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What the heck is consciousness anyway?
Maybe. I'd call the thermostat one-bit sapience, not one-bit sentience. Temperature is a symbol that it has no reason to care about - it reacts to temperature, but the reaction isn't solving a problem that the thermostat has. The thermostat would be just fine if the temperature went up to fifty or down to zero. The thermostat itself has no needs or desires or threats to respond to, and no need to organize its information about the world (its one bit of symbolic information) into qualia. And if it did can we even conceive of that signal *being* qualia?

You're right, it gets very fuzzy down there at the bottom of the scale. For most purposes I think I'd be okay calling earthworms non-sentient. I certainly don't feel guilty if I happen to kill one. But, what they've got is the same as the foundation of sentience in more complex organisms; they have needs and must avoid risks and injuries, and have sensory input specifically to give them information about the world that must be organized in ways that allow them to do that. Even if it's not highly developed, I can't really claim it's not sentience.

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What the heck is consciousness anyway? - by Bear - 12-16-2015, 08:31 AM
RE: What the heck is consciousness anyway? - by Bear - 12-18-2015, 07:03 AM

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