[ExI] Newbie Question: Consciousness and Intelligence

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 15 18:54:11 UTC 2010

--- On Mon, 2/15/10, The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I tend to view consciousness as awareness. 

You might recall that you and I actually discussed this very subject here a number of years ago, and that we agreed there exists a sense in which amoebas and similar organisms have awareness. We made a distinction then, or at least I did, between the awareness of amoebas and the kind of consciousness that I refer to here several years later.

Consciousness, as I mean it today, entails the ability to have conscious intentional states. That is, it entails the ability to have something consciously "in mind" as opposed to merely having the ability to respond intelligently to the environment in the way that amoebas do. So far as we know, intentionality so defined requires a nervous system and most likely a well-developed brain, both of which amoebas lack. So then either amoebas have no consciousness, so defined, or else they have mysterious nervous systems that we cannot see or understand.



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