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59984Re: Consciousness is not supported by itself

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  • Mary
    Jun 29, 2013
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      Of course I'm aware that I have awareness, just like I'm aware of any other phenomena. This reason you struggle with this is not because it's word play, but because you haven't grasped the difference between being in-itself and being for-itself. Being for-itself is not the same as in-itself, and all your comments indicate you think it is. Just because I am aware of objects doesn't mean I'm aware of how I'm aware. I can't access my awareness in-itself since it's caused neurally. I can make an object of my awareness for-myself. I can be attentive to how my awareness shifts and possibly learn the science behind. Those are activities for me, not the activity in-itself. You think that because the brain is doing everything that explains both types of being. It doesn't. Essentially what you're saying is that neural activity is for-itelf. It isn't. You can't turn a for-itself into an in-itself once you think consciously.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
      >
      > “Unless we have consciousness, we can't know we're conscious of our consciousness, and if we don't know we're conscious we'd not have consciousness. How is that not paradoxical??”"
      >
      > I think that’s just playing on words. And it is one of the reasons why philosophy is difficult to read. Are we really conscious of our consciousness?? If I am conscious of my consciousness then I am conscious. It’s something like that picture of a hand drawing a hand. It is only paradoxical because the play on words makes it so.
      >
      > But can you be conscious of your consciousness?? The answer is likely no. Since it is cyclical, you would have to step outside yourself to be aware that it is you over there who is conscious. Just as you have to step away from the picture of the hands in order to see what is going on. But since you can’t step away from yourself, you can’t then be conscious that you are conscious of your consciousness.
      >
      > Descartes is wrong. That he thinks doesn’t necessarily mean he exists. He might be in the dream of someone else who only imagines that Descartes asks the question.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2013 11:45 AM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: Consciousness is not supported by itself
      >
      > eduard,
      >
      > Yes, an idea in isolation from other ideas appears quite simple.
      >
      > For example, the idea that consciousness is the result of neural activity seems simple enough. This can be related to Sartre's being in-itself. No brain=no consciousness is similar to no objective world=no subjective reality. The physiological process of consciousness is an activity or kind of being in-itself.
      >
      > It's only when we get to the idea of consciousness as being for-itself that things get more complicated. I'm aware that I'm aware, but the awareness of my awareness is my being for-itself. I'm not awareness in it-self.
      >
      > Sartre's point about an empty consciousness which perceives objects is less about the objects (unless they are people, of course) and more about what consciousness does. Consciousness is not merely physical (in-itself) activities but our (for-itself) activities of negation and determination of it. This is what you do when you feel the need to change a mental script. It isn't the in-itself of neural activity which 'tells' you it's time to do that; you, as a for-itself, do that.
      >
      > Sartre expands and develops what is an initially simple idea, consciousness is consciousness of something, into other areas like essence, bad faith, nothingness, freedom, responsibility, for-otherness and its ethical implications. And although these are not possible without neurons, neurons in-themselves can't explain or understand these. You do/ don't.
      >
      > Without being for-itself we wouldn't know we had being in-itself, and unless being in-itself precedes being for-itself, we can't have being for-itself. Unless we have consciousness, we can't know we're conscious of our consciousness, and if we don't know we're conscious we'd not have consciousness. How is that not paradoxical???
      >
      > A human consciousness is being in-itself for-itself for-others.
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Those two little words are of significant importance. They change the entire meaning of the sentence.
      > >
      > > Which was my point. That people who write this stuff don’t seem to care if the correct message is transmitted, as long as they can put something down on paper. The SparkNotes author could have put in the two words but he didn’t. In fact, he did not even have to do it twice. The sentence could have been simply ... â€Å"If for some reason we are not aware of the world, it doesn’t exist for us”.
      > >
      > > But then that simplified sentence is not as dramatic as the one used. In fact, it is so obvious that a child could have said it .... â€Å"I put my hands over my eyes and the world doesn’t exist for me”. You don’t need to read Being and Nothingness to get the idea. Which is my other point; that behind all this are very simple ideas.
      > >
      > > eduard
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Mary
      > > Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2013 8:26 PM
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [existlist] Re: Consciousness is not supported by itself
      > >
      > > eduard,
      > >
      > > Your assumption of what it says, or means, is just plain wrong, which is what you'd realize if you read Sartre's text itself instead of a 'Readers Digest' version. Yet even this could not be clearer if you insert [two little words] which are implied by the surrounding text. The author is assuming that by the conclusion of Being and Nothingness, the meaning of being in-itself is understood.
      > >
      > > SparkNotes: Being is complete fullness of existence, a meaningless mass of matter devoid of meaning, consciousness, and knowledge.
      > >
      > > Me: This is just reiterating what being in-itself means.
      > >
      > > SparkNotes: Consciousness enters the world through the for-itself and with it brings nothingness, negation, and difference to what was once a complete whole of being.
      > >
      > > Me: This reiterates what the for-itself (consciousness) means and does. Being in-itself does not do anything.
      > >
      > > SparkNotes: Consciousness is what allows the world to exist [for me]. Without it, there would be no objects, no trees, no rivers, and no rocks [for me]: only being.
      > >
      > > Me: There would only be being in-itself of such objects, including us. We would simply be being in-self instead of having consciousness which is both for-itself and in-itself.
      > >
      > > So Sartre never claims there is no objective reality of which we are conscious; he merely says that consciousness transcends itself when perceiving objects. He never says the world disappears when we aren't conscious of it; he says it exists only for the for-itself. The in-itself doesn't exist for-itself. It is only pure or absolute being. It is being without determination. We determine it, define it, give it shape and meaning.
      > >
      > > Mary
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Ok ... if I don’t see it, perhaps you do. What in the SparkNotes or even in the quote of Sartre you provided explains how consciousness is what allows the world to exist. Or you could try your own explanation without resorting to quotes.
      > >
      > > > So I would ask, how is it possible for the world to not exist without consciousness?? Obviously the â€Å"consciousness” is a personal human consciousness. What the statement is saying is that if I am not aware of the outside world [perhaps I am dead] the world [I presume universe] would not exist. Yesterday I was alive and the this universe of some 95 billion light years diameter existed. Today I am dead and the whole thing disappears.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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