Consciousness Is Not That Special – AD HOC – Sporadic Thoughts

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2022-01-15 02:30:03

I undestand why one might find what you may call the “soul”, the “I”, the “self” or even the “common sense” (glad you’re reading descartes) so fascinating. From a personal point of view there’s no doubt about it - all this absract feelings we have, linguistics, our capacity for reason, for wonder, and for all the fact we’re able to give meaning to things. How is that possible? What can this possibly be happening inside our heads?

Well, I’m certainly not the first one wondering. In a world devoid of all our sophisticated scientific inquiry (before computers and modern physics), no wonder you would atribute it to something external, beyond the physical. The whole branch of metaphysics in philosophy comes from it - this assumption that there’s a barrier between what’s physical (the synapses inside the brain) and the subjective experience they cause. Even if I had an accurate mapping of the subsequent states of each neuron, I would never know what it is to experience love, for example - and that’s where philosophy comes to aim, on the subjects physics just can’t.

But then came Darwin. The Origin of the Species was a complete game changer. Despite its simplicity it touched nearly every field of knowledge, including philosophy. Evolution gave a new scientific explanation for the old question of the ‘purpose’ of all life with an unexpected direct answer: survival.

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