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Conscious atoms

  1. Jun 9, 2005 #1
    Since my brain is made of atoms I question as to whether atoms are conscious, at least in the brain but possibly even in inanimate objects, possibly varying levels of self awareness.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2005 #2

    hypnagogue

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    It depends on one's view, and this is not by any means a settled matter, but the fact that humans are conscious does not necessarily imply that atoms are conscious. It could be that consciousness is an emergent property, like the fluidity of water is an emergent property of H2O molecules-- if this is the case, then we could say consciousness is a property of the brain as a whole (or some subset of the brain, taken as a whole) but is not a property of the constituent parts. If one is a substance dualist, one would not even attribute consciousness to physical brains themselves, let alone atoms. Panexperientialism is a view that might be amenable to attributing some sort of subjective experience to atoms.
     
  4. Jun 10, 2005 #3
    "fallacy of division"
     
  5. Jun 10, 2005 #4

    DaveC426913

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    By the same same logic: Since a dandelion flower is yellow, I question whether atoms are yellow.

    It is easier to see the flaw in this argument and then apply it to yours.
     
  6. Jun 10, 2005 #5
    I think it's also called panpsychism
     
  7. Jun 10, 2005 #6

    loseyourname

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    Isn't that the fallacy of composition, or is that just the other way around, to say that the whole must have the same properties as the parts?
     
  8. Jun 11, 2005 #7

    hypnagogue

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    Panpsychism is the view that minds are ubiquitous in nature. Panexperientialism is the substantially weaker view that subjective experience is ubiquitous in nature. For X to have a mind, X must be in possession of at least some set of cognitive capacities, such as thought or awareness; for X to have subjective experience, it just must be like something to be X.
     
  9. Jun 13, 2005 #8
    The photons are yellow arent they?
    (they appear yellow to us)
     
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