The Mirror Question: I understand that the mirror question is just an example of how people “ask the wrong question”. Meanwhile, I didn’t understand his explanation for how to ask or answer the mirror question properly. And I felt dumb. A little. But I saw an explanation I can understand in one of the comments:
Richard Feynman explained that it reverses front-to-back, something like this: There’s the left hand, touch the mirror, there’s your head, touch the mirror, there’s your right hand, touch the mirror.
So that’s not what’s backward, what’s backward is that you’re seeing the front of you instead of the back of you. If you saw the back of you, right hand, head, left hand, each touch the mirror, and if it was to the back of your head and the back of your hands, like you were standing in line behind yourself, then it would look right.
Our experience of the world comes to us through our sensory inputs. These provide us with information about our environment. Seems like an evolved function to me.
He seems to be focusing on that one component of consciousness, phenomenal consciousness, ignoring roles of other components of consciousness and how they all interact with each other and probably evolved together. I don’t get his reasoning.
Like you said, sensory input is essential to survival. IMO, feeling that input and being able to process those feelings and make decisions based on them, along with being able to process “Access Consciousness” or possibly other as yet unspecified components of consciousness (e.g. language) must contribute to the overall robustness of survival.
Again (only IMO, as I’ve mentioned before), it’s the software that has significantly enhanced our consciousness, and survival. I.e. culture developed on top of the hardware (brain), which has greatly enhanced many of our present day conscious experiences, and our ability to shape our individual and group fates. And perhaps it’s the explosive or unbridled cultural-software updates our generations are subjected to– without the ability to understand or explain them rationally–that makes our own modern consciousness seem so mysterious, or ethereal (for too many of us). Our brains did NOT evolve (genetically) to handle all those updates.