Here’s the Tuesday Too:

1. When was the last time your pet gave you a scare? What happened? If you’re not a “pet person”, how come?

I currently do not have a pet due to the place where I’m living and my schedule.

2. How do you think the things that you think, in other words what do you think consciousness is?

I took a class on consciousness once. Actually it was on the neuronal basis of visual consciousness, i.e. visual perception so I got to read lots of papers and textbooks on the subject. Most of it was about neurophysiological experiments and such–not very much philosophy unless you count the prof going off about zombie systems and seizures.

In rough terms, consciousness can be defined as being aware. Sure, you can pick up a book from a desk. Anyone or anything could do that. Humans have the unique ability to be aware that they are picking up the book. But this is an oversimplification. No one knows how the brain cells fire in order for this to come about. If there is an “outside agent” (a “soul” as some people would argue) that provides consciousness, it has yet to be proven.

The mystery of consciousness will probably not be solved in our lifetime. The philosophers and religious fanatics can rant all they want, but actual progress will only be acheived by the scientists who stick subjects in MRIs and prod their brains with electrodes.

3. Taking off from last Tuesday’s question # 3, check this out: Women’s Treaty, and do something about it. If you don’t live in the United States, check out the position of your country on the treaty. Thanks to Elaine for her post on the treaty.

Interesting. I’ll have to take some time out to read it.