It seems to me that it may not be possible to address these
issues, the definition of what is consciousness and how consciousness is
produced, in a serial fashion. It will involve a closed loop process in
which some provisional hypothesis concerning what consciousness involves
is given, a possible mechanism of such consciousness is then devised, a
revision of the definition of consciousness based on the previous work is
given, a revised mechanism is developed, etc.
To give one example, the mechanism of inertia that Newton firmly
established in his Principia was not based on a pristine, pure, faultless
defintion of inertia that came before. The precise definition and the
mechanism of inertia (laws of motion) both arrived on the scene
essentially simultaneously (some of Newtons contemporaries might have
disputed this), no doubt as a result of an ongoing development of both. If
Newton had had the attitude that he would not be interested in an inertial
theory of motion until someone had first given him a faultless definition
of inertia (to prove that inertia really is a phenomenon), he probably
would never have made the contribution he did.
The same is true of consciousness. The breakthrough in discovering
the mechanism which produces consciousness simply will not be made by
anyone who insists that he or she first be given a faultless definition of
consciousness. In this area, as in most and perhaps all other areas of
science, intuition is essential. Those who dont have it will not succeed
in producing the breakthrough needed to advance the cause of science.