Sunday, July 31, 2011

Consciousness only exists as a human construct

It is quite possible that consciousness may not be an objectively definable phenomenon, but rather a convenient illusion created by humans to provide a context for understanding reality. While machines such as CT scans and MRIs measure human cognition, it may not be possible to measure the direct qualities of consciousness. Philosophers and others have pointed out that consciousness may be a subjective quality arising from the operation of the brain.

One reason that a more detailed look at consciousness may be interesting is in the contemplation of non-human intelligence. Given the aspect of subjective qualia surrounding the label consciousness, it might be insulting to non-human intelligence to be referred to as having consciousness, the more objective attribute ‘self-aware’ being preferable. If human consciousness does not exist, non-human consciousness would be even less likely to exist.

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