Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hmm …

Searle: it upsets me when I read the nonsense written by my contemporaries | New Philosopher. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Consciousness is a biological property like digestion or photosynthesis. Now why isn’t that screamingly obvious to anybody who’s had any education? And I think the answer is these twin traditions. On the one hand there’s God, the soul and immortality that says it’s really not part of the physical world, and then there is the almost as bad tradition of scientific materialism that says it’s not a part of the physical world. They both make the same mistake, they refuse to take consciousness on its own terms as a biological phenomenon like digestion, or photosynthesis, or mitosis, or miosis, or any other biological phenomenon.
To say that consciousness is a biological phenomenon is pretty much the same as saying that a telephone conversation is an electronic phenomenon. It is that, of course. But the content of the conversation has nothing to do with the nature of its transmission.

1 comment:

  1. Hear, hear, Frank! Consciousness is figuratively, if not scientifically, the fifth dimension, as time is the fourth. The universe may exist without it, but that would make it meaningless. I don't think we can say quite the same about digestion.