Ok so let's have a focused thread on consciousness, both in general and specific areas.. I will propose some questions, and the known speculations on them, along with my personal opinions. First off this is a tough area, one where we don't yet have a solution, so this thread might not give any insight into the science part of things, but it may be able to let people grow individually, and teach them to think in new ways, subjectielly. The main question will always be What is consciousness? However since that is too broad of a topic to discuss, I will divide this main question into several small ones. 1. Can we really define consciousness? As it is, a definition is created after we know most of what there is to know about something. Since this issue is so broad and diverse, defining consciousness will be difficult, but I will try. Definition 1: A Materialist view; Consciousness is simply reactions in the brain and body, created by external stimuli to the sensory system, along with memories and a very complex neuralnet that cross checks this information for relevance to the stimuli. Pros of this theory: If everything is physical, then surely this must be the solution, all there is to consciousness is its physical parts, as such wem ust study the brain and its workings until we figure out how everything works. Quantify, calculate, predict. Cons: Not many cons at this point, read later on. Definition 2; A more solipsistic view; Only the self can be verified. We can never quantify and predict the emotion of happiness with math or science. Even if we knew everything about the brain, there is still something there beyond the veil, that cannot be predicted. Qualia is a good example; you can never measure or predict the subjective qualia state. Pros: Well, it is true that solipsism is true, nobody can prove otherwise. Cons: Some materialists say that qualia is just "magical." It has no relevance because if it can't be observed in a lab, or predicted with math, then it by default doesn't exist. Conclusion for part 1 and some more opinions; I firmly believe that there is more to consciousness than just its physical parts. Take for instance the image you see with your eyes, or the music you hear with your ears. Typical qualia experience; Now, the image you see is not inherently represented in the physical world as anything physical. The only thing others will have to do is trust you on your word that you are seeing that image or hearing that sound. The only reason they do trust you is because they can also see that image and hear that sound. But if a scientist were to go completely neutral and logical, like materalists claim to do, then they would even have to drop this assumption that anyone is actually seeing anything or hearing anything. Because as it stands now, qualia does not exist in the physical world, it only appears to do so. We can only observe its after effects, these living organisms seem to react to their environment, so they must be at least sensing something. But do they see an image? I don't think so, I can't seem to find this image on any mr scans, nor can I find any images on my elite Electron Neuralnet Analyzer. Keep in mind, this image you are seeing with your eyes, the combined "big picture" that your eyes and brain creates, is not stored anywhere explicitly, we can only see its after effects in the brain. Comments? Oh yeah and part 2 will be added to the thread soon.