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Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 3
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The Cognition Factor Page 1 of 1    
It's an emergent property of increased processing power and complexity within the brain. It exists because, in and of itself, it confers a selective advantage, allowing humans to form concepts that become language, vastly increasing the ability of groups of humans to survive.

That's pretty much it.
Joined: 7/3/2010
Msg: 5
The Cognition Factor
Posted: 9/30/2010 8:31:30 AM
Before consciousness was oblivion, and again after. All you will ever know is within your awareness, beyond which feel free to call it what you like. Consciousness is what you think and thinking is self-directed partly and otherwise happenstance. The thing shared by any ideas or mental models of how life is including what we are and what is conscious thought and consciousness is they are the conscious thoughts we have about ourselves thinking of ourselves having conscious thoughts. We think about thinking about how we think about thinking, on and so forth. The idea that there can be something other than an idea upon which to hang the truth about ideas is a wrong idea compared to truth but is one necessary to avoid being entirely self-contained, which we are when we suppose ourselves limited to what we can know. I haven't yet figured out how to know what I don't know, or to not know what I do know, unless I just don't know that I have and haven't.

Just because the question can be asked and a need can exist for its answer doesn't mean any answers are available outside the ones you make up. By you I mean the entire human race. The mind of man is concerned with understanding itself whether or not in doing so it gets distracted from hot babes and motorcycles. Cognition is the means by which a thorough understanding makes truth a punch line. Laughter rules all and it is merciless and we are right to fear it.
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 6
The Cognition Factor
Posted: 9/30/2010 2:16:07 PM
Humans aren't the ones who are conscious -- other primates can make tools, and have a sense of self awareness... wanting to win for the sake of winning and not for treats... making meaning of things, etc.

Ever see that video of the crow bending/molding a piece of what looks like a paper clip to hook into a tube to yank out a block with a hook on it, to get after something?

It's not centered around US... and I'm sure we're not or will not be the only beings with this high level of consciousness -- I'm sure there are (or will be) other ones with a greater sense of self, awareness, etc.

But I think the real question is -- how does that come to be? Is nature structured that way, as sort of a target for things meshing together?

I don't think it's 'accidental' any more than the formation of a sun or planets. Nature's construct allows for autonomous formations to exist in the right not-so-incredibly-rare conditions and how chemistry flows, and by common-sense, they will be eliminated/discared if can't make it, and end up leading to stronger constructs of such formations/beings... and obviously it continues from there. But how life can begin itself is the bigger question in my mind than consciousness. Consciousness gives a sense of self -- getting to the point short of that is far more amazing than bridging into that being's self-awareness level, IMO.
Joined: 11/20/2004
Msg: 8
The Cognition Factor
Posted: 10/1/2010 6:15:21 AM
I believe consciousness has evolved purely out of survival. What better tool to help us survive and reproduce than a consciousness. Without it seeing one man pull off a dangerous feat would suggest that I could too, but thankfully my consciousness tells me the difference between me and the other man allowing me to take into account the factors that allowed him to achieve that feat.
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 9
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The Cognition Factor
Posted: 10/17/2010 9:07:27 PM
I'm not quite sharp enough to be sure of what this thread is about, but I THINK I'm seeing a question along the lines of :

"Consciousness is the result of someone or something INTENDING it to exist."

It more or less sounds like the old rather egocentric idea that humans are the pinnacle of evolution, that there is a driving PURPOSE behind what happens. Assigning a VALUE to a given element of existence, suggesting that there is a DIRECTION that evolution is CHOOSING, shows a lack of understanding of Evolution's basics.
Evolution, by definition, has no INTENT, it is a CONSEQUENCE.
Joined: 12/13/2006
Msg: 10
The Cognition Factor
Posted: 10/18/2010 11:18:51 AM

do you have an answer to the meaning of life too? I've always wondered about that one.


Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 11
The Cognition Factor
Posted: 10/18/2010 12:37:14 PM

so it becomes a question of why did consciousness emerge ?

Define consciousness. By any definition I've seen, humans aren't unique in being conscious.
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 12
The Cognition Factor
Posted: 10/18/2010 12:53:41 PM
In the sense of personal awareness and collective identity, I feel that we as people would continue to feed off of one another in sharing thoughts and interests that lead to further thoughts and cognitive answers, theories, etc.

In the sense of what raises us above other known sentient beings...simply our ability to be conscious of our consciousness.
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 13
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The Cognition Factor
Posted: 10/23/2010 6:26:06 AM
Oh, I don't know, I think what "raises us above other known sentient beings," is our better ability to kill them.
I'm not being as sarcastic there as it might sound. I'm hinting that "above" is the sort of relative term that is at the heart of this discussion, and that in reality it is the WRONG way (as in factually false) to view our universe.
No one, and nothing is "above" anyone or anything else, except in the mind of the particular OBSERVER. Humans are arguably the most SUCCESSFUL group on this planet overall, in managing to live almost wherever we please, and in overcoming challenges from other species trying to kill us off entirely. That we would DEDUCE from that success that it was because we were DESTINED, or DIVINELY GUIDED or DIVINELY CREATED for that result, is entirely specious thinking, unworthy of being called 'reasoning.' It is IDENTICAL to the thinking behind THE DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS to rule us all. "Humans were created to rule the world, and I was created to rule the humans." Bosh.
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 14
The Cognition Factor
Posted: 10/24/2010 10:40:32 PM
I believe all animals have a conscious awareness. If they did not, then there would be no motivation for them to do things what we, humans, do: feed, love, eliminate, sleep, repeat. We just have more of conscious awareness, more acute or condensed, coz we are more complex, with more complex lives, with much more many traps to look out for in our daily existence, than, say, trilobites or tapeworms.
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 15
The Cognition Factor
Posted: 10/26/2010 8:24:13 AM
I'm not entirely sure who *you* are, OP.

I've got a reasonably accurate handle on who *I* am, with statistical accuracy on 10 samples out of 12, exceptions made for existential speculation and identity theft.

And I'm fairly convinced (for good reasons or ill) that the people who consider us "destined", "divinely guided" or "divinely created" haven't spent a lot of time looking at our entertainment media, education systems or economic decisions, because they'd be pretty unlikely to infer any such idea.

And it's pretty arguable how successful we are, to tell the truth. I seem to recall some inconvenient details like, um, *death*, investment banking and the absence of a free s*x bot of your choosing with every 10th coffee at Buckstar$.
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