Time and consciousness, “the real mystery”
Posted: 25 July 2010 01:52 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m borrowing this quote from George, taking it out of it’s original context but keeping the meaning intact.

” If the theory of block universe is correct, then consciousness is somehow allowed to move through the frames of space-time which I find truly amazing.”

This particular philsophical problem seems to me to deserve it’s own special category, although I don’t think it has one.
We’ve discussed it on time threads as it’s about the way it seem to us that now is moving, althought there is “no special now” . But it seems specific to consciousness as without consciousness no particular moment would be now any more or less than any other, or so it would seem.

I guess it might be argued this is just a thread about time and perhaps that’s true, but still I think it’s good to focus on a specific queston about time, what people are really getting at when they say time is an illusion is summed up by George’s quote.


Posted: 10 August 2010 02:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve only skimmed it, but the SEP recently posted this interesting article:


Posted: 10 August 2010 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Visitor from Elea - 10 August 2010 02:20 AM

I’ve only skimmed it, but the SEP recently posted this interesting article:


Excellent and comprehensive essay on temporal consciousness. Thanks for the link. It will take some time to read, understand and reflect on the implications.

However, the section on radical anti-realism and Dennett is illuminating:

Although Dennett himself concentrates on explaining why we are inclined to describe our experience as continuous if it really discontinuous, the approach can be extended to the immediate experience of change – see Chuard (2006).

Prudent realists will accept that our judgements about the character of our experience are fallible. But they will also point that our judgements are less likely to err when they concern the more basic and ubiquitous features of our consciousness, and – arguably – change and continuity are among these features.

Dennett’s strong reductionism with regard to experience is an extreme and controversial doctrine. It may well give antirealists what they need, but many may find the price rather too high.


Dennett’s position is open to criticism on two main fronts. He asserts that there is no possibility that future research will uncover evidence that will allow us to distinguish between Orwellian and Stalinesque interpretations. How can he be so confident about what the future will bring? Second-guessing scientific progress is a dangerous game.

Does the fact that we will never be in a position to discover what is inside the box mean there is no fact of the matter about its contents, about whether it contains something or nothing at all?

Those who are inclined to a robust realism about the phenomenal realm will certainly find this downgrading of the ontological credentials of conscious experiences objectionable. For this reason they are likely to find Dennett’s attempt to further downgrade these credentials by appealing to features of short-term experience guilty of begging the question.



I am, therefore I think.