separate from what arises. Thus whatever notion or experience of consciousness arises, it cannot be consciousness since anything that arises is separate from consciousness. We cannot know then even if there is such a thing. So paradox. But I suppose that consciousness is one of those things that is like the chemical given to my chemistry class years ago, which to some class members was intolerably bitter and to others tasteless.If it shows up that consciousness is a real thing-- that's what is. And if it shows up that consciousness is superfluous ---and one might just as well say stuff shows up and skip the shows up to what or to whom--- then that's what you go with. I am in the latter camp and think that consciousness deserves oblivion--by Ockham's razor if nothing else. Since all we have for reality is what shows up---then whatever shows up concerning consciousnessis reality. Does that means there are many realities or many perspectives on the one reality.Who knows, take your pick.
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