Sunday, September 6, 2009
Consciousness, Ourselves and Our World
Various scientists and philosophers have given us myriad ideas of consciousness. Some see it as the result of our physical brain function. Others explain consciousness as a non local essence of phenomenon.
Paul Valery: “The universe is built on a plan the profound symmetry of which is somehow expressed in the inner structure of our intellect.”
James Jeans: “[T]he universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.”
Albert Einstein: “It seems that the human mind has first to construct forms independently before we can find them in things.... Knowledge cannot spring from experience alone, but only from a comparison of the inventions of the intellect with observed fact.”
As Augustine, Valery, Eddington, and Einstein have duly noted, every “something” that our consciousness may see and point to reflects the qualities of the consciousness that is pointing.
Dan Dennett has us looking at our own perceptions, and suggests that it is the observer of viewpoint that is consciousness: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/102
How do you explain consciousness?
Artwork by F. Rassouli Many thanks.