Re: Levels of consciousness

Jesse S. Cook III (jcook@AWOD.COM)
Tue, 1 Oct 1996 10:21:55 -0400

On 30 September 1996, Patrick S. Tracy wrote:

>My own understanding of consciousness is somewhat limited but I will wade in
>anyway. I think we can all agree that there are degrees of consciousness,
>such as sleep and vegatative states. When the term "level of
>consciousness" arises, I tend to shudder a bit, for the only consciousness
>we can be certain of is our own. The problems associated with measuring the
>consciousness of others is known as the "Metaphysical Dilemma".

The are no "problems associated with measuring conscousness"; it can't be
measured. By whom is this allegedly "known as the 'Metaphysical Dilemna'"?
That phrase strikes me as so vague that it could be applied to anything in
the metaphysical realm.

>There is no
>certain way of knowing the mind of another, so to discuss it in terms of
>comparison (vis-a-vis "primitive/modern") is moot.

Not so. Just because there is no *certain* way does not mean comparisons
are moot. If they were, we would have no society. In fact, we depend on
them every day--unless we are hermits.

>I think a more
>interesting excercise would be to explore how our ancestors survived within
>the context of their environment. In closing, I wonder if our ancient
>ancestors, who were modern for the time, considered their forebearers to be
>primitive. Probably not.

Yes. I suspect they probably didn't, and for the reason that they probably
weren't that far removed from them in level of consciousness or level of

Jesse S. Cook III E-Mail:
Post Office Box 40984 or
Charleston, SC 29485 USA

" is not for our faults that we are disliked and even hated,
but for our qualities."--Bernard Berenson (1865-1959)