Questions about consciousness


by candydude357
Tags: consciousness
Pythagorean
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#37
May19-11, 06:46 AM
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So because plants lack any of the known required devices for subjetive experience, and the fact that they are based on the same laws as we are, it is very very unlikely that they have a subjective experience, which is for all intents and purposes the same as for now declaring they don't have it.
I don't find this to be very sound reasoning. Plants have a respiratory system, but no lungs, a circulatory system, but no heart. Plants have stress hormones.

These systems are easy to identify by their functionality. Plants also have decision making capabilities in their apices:

http://ds9.botanik.uni-bonn.de/zellb...Z-Biologia.pdf

so all the evidence based on functionality points to them adapting similar traits to us in order to survive.

Once you start talking about subjective experience, do you really know what you're talking about? Do you really know the physiological mechanism for consciousness? Is it even a productive question in science yet?
Ryan_m_b
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#38
May19-11, 06:52 AM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
I don't find this to be very sound reasoning. Plants have a respiratory system, but no lungs, a circulatory system, but no heart. Plants have stress hormones.

These systems are easy to identify by their functionality. Plants also have decision making capabilities in their apices:

http://ds9.botanik.uni-bonn.de/zellb...Z-Biologia.pdf

so all the evidence based on functionality points to them adapting similar traits to us in order to survive.

Once you start talking about subjective experience, do you really know what you're talking about? Do you really know the physiological mechanism for consciousness? Is it even a productive question in science yet?
There is nothing that shows that plants have a co-ordinating ability greater than that of local genetic and biochemical processes.

There still remains to be no evidence that plants possess a consciousness. There is no observed mechanism of decision making or sensory processing etc

EDIT: although I do agree that subjective experience is a hard thing to analyse and discuss. It's easier to measure if things are conscious (as we would recognize it) and so for the purposes of answering the OPs question plants do not have consciousness.
DaveC426913
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#39
May19-11, 08:44 AM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
I don't find this to be very sound reasoning. Plants have a respiratory system, but no lungs, a circulatory system, but no heart. Plants have stress hormones.

These systems are easy to identify by their functionality. Plants also have decision making capabilities in their apices:

http://ds9.botanik.uni-bonn.de/zellb...Z-Biologia.pdf

so all the evidence based on functionality points to them adapting similar traits to us in order to survive.
Argument by analogy? Because we breathe air and they do, because we pump fluids and they do too, it follows that, since we think, they probably do too?

Come on Pyth.

Plants do not have a nervous system. Nor is there any suggestion that there's something we're missing in the makeup of a plant that could contain a subjective experience.
thorium1010
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#40
May19-11, 10:13 AM
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I read somewhere, to perform the kind of activities like calculations, planning, speech etc etc the brain requires a intensive form of energy . I think we can distinguish between plants and humans (or animals in general ) one way is aerobic respiration, and only possible on this planet because of Oxygen, which gives us a enormous source of energy to maintain our brain activity . In fact our brain uses about 25 % of our total energy.

Each glucose molecule gives 18 ATP through aerobic respiration. But in photosynthesis the number of ATP molecules are much less.

So our consciousness (and intelligence ) comes at a very high price.
candydude357
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#41
May19-11, 10:41 AM
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So if plants are like mechanical machines then they DON'T sense?
Ryan_m_b
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#42
May19-11, 10:47 AM
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Quote Quote by candydude357 View Post
So if plants are like mechanical machines then they DON'T sense?
Plants do sense. They have faculties to sense light, chemicals in soil, gravity, mechanical forces etc etc but they do not have a consciousness with which to perceive and think about these sensory inputs.

In the same way as my laptop can adjust it's screen display brightness by monitoring light levels through it's camera but it is not conscious. It just reacts to it's input.
candydude357
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#43
May19-11, 10:50 AM
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So in order to be different from a computer, for example they would have to be conscious? What about babies? I always thought that they didn't have consciousness.
Ryan_m_b
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#44
May19-11, 10:51 AM
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Quote Quote by candydude357 View Post
So in order to be different from a computer, for example they would have to be conscious? What about babies? I always thought that they didn't have consciousness.
It's not clear cut what makes the difference between non-conscious and conscious. A baby is conscious. It doesn't magically gain the ability to think after a certain number of years
candydude357
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#45
May19-11, 10:54 AM
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Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
It's not clear cut what makes the difference between non-conscious and conscious. A baby is conscious. It doesn't magically gain the ability to think after a certain number of years
Doesn't it develop it though?
Also I always thought there were mammals that didn't really have consciousness.
Ryan_m_b
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#46
May19-11, 10:56 AM
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Quote Quote by candydude357 View Post
Doesn't it develop it though?
Also I always thought there were mammals that didn't really have consciousness.
Your consciousness does not develop; your intelligence, knowledge, personality etc all do. By their very nature mammals have consciousness (they have a CNS)
candydude357
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#47
May19-11, 10:59 AM
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Wait, so the computer's reaction is also classified as sensing?
So if we could invent a way for computers to reproduce they would be classified as living?!
Ryan_m_b
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#48
May19-11, 11:03 AM
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Quote Quote by candydude357 View Post
Wait, so the computer's reaction is also classified as sensing?
So if we could invent a way for computers to reproduce they would be classified as living?!
Yes computer's sense, sensing isn't that big a deal. Reproduction is a whole different issue! If something can reproduce then yes it could be classed as alive (if it reproduced with variation it would even evolve)
candydude357
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#49
May19-11, 11:06 AM
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Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
Yes computer's sense, sensing isn't that big a deal. Reproduction is a whole different issue! If something can reproduce then yes it could be classed as alive (if it reproduced with variation it would even evolve)
But if sleeping, or even people in a coma could sense sounds that would be different from how computers sense...?
Ryan_m_b
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#50
May19-11, 11:10 AM
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Quote Quote by candydude357 View Post
But if sleeping, or even people in a coma could sense sounds that would be different from how computers sense...?
I thought we'd already gone through this? People in a coma do not have conscious thought, contrary to popular belief sleeping people do have conscious thought (though perhaps not in all stages of sleep).
candydude357
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#51
May19-11, 11:13 AM
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What stages of sleep are completely unconscious?
Also where does anaesthesia come in with conscious/unconscious.
Ryan_m_b
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#52
May19-11, 11:16 AM
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Quote Quote by candydude357 View Post
What stages of sleep are completely unconscious?
Also where does anaesthesia come in with conscious/unconscious.
As far as I am aware NREM sleep is unconscious. When you are under anesthesia you are unconscious.

Put it this way, whenever you are not thinking you are unconscious
candydude357
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#53
May19-11, 11:59 AM
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But doesn't sleepwalking and other reactions occur in nREM?
EDIT: and non-lucid dreams
Ryan_m_b
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#54
May19-11, 12:02 PM
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Quote Quote by candydude357 View Post
But doesn't sleepwalking and other reactions occur in nREM?
Yes in the slow wave period of NREM however the sleepwalker is not in a full state of consciousness


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