RE: On the subjective experience of consciousness

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Apr 04 2004 - 13:54:57 MDT


> I just got back from four days camping in Death Valley and read your
> email. I think you and I are talking about slightly different
> things here.
> [As an aside, but somewhat relevant to the current discussion, Death
> Valley is an interesting place; it is supremely inhospitable and
> uncaring toward human life, but inspires great awe and humility and
> those who visit are enriched by the experience.]

Yes, Death Valley is awesome -- as it happens I went backpacking there
last December.... My favorite part is the "Devil's Golf Course" area.

> I was referring to something different, the "paradox" that people can
> encounter during meta-thinking about thinking. They wonder
> how it can
> be that the experience of self, what it actually *feels* like
> to smell a
> rose, in all its undeniable immediacy, can arise from matter
> that is not
> itself conscious.
> My point was that this paradox is explained simply (as
> described in my
> earlier post), not that human experience with all its rich meaning is
> explained simply.

Well, I'm not so sure it makes sense to say that experience "arise[s]
from matter". I think that our current conceptual vocabulary is not
really adequate to understanding or expressing the relationship between
mind and matter.

-- Ben

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:46 MDT