Monday, 25 December 2017

Organisms And Environments

Organisms interact with their environments. Plants interact unconsciously; animals and human beings consciously. Naturally selected organismic sensitivity to environmental alterations quantitatively increased until it was qualitatively transformed into conscious sensation.

Alma's brother, Michael, presents a different picture. See here. (It is Michael's thoughts that are reported in the concluding quotation.) A human body, extending along the fourth dimension from its birth to its death, appears to speak and act consciously. However, this body is merely a "tunnel" with an "awareness," existing independently of the body, passing along it. Thus, before and after the passage of this "awareness," the body is unaware. The awareness is fancifully described as "...a ball of coloured light." However, if we observe such a ball, e.g., in the form of ball lightning, then we have no reason to suppose that it, the ball of light, constitutes awareness or consciousness. Psychological/mental processes (awareness, consciousness, sensation, perception etc) occur within/emerge from cerebral neural interactions and do not (I think) consist of some other entity passing along the world line of the brain.

If Michael's account were true, then we would have to ask: why do human bodies behave as they do, speaking etc, if awareness merely passes through them and is not an integral part of their responses and how did awareness arise if not as part of an organism's interactions with its environment? Michael has revived an unacceptable Platonic-Cartesian mind-body dualism.

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