ModelZ0:Begin

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Model ZenZed. The Predicates

"My" model of consciousness such as it is has numerous antecedants. There is in fact little that is original to it.

First and foremost of course among all the foundations of my model, shared by Dennett, is Physicalism.


The largest predicate is of course, Dan Dennett, who when various philosophic texts on theories of consciousness were suggested to me was the first that made much sense. I have since often wondered if my loyalty were simply a question of him being first of my "deep" reads on the subject, but since that time the amount of controversy around his "Consciousness Explained" and elaborations has made it certain that he is indeed quite distinct from others in his field.

(Though technically, it seems to me he said very little that was not "in the air" at the time among technical and scientific thinkers, he seems to have been the first to gather much of the material together and present it with some coherence ... no small feat, and the lack of coherence of some of CE and the amount of controversy it garnered make it obvious just how significant that task of "mere" aggregation was. It should be noted that he was floating his ideas at least a decade before CE and his earlier speculations were indeed likely - though I don't have solid confirmation - a large part of why they were "in the air", virtually "background material" among technical thinkers prior to CE's publication).

The key idea from Dennett that contributed to my model are Multiple Drafts. Tightly coupled to it is the reality of experience; but being real doesn't mean it is really as it seems. Dennett captures this distinction nicely with Heterophenomenology. The capstone, of course is where Dennett founds a notion later encapsulated in philosophy as "Higher Order Theory" which he (somewhat naively) titles as Virtual Machines.

Of course there is one thing that Dennett got wrong. Not wrong so much as that by arguing the weeds of philosophical definition he missed the greater significance and foundational reality that quite literally grounds "higher order" representations in the purely physical. Dennett Misses Out Qualia.

One other early read that had an enormously profound impact. In point of fact it triggered an intellectual avalanche showing how Dennett's theory might (and at this point I'll say must be) realized physically in practice in the brain. Not least because that of what he wrote is largely what does happen in the brain. Of course this is Gerald Edelman. Edelman and Evolution of Function