Origin of consciousness - anomalous monism, eliminative materialism, token epiphenomenalism - or God?
I found these terms in a book I am reading. For one I find the terms to be linguistically luscious. Beyond that they are all alternative explanations of consciousness that maintain the distinction between mental and physical processes without resorting to faith in a higher power.
(The God Gene, by Dean Hamer - chapter 6)
Question - to what do you attribute consciousness?
The book I am reading does nothing more than state these three terms a single time. There is no explanation to follow. Some brief reading of the three theories has led to the following (simplistic and incomplete - to be sure) understanding.
Anomalous monism relies on the rules of language to create an argument that consciousness occurs because of the relation between physical occurances and mental occurances - and that causal mental events are in fact physical events via token identity (monism). It relies on a paradox (causal relationships depend on strict laws, and there are no strict laws for mental occurances)(thus the necessity of the token identity.
Eliminative Materialism appears to state that humans are unable to understand themselves as the cognitive framework which we learn from our acculturation is far removed from the mechanizations of the mind.
My shallow understanding is that our system of language is not elegant enough for us to understand and explain the actual workings of our mind, so we have resorted to a sort of myth "folk psychology" which is so widely accepted that we cannot return to an untarnished starting point.
Epiphenomenalism (at this point I'm reduced to skimming - my brain is glazing over) seems to be the school of thought that mental events are NOT manifested in the physical realm - that every mental experience has its roots in an outside, physical cause. Traditional arguments against include the obvious nature that our mental states (moods, sensory perceptions) impact the decisions and choices that we make in the world.
As to my answer to the short and simple question - To what do you attribute consciousness - I have to reply that I don't know. I do believe that it is explainable. I also believe that it is beyond our scientific grasp at this time. This does not mean that it is enexplicable. Just not now.
I think therefore I am
your question hurt me
I am starring your question in hope that someone can give you an answer you deserve xx
"And God said: "Let us make man, after our image, and after our likeness..." "
the breakdown of the bicameral mind
free, volitional communion with God and each other.
Las palabras son demasado difcil.
Plain ingles please
"Linguistically luscious" notwithstanding, all forms of consciousness must, IMO, be attributed to a higher power...so my answer is God.
I say gradualist expansion of sensate interaction with environment.
All that you have mentioned have a part of, but not the whole, key. The process of consciousness is an anomaly, to be sure, but the focus has to be directed outward for appreciative influence, both on, and by, one's environment.
By the same token, eliminative materialism is not conducive to such relationship, particularly in the Religious/Spiritual realm. The relation to self, environment, and perceived higher power, is often distanced from this position, if present at all. Asceticism, for example; and I understand the reductionist tone, but even such a quality is often at odds when it is admitted, as it were.
Token epiphenomenalism is too vague an explanation for the spontaneity of consciousness, and doesn't distinguish between the different forms of the same. Of course, having not read the book you are reading, I may be off on this, but I venture that I'm not.
In the end, I like the gradualist approach of interaction on the sensatory level. Environment is the subject of our consciousness; without the subject there can be no focus. This having been said, it is most important to relate to that environment, and most do it without actively trying.
In short, most consciousness is not consciously realized, such passive creatures of thought humans are.
Edit: Why in the world did I get a thumbs down for this?
Everything that is outside is within us, and everything that is within us is also outside.
This is reflective Consciousness. This is the state we are in.
This is the dilemma that man faces. That is the secret, to discover our true selves. One who knows the true self has no need for earthly desires, no selfishness, no illusion, no torpor, no religious or racial or caste differences, and no blood attachments. Man then sees everyone as a member of Gods family. In that state man is the way God is. That is the state of a true human being. Gods kingdom is common property, to be shared by everyone.
This is called by man, "God Consciousness".
"May God Consciousness be with us One and all."
that is the most "isms" i've ever seen in one sentence...
Anomalous monism, eliminative materialism, and token epiphenomenalism are all philosophical terminologies. None can be substantiated in the physical realm. As such, I reject them all as meaningless gobbledygook. If we accept that the physical realm is the basis of reality, which means we will take a scientific approach, then consciousness must originate within an operating physical structure -- and it does, a living brain. Consciousness is an emergent property arising from the complexity (dynamic connectivity) of the neocortex of a living human brain. All thoughts, memories, perception, and emotion originate in the neurological structures of our brains. If you really seek the answer to this question, study neurophysiology, not philosophy.
While anomalous monism makes a somewhat good point about the connection between mental and physical energy (a point made countless times before by doctors, philosophers, over-emotional saps like myself, etc.), the term "monism" ruins it for me. Again, it is asking me to accept that there is one identifying force out there controlling us all and to me it's simply another way of saying 'God'. I cannot and do not believe that any identifiable source can be responsible for all that occurs in the world nor do I believe anything has the power to preordain and control our ever thought and every move. It is far too much of a stretch for me. The other ideas seem to exist only so as to act as opposites or catalysts for the first. Each is lined with truth but become verbose in their attempts to explain the unexplainable.
I believe that we know very little. A number of people have asked me why I'm an atheist - doesn't that mean I agree that there must be a god to deny him/her/it (*rolls eyes*.)? Seriously, VC. Does this mean I have faith that there isn't a god? I tell them constantly - "I do not believe in a god or gods. That's it. Period. Why? Because I know they don't exist. How? Because there is a complete lack of evidence." I DO however, believe that there is something more to this universe than what I could ever know. Gee, I sure hope it means that I'll live forever with my love hitchhiking across the galaxy, constantly swathed in light and wonder, but that may not just be so - in fact, it may be the wish of an overactive imagination. I feel that my consciousness is a part of some incalculable, immeasurable universal energy. I believe that living in my consciousness must involve doing as much good as possible throughout the one lifetime I know I have. Why? Not to feed some invisible, needy, punishing deity, but because I feel something, every single day of my life, a rhythm in life, that brings us all to one another. I can no more explain just what that is than I can how or why. There is some absolute beauty in this world and a sense of a greater consciousness. That, or I'm a complete loon who is happy to admit I may very well be completely wrong-o. 🙂
i attribute consciousness to my alarm clock and a lot of caffeine...dude, you need to get out and EXPERIENCE consciousness, instead of studying it like a bug under a microscope...
Here are a few pieces to your puzzle
Watch the complete series of "The Life of Mammals" by David Attenborough. You will see more from where consciousness came.
I can recommend the life of birds also! By the way David catches the most impressive information on film but did not identify it. He either missed it himself or he is just waiting for us to work it out.