Book Review: Demystifying the Concept of Consciousness


Here comes Yves. This article uses a sci-fi metaphor, now a pet fantasy of a liar, as a starting point: what if you could upload your consciousness and let it go on? As we learned below, the brain is not as separate from the body as we imagined, and the effect of lobectomy proves this. Why is it regarded as a continuation of our existence? It is more likely to be a copy, at best it can only produce what is called ghola in the sand dunes, it is a clone of a dead person, and its memory is also preserved.

Author: Emily Cataneo, a writer and journalist from New England. Her work has appeared in publications such as Slate, NPR, Baffler, and Atlas Obscura.Originally published on dark

If you could upload your consciousness to the cloud and exist forever as a thought in the meta-universe, would you do it?

Please consider carefully before answering. exist”Feeling and knowing: let the mind be conscious,“Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio believes that consciousness is more than an algorithmic process. He said that uploading your consciousness to the cloud is like experiencing a meal by reading a recipe instead of eating.

book review“Feelings and Knowledge: Making Thoughts Conscious”, Antonio Damasio (Pantheon, p. 256).

So what Yes consciousness? This is the core issue of this book.Damasio is a professor of neuroscience, philosophy and psychology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, director of the Institute of Brain and Creativity, and author of the 2018 book “Strange order of things,” In it, he praised the power of dynamic balance, which keeps all living things in balance and thus maintains vitality.

Consciousness is such a vague and short-lived concept that it does not have its own word in many Romance languages, but despite this, it is still a hot topic today. “Feeling and Knowledge” is the result of Damasio’s editor’s request to write a very short, focused book to weigh the subject. Damasio pondered deep questions in a book of more than 200 pages: How did we get here? How do we use mental maps, a steady stream of images and memories to develop thoughts-these mechanisms are symbiotic with our body’s sensations and sensations, and then, crucially, we connect them with ourselves and with the sense of personality Link up?

Damasio believes that the answer is not simple (in any case not as simple as the algorithm), but it is also not as complicated as some theorists and scientists think. Proponents of the so-called conundrum of consciousness believe that even if we unlock all the physiological components of the brain, we still cannot define or explain consciousness. For many of these theorists, it has something mysterious and even magical.

But Damasio disagreed, and the book tries to explain why. His main argument is that when studying consciousness, problem theorists fail to explain the processes that take place outside of the brain. Consciousness is not just what happens in our mind; it is about what happens in our body and what happens when our mind interprets our bodies and feelings and reflects their processes to us. Damasio believes that to understand consciousness, one must understand it from the beginning: from the perception experienced by plants to the social cooperation observed in bacteria, to the emergence of animal thoughts and emotions, and finally the consciousness of evolution.

In the process of four short parts and an epilogue, Damasio led us to understand each of these concepts and explore what consciousness is and not. He distinguished between non-explicit intelligence (buzzing in the background to keep us alive) and explicit intelligence (the kind we know). He wrote about the transformative nature of the nervous system. He explained that although plants do not have consciousness in the traditional sense, they can still perceive and communicate with each other”blindly ——I mean they didn’t knowledge Why or how they do what they do. “

The second half of the book is devoted to “On Sensation” and “On Consciousness and Knowledge”, where Damasio’s arguments begin to merge. In “On Feelings”, he delved into the extraordinary mechanisms that make us feel, whether it is basic feelings such as pain and hunger, or socially-driven feelings such as shame or joy. He marveled at how feeling might start from a “cowardly dialogue” between a person’s chemical reaction and nervous system, and then evolve into the “hard battle” of survival to guide us in the right direction.

In the last part, he explored what consciousness is, what it is not, and what benefits it has-mainly by identifying and processing the experience of a particular organism and advocating to meet the needs of that organism, allowing us to live more effectively. Here, he also emphasized the importance of the body, which he called the matrix, to the experience of consciousness.Artificial intelligence currently built He wrote that its ultimate level of creativity and intelligence is limited because artificial intelligence removes the body-an important part of the evolution of human intelligence.

In terms of style, Damasio’s book has more in common with experimental memoirs such as Maggie Nelson “Blues” (2009)) Or Carmen Maria Machado’s “In the House of Dreams: Memoirs” (2019) Compared with traditional scientific texts. Writing is superfluous, and his arguments are mainly searched and built on the development of brain research, including his own work. A playful tone usually helps inspire science. (“A person must have a soft spot for people who talk to plants, as Prince Charles should do.”) However, this idleness can sometimes be frustrating or incomprehensible to those who are not familiar with the conversations around them. consciousness. After all, this is a topic that requires us to resolve abstract and puzzling paradoxes: for example, the power of feeling comes from the conscious mind, but we can also be conscious because we have feelings. Damasio may have done a good job, including more real-life examples to lay the foundation for some of the more obscure concepts in his book.

But at the same time, the concise, almost literary chapters and Damasio’s unabashed surprise and reverence for the concept of consciousness also have some intrigues—though he believes it can be explained by the disciplines we know. , But he is also in awe of its mechanism. For example, it is clear that Damasio revered the fact that our bodies can experience and modify these feelings in the same container. Usually, this awe shines in charming, suggestive, and whimsical sentences. Regarding feelings, Damasio wrote, “The consistency of balance, efficiency, and happiness is signed in the language of emotion in heaven and is popular because of natural selection. The nervous system is responsible.”

After all, why is all this important? In addition to consciousness that allows us to read and write articles, live in a complex society, solve complex problems, appreciate great art, and do everything that makes us human, Damasio also puts forward another question about why we should trust The argument of his view of consciousness: its universality. We should not regard it as a mysterious process given to humans alone, but should recognize that consciousness is the sum of sensation, nervous system, social cooperation, homeostasis, and other biological processes, which are rooted in other life forms, such as bacteria, Plants and non-human animals.

Damasio wrote that when seeking to understand consciousness, we should not see ourselves as a single one. Instead, we should position ourselves as part of the “big biological stage” of life.

Positioning ourselves where we belong, maybe we can help wisely eliminate some of the damage caused by human consciousness. “Recognizing that interdependence may come in handy,” he concluded, “When we deal with the destruction of the earth and its life caused by humans, these destructions may be the chief culprits of some of the disasters, climate change and epidemics we are currently facing. The culprit. Two outstanding examples.”

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