Oor bewussyn

with 3 comments

Wat is bewussyn? Is daar enige verband tussen bewussyn en ‘n groter realiteit van bestaan, iets soos ‘n onsterflike siel? Of is dit alles maar net chemie?

Uit die artikel, The mystery of consciousness:

Such questions lead us to the great enigma, the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness: how does the objective, physical activity of the brain create the private, subjective qualities of experience? For some philosophers the question is unfathomably deeper than that; not so much how does the brain produce consciousness, but how can it? How can three pounds or so of jellified fats, proteins and sugars possibly be identified with the ineffable “raw feels” of awareness: the taste of beer, the sound of cicadas, the redness of red? This is the explanatory gap. It swallows our intuitions like a black hole. Colin McGinn, a philosopher, thinks it is plain obvious that the brain is “just the wrong kind of thing” to give birth to consciousness: “You might as well assert that numbers emerge from biscuits or ethics from rhubarb.” The mystery of consciousness, he says, is beyond human comprehension. Stuart Sutherland, who was a psychologist, couldn’t be bothered: “Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon; it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written about it.” But Humphrey turns the tables. Consciousness seems mysterious because it has evolved to seem mysterious. Fascination and elusiveness are its primary functions. With an evolutionary perspective, due attention to neuropsychology and a little conceptual re-engineering, the explanatory gap can be closed.

They wanted to know what I really believed. These people were serious, they were bright, and, blimey, they were relentless. There was no respite. Twelve hours a day and into the night, into the vodka and the early hours, into the fitful sleep of an agitated, alcohol-soaked brain, wolves baying in the birch woods: I am thinking now: what is “I” at the moment of my thinking? And in the process, I realised two things: that I didn’t exactly know what I believed and that I didn’t much care.


Written by George Maru

22 April 2007 at 14:24

3 Responses

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  1. nou dit is ‘n interessante onderwerp…

    Johan Swarts

    23 April 2007 at 1:30

  2. Miskien wou ek iets gese het, maar ek het klaar daaroor geblog: Notes from underground: Consciousness of absurdity and the absurdity of consciousness


    25 April 2007 at 8:41

  3. Dankie Steve, ek sal gaan lees.

    George Maru

    25 April 2007 at 17:16

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