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Paul Grobstein's picture

Issues re consciousness

Lots of interesting bits in this session, to think more about ...

The gorilla in our midst is a nice illustration of missing things consciously. And worth exploring further. Do autistc people notice the gorilla consciously? Do we all notice it unconsciously?

Does not remembering something mean one has never been conscious of it (eg sleep waking?). Or can one be conscious of something and then forget it. Memento suggests the answer to the second question is yes, so how does one know that someone has never been conscious of something? Can we use the "awareness of alternate choices" criterion here? Or is that something above "basal" consciousness? Alternatively, can "basal" consciousness exist without the potential at least for awareness of alternate choices? In all this, it is clearly important to distinguish between "conscious" and "conscious of". Can one be "conscious" without being "conscious of" something?

Does it make sense to speak of dementia as a loss of consciousness, of other situations of increased predictability of behavior as loss of consciousness?

Does one need to be conscious to act in society? in order to learn unconsciously? Does one have to be conscious to "learn things one doesn't enjoy"?

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