philosophy of mind

James Teo james at teoth.fsnet.co.uk
Sun Jan 13 17:28:03 EST 2002

On 13 Jan 2002 11:16:11 -0800, mats_trash at hotmail.com (mat) wrote:

>> Analogy:
>> Awareness is the press statements of a press relations department of a
>> large company on the running of their company but doesn't really have
>> much of a role to play in the actual running of the company. In this
>> case however, there is no press and the press statements are being
>> received by nobody.
>Well I'm not really sure your analogy works then?! :)  It highlights
>the problem: who reads these press releases?? 

No one. The press releases ARE the awareness.

> And if you regard
>consciousness or awareness as an epiphenomenon then not only does that
>have inherent dualistic overtones (if its not the neuronal firing that
>constitutes awareness what does?)

Huh? I just said it was. Awareness is an epiphenomenon to causality
not to neuronal firing. It results from neuronal firing but has no
effect on further neuronal firing.

>but also it means you have difficulties when you try and link
>awareness to decision making.  

I thought I explicitly said it has nothing to do with decision making.

>If its an epiphenomenon how does it
>become causally effective in producing actions?  or are you saying
>that awareness does not contribute to decision making, and all that
>goes on at a lower level; we are simply informed of it after the

Yes, the latter is my view. The only way awareness affects actions is
indirect perhaps in affecting how memories are encoded, and encoded
memories then affect future executive function (which may not be

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