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Chastising Dennet

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Posted by A. Souza on May 23, 2003 14:32:19 UTC

" Dennett presents a myopic view of what scientists think, suggesting that they all think exactly like him. Just read the on-line moderated forum, 'Quantum-Mind Digest' to realize that scientists are much more imaginative than ordinary people, and have proposed an entire spectrum of theories from reductionist to the non-material to explain consciousness. Much of the thinking of scientists on consciousness is based on their own intuition. Dennett knows this well and should be chastised for invoking the 'what scientists think' argument. "

What really irks me about Dennett is that he claims people are fooled by their intuition, but implies that he somehow is not. To me that is as foolish as it gets.

What Dennett does not realize is that anyone is free to define concepts as they wish. "Ordinary people" have the same freedom to define "consciousness" as physicists have to define concepts such as "eigenstate" or "spin". The only requirement is that the definition must be consistent with existing definitions. Now if I define "consciousness" as "something which cannot be physically detected", exactly how is Mr. Dennett going to prove that such a thing does not exist? He can't, but he doesn't understand that, and that is what makes him a fool. The logical correctness of his arguments is entirely beside the point.

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