The distinction between consciousness and awareness, aka meta-consciousness

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Dimebag
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The distinction between consciousness and awareness, aka meta-consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:47 am

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/consciousness-goes-deeper-than-you-think/

I found an interesting article published recently in scientific American, going into the difference between consciousness (experience) and awareness (knowing we are conscious of something). The article implies that most studies into consciousness are actually probing awareness rather than conscious experience, which i generally agree with.

The article goes on to mention a way of modelling the interaction between conscious experience and awareness which seems to be supported by a study mentioned, which involves a conscious experience occurring, followed by the awareness of that experience, which the directs attention back to the initial conscious experience. This process sets up a kind of reverberation between the two systems, which has been observed (not sure by what means).

The article then uses this as grounds for thinking of consciousness as being fundamental, this is where the article became a bit less scientific, I think the authors own personal beliefs became apparent, but before that it seemed entirely reasonable.

Any thoughts?

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Re: The distinction between consciousness and awareness, aka meta-consciousness

Postby Gord » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:31 pm

Consider your breathing right now: the sensation of air flowing through your nostrils, the movements of your diaphragm, etcetera.

Great, now it feels weird to breath. :glare:

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Re: The distinction between consciousness and awareness, aka meta-consciousness

Postby TJrandom » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:42 am

Gord wrote:
Consider your breathing right now: the sensation of air flowing through your nostrils, the movements of your diaphragm, etcetera.

Great, now it feels weird to breath. :glare:

Thanks, Trump.


Yes - but it still feels. Not breathing for a long time - say 20 minutes or more, wouldn`t produce a feeling at all. ;)

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Re: The distinction between consciousness and awareness, aka meta-consciousness

Postby mirror93 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:58 am

Dimebag wrote:https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/consciousness-goes-deeper-than-you-think/

I found an interesting article published recently in scientific American, going into the difference between consciousness ?experience? and awareness (knowing we are conscious of something). The article implies that most studies into consciousness are actually probing awareness rather than conscious experience, which i generally agree with.

The article goes on to mention a way of modelling the interaction between conscious experience and awareness which seems to be supported by a study mentioned, which involves a conscious experience occurring, followed by the awareness of that experience, which the directs attention back to the initial conscious experience. This process sets up a kind of reverberation between the two systems, which has been observed (not sure by what means).

The article then uses this as grounds for thinking of consciousness as being fundamental, this is where the article became a bit less scientific, I think the authors own personal beliefs became apparent, but before that it seemed entirely reasonable.

Any thoughts?


I found profound difference between my consciousness and the concept experience.

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Re: The distinction between consciousness and awareness, aka meta-consciousness

Postby Confidencia » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:55 pm

Dimebag wrote:https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/consciousness-goes-deeper-than-you-think/

I found an interesting article published recently in scientific American, going into the difference between consciousness (experience) and awareness (knowing we are conscious of something). The article implies that most studies into consciousness are actually probing awareness rather than conscious experience, which i generally agree with.

The article goes on to mention a way of modelling the interaction between conscious experience and awareness which seems to be supported by a study mentioned, which involves a conscious experience occurring, followed by the awareness of that experience, which the directs attention back to the initial conscious experience. This process sets up a kind of reverberation between the two systems, which has been observed (not sure by what means).


You cannot probe awareness, you are either conscious or you are aware. There is a difference in kind between awareness reflected in consciousness (as in reverberation) and awareness beyond consciousness. Obviously the later is based on the sense of being aware whilst awareness reflected in consciousness is rooted in memory. In other words you cannot say "I am aware" because there is no "I am" in awareness. I am aware is a thought process, you are merely thinking about being aware. Awareness is the cognisance of consciousness not the other way round.

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Re: The distinction between consciousness and awareness, aka meta-consciousness

Postby 4622 vic » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:14 pm

It might interest you to read my pubication on Experience, Awareness and Consciousness.
I would define consciousness as a special form of awareness, i.e. reflexive awareness, which is possible only for beings with articulate language.

Vaneechoutte, M. 2000. Experience, awareness and consciousness: suggestions for definitions as offered by an evolutionary approach. Foundations of Science 5 (4):429-456.

http://users.ugent.be/~mvaneech/EAC.html

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Mario Vaneechoutte
University of Ghent

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Re: The distinction between consciousness and awareness, aka meta-consciousness

Postby Pzomby » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:48 am

4622 vic wrote:It might interest you to read my pubication on Experience, Awareness and Consciousness.
I would define consciousness as a special form of awareness, i.e. reflexive awareness, which is possible only for beings with articulate language.

Vaneechoutte, M. 2000. Experience, awareness and consciousness: suggestions for definitions as offered by an evolutionary approach. Foundations of Science 5 (4):429-456.

http://users.ugent.be/~mvaneech/EAC.html

Sincere regards
Mario Vaneechoutte
University of Ghent



Thanks, Mario for posting the link to your interesting publication.

Quote:
"4.2. Symbolic language and human awareness
Having said this, the argument for considering consciousness as a specific, recently evolved form of aware experience goes as follows. Awareness combined with language offers several emergent possibilities, of which “human awareness” and consciousness are some.(note 2) One could state that symbolic language is the only basic difference that science has left as a distinction between humans and animals."

(note 2) "As a matter of fact, there is nothing nondeterministic about the enigmatic word ‘emergence’(Nagel, 1961)– also ‘supervenience’.Instead of stating that the sum is more than the parts (a quantititave approach, which is not applicable), we might better understand emergence by saying that the qualities of the combination are different from the qualities of its constituent parts (a qualitative approach). Combining two different processes, like i) being an emotional animal and ii) speaking – can lead to predictable emergent outcomes. i) An animal has emotions which have been naturally selected because they enable appropriate behaviour needed to survive and reproduce (see 3.2). ii) A certain animal species (the human animal) is able to speak and thus to think about future possible events (like death) and future possible emotional experiences (like how it will feel to be dead). An almost inevitable outcome of i) and ii) together is that these animals will develop behaviour which is meant to influence the assumed after death events and emotional experiences. As such, one could say that the worldwide occurrence of independently developed burial rituals is a predictable emergent outcome of the combining of emotion and speech in a single organism. The recurrent need throughout our history and at present of most humans to believe in the existence of divine powers (religiosity) can be explained starting from the same considerations (Vaneechoutte, 1993) and as such religiosity becomes a subject for scientific studies, pace those who claim that science has nothing to say about religion. While science cannot proof or disproof the nonexistence of deity, it can wonder what it is in the human mind that makes so many of these minds convinced of something for which absolutely no trace can be found when applying the otherwise very efficient scientific methods."


Question: Have you considered what it is about the specific arrangement of atoms, molecules, cells that gives rise to the human genome (as opposed to animals), brains/neurons that in turn give rise to the human symbolic languages, numbers, speech, pattern recognition, and the ability to manipulate those symbols and patterns which are attributes of human “special” awareness/consciousness?

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Re: The distinction between consciousness and awareness, aka meta-consciousness

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:46 pm

I have never read an article on consciousness that was anything but vague. Heaps of nonsense in that genre of speculation. I have read a number of such articles in ostensibly scientific publications, and all end up without anything solid to grasp.


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