In this dialogue Bernardo Kastrup gives us his working definition of “consciousness:
That whose excitations
are the experiences we have.
(Independent of our experiencing of them.)
The sine qua non of experience.
Raw basic experience.
This is Pirsigian quality.
He doesn’t use the formulation above in his book “The Idea of the World”, but I concluded there that his perspective there was already Northrop, Pirsig, Whitehead, take your pick. (That link to the book review in fact includes as comprehensive a statement of my position as any.)
Since most people using the word consciousness mean something – stuff & things – much richer, many layered, experience in many dimensions, than this raw essence I see this qualitative essence of experience as proto-consciousness – so rather than seeing pan-psychism or literal idealism, I say pan-proto-psychism. Framed like this it’s not remotely contentious?
[His model of Alters and TWEs – in his book above – just seems to pile confusion on top of what is quite a straightforward monism. Why do people go for controversy and disagreement when there is synthesis and agreement there to be had? Yeah, I know, clicks and sales.]
Anyway just more grist to my definitions mill:
“The trouble with definitions is that although they can be practically useful, the one thing which they cannot do, is definitively define a thing”
[Broad v Narrow. Systems Thinking – architectural levels of detail ignorable. Onward and upward.]
2 thoughts on “Kastrup’s “Definition” of Consciousness”
Hi, Ian. I thought I should mention there’s a mistype in the title. – Jim
Well spotted … (been distracted by domestic priorities recently) … fixed. Thanks.