Tuesday, January 07, 2014

idealism 2

The days are counting down, just weeks now until the Big Shift. This evening, ideas swirling through my head, especially a reiteration of the first version of this post. I wanted to resketch those ideas, so here we go, in less detail but more formally:

1. There is a real world that exists in some form that we can perceive, accurately or not.
1.1. The substance of this real world is not physical or objective or dualistic.
1.2. The substance of the world is subjective and phenomenal.
2. All us humans (and many other creatures) experience phenomenal consciousness.
2.1. Phenomenal consciousness is a substructure or subfunction of a brain.
2.1.1. Consciousness is not the only type of phenomenal substance (reiterating 1.).
2.2. Experience of phenomenal consciousness is analogous to a space with things in it.
2.2.1. Things that are 'in the space' of consciousness are things that one is 'conscious of'.
2.3. Objects are neural parsings of stuff in the real world.
2.3.1. Objects can be informatively (yet redundantly) labeled 'neural objects'.
2.3.2. A substructure of a neural object that is present in consciousness is an 'object-in-consciousness'.
2.4. The stuff in the world that is parsed into objects is also subjective and phenomenal.
2.4.1. Generally this stuff is not conscious.
2.4.2. An exception is when the stuff is a living brain.
2.5. We generally recognize that stuff in the world is not conscious.
2.5.1. We come to this conclusion because conscious objects are within the space of consciousness, but do not themselves contain conscious spaces (except for brains, and we only know they do because they say so).
2.5.2. For 2.5.1. to be true, one consciousness would need to be able to emulate another.
2.5.3. Despite the truth of 2.5., it is arrived at for the wrong reasons. We mistake objects-in-consciousness for stuff in the world. Since we make this mistake, and since objects-in-consciousness are not themselves conscious, we believe (correctly) that (most) stuff in the world is not conscious.
2.5.4. We are perplexed that brains are conscious, yet do not appear to be. This is because we are mistaking brains, which are conscious, for objects-in-consciousness, which we have already mistaken for stuff in the world. This is a subtle error, because if the middle step is left out, it seems not to be an error (we are confusing brains for stuff-in-the-world, which they are).
3. The hard problem of consciousness is the apparently uncrossable gulf between phenomenal subjective experience as-a-brain, and the non-phenomenal objective status of-a-brain.
3.1. Items 1. and 2. shows how this gulf is a consequence of a sequence of mistakes about the status of stuff-in-the-world and of objects-in-consciousness.

This is a type of idealism - which of the many subtypes I'm not sure - that is, while not popular (as far as I can tell), at least tolerable in philosophical circles. I'm liking it more and more!

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