Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quick Justification of Sensation and Decision

Formally they are called something else, but my email asking if I could call them sensation and decision, (because it rhymes) has not been answered. I therefore conclude there is no known reason for me not to carry on.

Sensation and decision are the two necessary (and probably sufficient) conditions for consciousness. While I refined this out by studying my mind node, I can now see that it can be derived a priori.

With sensation you aren't conscious; the fundamental mysterious property of our lives is sensation itself. Any concept or framework that does not include sensation is irrelevant or at least orthogonal to consciousness. Without decision sensation is pointless; it exists, but cannot act or affect anything. Without decision, sensation would be pure magic, unverifiable at the very conceptual level. It would only arise in cases where the physical costs of maintaining it were zero, and even then we have the problem of having an interaction without physical consequences.

I don't see any particular property of consciousness that is necessary outside of these two. Memory, for instance, is an add-on, as we can see (we think) that people with no short-term memory are still conscious people.

Therefore, I conclude the necessary and sufficient conditions for consciousness are sensation and decision.

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