jacassidy2

Potential Revelation

3 posts in this topic

I've studied Objectivism, off and on, for over 30 years. Today I was answering a question and realized something I can't believe I missed because of my myopic view of the re-affirmation by denial process and its place in the affirmation, not proof, of axioms. (Axioms needing no proof)

Existence exists - any counter claim must use this premise to formulate a denial.

Consciousness exists - denials must accept this axiom and the first to make the denial.

Identity is existence - entities do not exist independent of their attributes.

Identity exists because, to be, is to be something. Existence and identity live together, but aspects of identity can be studied independent of the entities that possess them. Color, shape, size, etc. can be studied.

I've always treated consciousness as an entity with the identity of sense data, perception, and reason. It seems to be wrong. Consciousness is an identity of some organisms that comes from other of their identities like sense data, perception, and reason.

This revelation seems like a big deal and I wonder why I never noticed it before?

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If consciousness is an identity, not an entity - this supports all the Objectivist arguments against the dichotomies of brain/body, body/soul, and even primacy of existence/consciousness. Did I just miss this over so many years of self-study?

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Perhaps you missed it because, depending on the cognitive context, consciousness can be regarded as an entity with attributes. For instance, you could compare the consciousness of a cat with that of a human being and note that human consciousness has the attribute of being conceptual and feline consciousness does not.

In other contexts, consciousness can be regarded as an attribute (or action) of a living entity. A clue as to what the cognitive context may be is how you are using the word "consciousness" in a sentence. If you're using it as a noun -- "Existence is primary and is the object of consciousness." -- it is probably as an entity. If you are using it as an adjective -- "Animals are conscious living entities." -- it is probably as an attribute.

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