High School Student,

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Is matter basic?

In hopes to get more input on the subject of consciousness, I am posing this question because I feel it gets to the root of the 'hard problem.' if matter truly is basic then figuring out consciousness seems to become finding the solution to the 'easy problems,' which are not even all that easy. I feel as though this questions creates the relevant divide between deflationary theories and any other viable explanations of consciousness and I'm am curious as to what these explanations would be, or if a deflationary theory is the more logical solution based on our current world view.

  • Mar 20 2012: I am aware of the animal that hosts my intellect. The senses of my body allow me to gather information and the cerebral cortex with all its neurons, connected by synapses to several thousand other neurons, communicating with one another by means of long protoplasmic fibers (called axons) carry trains of signal pulses (called action potentials) to distant parts of the brain or body targeting specific recipient cells.(from Brain wiki) Consequently, the machinery of my body has evolved to permit me to store the sensory information gathered. Further, my brain has enabled me assimilate this sensory data into memories, emotions, and thoughts. As my body grew and my brain matured, I was able to assimilate enough information to develop a realization of self. This realization came from thoughts associated with observing nature, other people, learning how to survive, and looking for answers to self-posed questions.

    Were I to have lived my entire life in a coma, kept alive by a machine, I would exist, but have no sense of self. The physical manifestation of my being would exist, but my consciousness and self-awareness would not exist.

    Consciousness, awareness, sensory input, and the life learning journey towards awareness of self are all needed to have a consciousness. The journey has to start at birth, but where you want to draw the line about self-awareness levels and consciousness is a bit arbitrary.

    In a related thought, the definition of self-awareness also probably changes as man has evolved through time to a higher level.
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    Mar 20 2012: Hey tyler

    Heres a conversation that took place last week that delt with consciousness for A.I,you might find it helpful as there was alot of input.


    unless you took part in it.