CONSC.

I am new to PSYCHE-D, so I am not sure ideas similar to my own Have been 
expressed here or elsewhere.

Consciousness is an illusion.
The fallacies that the unity "I" of language and culture represents the 
whole being and functioning of the organism to which the pronoun is 
attached, and "I" is able to understand and construct meaningful language, 
coupled with the ability of areas of the brain to register sensation and 
simulated sensation, make up the illusion of consciousness.

"I" is conceptual - it is not a causative agent- and only meaningful in 
language driven cultural within the realm we have termed "consciousness".

Looking closely at what constitutes "consciousness" - the things of which 
we are aware.- There is:
 (1) Seeing or vision describes the ability to detect light and interpret 
it as "sight". 
 (2) Hearing or audition is the sense of sound perception and results from 
tiny hair fibres in the inner ear detecting the motion of atmospheric 
particles within (at best) a range of 20 to 20000 Hz. Sound can also be 
detected as vibration by tactition. Lower and higher frequencies than can 
be heard are detected this way only. 
(3) Taste or gustation is one of the two "chemical" senses. Smell or 
olfaction is the other "chemical" sense. 
(4) Tactition is the sense of pressure perception. 
(5) Thermoception is the sense of heat and the absence of heat (cold). 
(6) Nociception is the perception of pain. It can be classified as from 
one to three senses, depending on the classification method. The three 
types of pain receptors are cutaneous (skin), somatic (joints and bones) 
and visceral (body organs). 
(7) Equilibrioception is the perception of balance and is related to 
cavities containing fluid in the inner ear. 
(8) Proprioception is the perception of body awareness and is a sense that 
people rely on enormously, yet are frequently not aware of.

Add to these senses, emotional feelings, the special auditory and visual 
stimuli that constitute spoken and written language, an awareness of that 
strange phenomena silent speech, dreams and imaginings, and that is the 
limits of what we call "consciousness."

Our hearing and understanding of speech is not  the decoding of the sounds 
of language in the realm of "consciousness", any more than seeing is an 
awareness of processes that give rise to it. We are only "conscious" of 
the results of processing and not the processes themselves.

As "I" is conceptual, and only exists within the realm of "consciousness", 
it has no access to any of the neural processes that produce sensations. 
If  "perception" is defined as "the process of organizing and interpreting 
sensory information.",  then all perception is unconscious. We are 
not "conscious" of perception, only the effects of perception on sensation.

Turn off the sensations listed above, one by one, and when the last switch 
is closed, "consciousness" disappears.

I view a span of "consciousness", as a continuum of externally and 
internally generated, or internally simulated, processed sensations.
I, therefore, do not believe there is a hard question 
concerning "consciousness", only a hard question concerning sensation: How 
does the brain utilise diverse stimuli and manifest them as sensation.


Gareth Bratton  


A shorter version appeared in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 61
(3): 537–70, 2000
A N A N A L Y S I S  O F  P L E A S U R E  V I S - À - V I S  P A I N
MURAT AYDEDE

A short extract from the paper:


Reactive Dissassociation.

Is it possible to experience an intense pain without sincerely being 
bothered by it in the least, without minding it at all, without finding it 
in the least distressing, discomforting, awful, abhorrent, hurting and the 
like? Many thought that this is like asking "can a married bachelor be 
found somewhere?" On the other hand, some thought that such a situation is 
clearly conceivable, though apparently empirically impossible. However, it 
seems that it is not only an empirical possibility, but also is the case 
in certain abnormal pain phenomena, as has been well known to clinical 
pain researchers for some time.
The phenomena seem to have rather a common phenomenology on the part of 
the patients. In typical cases, they report quite sincerely that they have 
the pain as intensely as ever, but say that it does not bother them; they 
do not mind at all the intense pain they are experiencing, so to speak.

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