The consciousness metaphor

I am sick of people abusing this metaphor. I have heard people talk about consciousness as though it were an abstract state machine and other convolutions. Consciousness is a theoretical concept, not am empirical one; it does not refer to any concrete reality. It a bastard child of Descartes’ mind-body dualism. The metaphor can be useful, but can be abused in treating it as though it were something concrete. It usage often leads to confusion, silly hypothetical questions and mystical speculation.

I think we could do without this ghost in the machine. While we’re at it we can throw out dualism also.


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