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Figure jumping between rocks over setting sun.


...the consciously experienced intention to act can occur after the brain already shows by its unconscious activity that the intention has been formed. In retrospect, Libet’s findings, flagrantly counter-intuitive as they are, should nonetheless not have caused so great a degree of scandal among the scientific and philosophical communities.

Jeffrey Gray (2004)


If circumstances need us to jump across the sea to safety, stopping to consciously decide to jump would severely reduce our chances of survival. But we think we make such decisions consciously, here we see consciousness gathering everything to itself making one coherent unity; Model of south Iceland glacier wiwth inset of real thing. Consciousness as a model maker.

and in doing so including decisions it did not make. This overweening tendency goes well beyond jumping; with care Fisherman tending his net on Madras beach. On attending and letting us see what we are experiencing more clearly. we can catch ourselves falsely claiming to have made longer term decisions rationally, (buying that farm would increase my income) when in fact the arguments we offer came “limping along behind” the decision Women around stall at shoe shop. Social factors which detract from a notion of ‘our’ decisions.

(which was actually made when we saw the view). Freud, concentrating on a range of neuroses, brought to light this way we mop up Path between trees. The cohering, organising, and ‘linearizing’ of our experiences. after our unconscious acts. A hundred years on we can see that consciousness - with the aid of its servant language The Houses of Parliament across the Thames. On a close ally of consciousness with a similar tendency. - in general seeks to integrate all our experiences into one publicly acceptable whole. So purloined, our private emotional and irrational experiences and decisions become the silenced subjects of rational consciousness.

The quote is from page 22 of Gray’s book, Consciousness: creeping up on the hard problem, published by Oxford University Press, where he is considering, in chapter two, 'The Illusory Narrative of Consciousness', which includes the ground breaking work of neurologist Benjamin Libet and colleagues in the 1980s which showed that decision making often precedes consciousness of the matter. It was Heidegger, in Being and Time, page 10, who used that memorable ‘limping’ phrase about the way some sciences may define themselves by looking at what they have already done.

The jumpered sun jumper was seen on the East Lothian coast in southern Scotland.

Above, hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 2nd September 2023

Murphy on duty to this site