5 Answers

  1. A competent philosopher (if we are talking about the answer of a philosopher) will answer — I don't know. At one time, Niels Bohr advised biologists not to “strain” about the origin of life, but to take it as an initial given (according to the Reddy principle, living things are a world constant). Still, a competent philosopher will say: we can't talk about consciousness without introducing consciousness. Otherwise, we assume something that we haven't explained yet. This means that consciousness is accepted as a given and then we look at this given (with the help of a competent philosophical text). Let's say that all deep philosophers said that it is One. Kant put it this way: if we are conscious, then we are informed (which is why the problem of intersubjectivity is a pseudo-problem). Well, many paradoxical things can be said about consciousness, the paradoxical nature of which is difficult to get used to (Merab Mamardashvili).

  2. The nature of consciousness should be sought in the context of its origin in the process of adaptation to the surrounding reality. The brain did not appear overnight, but developed from simple to complex, just like other organs. The simplest insects, based on their primitive nervous system consisting of several neurons, are also able to respond to the environment. We do not call these reactions conscious, they are more like mechanical automata operating on the principle of “external stimulus – response”. Programs-reactions that are available in such organisms are transmitted to them from their parents. If there is no response to any dangerous stimulus, the body will die. Such a primitive organism contains a limited number of programs and does not have the ability to adapt to new conditions within a wide range. New programs can only arise as a result of minor random deviations in the genotype, which can accidentally lead to the right outcome – and the individual will remain in existence and pass on this fixed change to the next generation.

    What does consciousness have to do with it? If we skip the numerous stages in the evolution of the nervous system from very simple organisms to humans, we have the following. The basic concept of “external stimulus-response” remains the same. But now the individual does not die from the fact that there was no necessary reaction in its skull. Now the desired response is formed experimentally through numerous repetitions when encountering a previously unknown stimulus. These repetitions will form a new reaction based on what result it led to – desirable or undesirable. In this case, the individual will no longer have to die. Although a fatal outcome is not excluded.

    Now the system is much more complicated. It not only stores the instincts and reflexes received from parents, but also new conditioned reflexes and acquired automatisms. Relatively speaking, the brain can now write new programs for new contexts to respond to.

    This process of “writing a new program” is consciousness. As you repeat what should become automatism, attention stops switching to it, because the relevance of this new-significant decreases, because it has ceased to be new. We perform numerous actions without the participation of consciousness, because we were previously trained to do this consciously: we often speak, move, and use professional skills so automatically that we don't notice it. But we used to consciously study and spend a lot of energy on it.

    As soon as there is a need to develop a new automatism, there is consciousness. Switching it is also automatic. It works according to the principle – “I am always where there is novelty and significance for me.” It is difficult to switch attention to something that has neither novelty nor significance. This is all of course a very general description, but I hope it is clearer than the “theory of consciousness”.

  3. Personally, I think that consciousness is like an ideal environment in which the life of our perception, thinking, imagination, … of course, material nature takes place. Produced by the human central nervous system.

    But … why some people have a low consciousness, and some have a “high” consciousness, this is more difficult. Most likely it is genesis … education, environment, environment, … the matter of public consciousness. But … it is quite possible that the genome “had a hand”.

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