I wouldn't say this is the definition of consciousness, but we know what he is taking about. It is also overly presumptuous to say that stones and shingles are not conscious, all we know for sure is that they are not conscious like us.Searle wrote:By `consciousness' I simply mean those subjective states of sentience or awareness that begin when one awakes in the morning from a dreamless sleep and continue throughout the day until one goes to sleep at night or falls into a coma, or dies, or otherwise becomes, as one would say, `unconscious'.
He says that he has the answer and then calls it tentative soon after, and ultimately he is in the same speculative position any one who is not a neuroscientist is.
From the link provided:
Anyone at the forums has just as much a chance as Searle does of answering questions of consciousness. There is no less emphasis of personal opinion here. The opinion is just from someone that is not yet a member of these forums.Conscious states are caused by lower level neurobiological processes in the brain and are themselves higher level features of the brain. The key notions here are those of cause and feature... Of course, like any causal hypothesis this one is tentative. It might turn out that we have overestimated the importance of the neuron and the synapse.