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Mar29-04, 03:21 PM
P: 1,499
An admittedly sloppily expressed question to get a discussion going which comes at the problem of consciousness from a more epistemilogical angle.

Goedel’s incompleteness theorems show that for any and every formal and systematic explanation of everything (in all possible universes) there must be a meta-system which cannot be included in the explanation. Many people argue that this is consciousness.

Equivalently every explanation of everything must contain an undefined term. Some people, but fewer than above, argue that this implies that consciousness cannot be defined within any explanation of it. (i.e. that its existence cannot be explained, even if known).

Equivalently any proof-based or observation-based explanation of everything cannot explain the ‘essence’ that underlies matter or the ‘ultimate reality’ that underlies the physical universe. Some people (lots of people this time), argue that essence and ultimate reality are consciousness.

I’ll leave it there and see what happens. Any thoughts?
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