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Is Consciousness Just An Illusion?


Science & Tech  (tags: brain, mind, human body, biology, thought, thinking )

Freya
- 708 days ago - bbc.com
The cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett believes our brains are machines, made of billions of tiny "robots" - our neurons, or brain cells. Is the human mind really that special?



   

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Comments

fly bird (26)
Sunday April 9, 2017, 6:45 pm
Alo - see: 'The Brain with David Eagleman'.

Very interesting videos. Yes, all a bunch of neural pathways and connections made, unmade, and ever changing.

Thank you, Freya.
 

Animae C (507)
Sunday April 9, 2017, 6:50 pm
i don't believe consciousness or the mind are in the brain.
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday April 9, 2017, 11:14 pm
This is Scientists within Scientism, fiddling around.
 

Ed Site Issues V (198)
Monday April 10, 2017, 4:20 am
Noted, Thanks
 

Barb SiteIssues V (202)
Monday April 10, 2017, 11:07 am
Noted, Thank you
 

Joanne Dixon (37)
Monday April 10, 2017, 2:10 pm
Animae, funny you should say that. The ancient Greeks believed consciousness and mind were in the midriff. I can only try to imagine what that must have felt like - of course I am assuming that everyone decides where consciousness must be located because it "feels" right. I know that my head feels like the right location to me, but I suspect that's because the head is where my eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are; in other words, four and a little bit over of my five senses. And location in the head implies location in the brain. But certainly there are other ideas.
 

John B (185)
Monday April 10, 2017, 2:59 pm
Thanks Freya for sharing the link to the extremely interesting and thought provoking article by Anna Buckley. Quite a fantastic read.
Noted
 

Lenore K (0)
Monday April 10, 2017, 3:33 pm
ok
 

Bonnie Lynn M (1)
Monday April 10, 2017, 6:16 pm
Thank you
 

Mitchell D (82)
Monday April 10, 2017, 7:06 pm
Interesting...but!
Is thinking automatically biological, like digesting? It's biological, but the digesting metaphor, like the robotic one misses something.
We have a sense of consciousness, self awareness, and with it we develop a "Theory of mind," as children, that allows us to understand, and sometimes anticipate the minds, and needs of others. I do not think a robot can do that. Some argue, as Dr. Dan Siegel, in "Mind, A Journey to the Heart of Being Human," that our mind is fully embodied, not just a product of our brains, but of the brain/body interface, if you will. He even posits that we are part of a mind larger than ourselves, as seen in the presence, and function of mirror neurons. He sees us as all wired together, and this makes sense even in the simple example of how we are so impacted by the society, and/or culture in which we live.
Did our brains evolve by trial and error? Yes, but that does not qualify them as machines. Darwin's evolution (without which one can not even begin to think of biology, today) works by natural selection; "survival of the fittest," is something of a simplification. And we evolved from an ancestor common to the apes, not from apes themselves, the split happening some 6 to 7 million years ago.
Descartes was wrong to split mind from body. The mind and body are immensely, intricately, interwoven, as suggested above.
 

Mitchell D (82)
Monday April 10, 2017, 7:15 pm
I my have gotten carried away, by my mind, and not responded to the initial question, "Is consciousness just an illusion?"
Are we just characters in some alien society's holographic game?
I think the answer to each of these is simply, quietly, ...no.
One old definition of consciousness I came across years ago states that "Consciousness is the dialogue between the thalamus and the cerebral cortex." The idea is that our brains scan our immediate environment 40 times a second, and the processing of that information, letting us know about the space within we exist, and maybe how we do so, is experienced as consciousness. Dan Siegel made reference to this cycle, but dod not put, or see it quite this way.
 

Colleen L (3)
Monday April 10, 2017, 11:14 pm
Thanks Freya
 

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday April 11, 2017, 1:29 am
A lot of this debate around what is and isn't consciousness is more to do with the egocentricity and vanity of the intellectual mind trying to reduce everything to its own rather limited perspective.
 

Margie FOURIE (148)
Sunday April 16, 2017, 9:40 pm
I just appreciate it.
 
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