Friday, October 03, 2008

The Intentionality of the Single Cell

I highly recommend this paper by Tecumseh Fitch. In it he traces the distinctive intrinsic intentionality of the mind to the capabilities of the eukaryotic cell -- which he calls "Nano-Intentionality". Hat tip to this post at Conscious Entities (although Peter was less impressed than I was with the core argument).

1 comment:

cuanalo said...

Conscioussnes is not a good starting point, I sugest to start by exploring the 'will' and this you will find at any and all levels of life, actually is the defining trait of life. A certain concentration of matter can be said to be alive as long as it has the will to preserve its form.

Now, to preserve its form through survival and reproduction, any living form must negotiate with its environment through emotive reactions to configurations of stimuli. This is the extent of biological consciousness, the emotive response to phenomena and the acquired tendency of these responses (instinct/conditioning).

In humans however, consciousness arises from the accumulation of representations, whereas we can have emotive reactions to our own representations, including the representation of ourselves. This would be human consciousnese and I seriously doubt that It might be proven in the future that human consciousness rest solely in a localized part of the brain, but rather consciousness might interact with the brain ;mainly' through some part of it.

A good way to go about this is to compare consciousness with other information phenomena which lie in virtuality. In opposition to what you wrote elsewere, information is not energy or states of energy, that is data, but information is not data, otherwise we would not have both concepts. Rather information is embodied in data just as consciousness is embodied in brain states.