"Human standards" = human consciousness. Our minds are very different to those of other mammals because we perceive the passing of time - recalling past events or projecting distant futures at will. Thus, our guesses regarding other species, including relatively similar minds of apes and dogs, are bound to be off the mark to some extent.Consul wrote: ↑June 16th, 2021, 2:50 pmWhat exactly do you mean by "human standards"?Sy Borg wrote: ↑June 16th, 2021, 12:40 amGreat quote but I still think you are judging phenomenal consciousness by human standards. Maybe the human standards are correct? Maybe not? We cannot measure subjectivity, only activity, so we can only make assumptions based on behaviour and body structures. Naturally, we best understand human consciousness. I suggest that only octopuses and leeches are greater outliers that humans when it comes to the phenomenon of consciousness, which means we are not ideal examples when it comes to understanding what it's like to be a very simple organism.
A general theory of P-consciousness must certainly be applicable to all P-conscious animals.
My human P-consciousness is the only one to which I have direct, first-person access (through introspection), and I cannot experience what it's like to be a nonhuman animal; but it doesn't follow that I cannot experience anything which is like (similar to) something experienced by a nonhuman animal.
"We can’t hope for insight into, let alone a resolution of, the distribution of phenomenal consciousness across the animal kingdom without first settling on a theory of consciousness. And since our concept of phenomenal consciousness is a first-person one, that theory will need to be constructed primarily from evidence collected in our own case (the human case). The only truly direct evidence one has of phenomenal consciousness is one’s own, of course. But other people can provide us with evidence that comes close. Not only do they respond to the world (and to events happening to their bodies) in similar ways to oneself while sharing a nervous system and brain that closely resembles one’s own, but they can describe their experiences to us in the sorts of first-person ways that make it reasonable to believe that they, too, have experiences like this."
(Carruthers, Peter. Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Questions Laid to Rest. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. pp. 69-70)
Birds and even reptiles are different again, but at least some of us also find them somewhat relatable. On the other hand, we cannot imagine what it's like to be an invertebrate. Some scientists today still claim that insects lack internality (P-consciousness, qualia, subjectivity). When we consider the behaviour of bees, ants, roaches, mantises, that notion is patently absurd. Insect behaviour is far too sophisticated to be "programmed", for them to be P-zombies.
Ditto cephalapods and other motile molluscs. When we look at the behaviours of some microbes, it certainly appears as though they feel their lives, that they are not entirely black inside. I think there will be structures found in microbes that pool sensory data into one conception, hence behaviours that are currently more sophisticated than one would expect, given that they not only lack neurons, they are smaller and simpler than them. Still, IIT makes clear that complexity is not enough, it's the type of complexity.
This leads us to sessile organisms. They also respond to stimuli, chemically rather than mechanically. There is cause for them to sense their environment and respond. While we assume that they respond the same way each time - that everything they do is automatic - there may be variations in these responses that have so far been too subtle to notice, or too infrequent to treat as statistically significant based on usual standards and rounding.
It may be possible for organisms to be largely "zombies" but they experience subjectivity under strong stimuli. This would work a little like Westworld's hosts, who only truly experienced their existence during extreme suffering. It may have taken time for relatively continuous P-consciousness to evolve, for organisms to "be present" in the events of their lives, logically starting with the most extreme events, which would surely be the immanent threat of death.
That would be a tad ironic. The threat of death as the first cause of subjective consciousness.