Life The Position of Being
The problem with cognitive science and cognitive philosophy is not so much mental content but position in the world. Where one is as opposed to what one is. Where one is, is everything. William Gibson and, more recently, cognitive scientists who still maintain that the brain is a computer and that consciousness is merely epiphenomenal—the froth on the sea of computational processes—demote the body to “wetwear” and contend that consciousness can be transported from one system of life (be it organic) to another (be it in organic—robotic or, in the case of the last Cartesian, Gibson, the internet). In sum, consciousness can be re-embodied or disembodied. But that does not answer or address the ultimate position factor of consciousness—the fact that the awareness of being is fixed. It happens here and radiates from that point. The question, then, is this: If the head of a robot is filled with every experience I have, and thereby is identical in every way to me, to the way I think, and yet I am alive at the moment it downloaded my life’s information, would I see the world from two points of being? Meaning, would I become conscious in the robot as well as in my own body? Or would it, the robot, be a completely different person whose experiences are identical to my experiences? Something in us knows that I would not see the world from two points at the same time, and that another person with my being would be in the world. This must mean identity (consciousness) is primarily positional and cannot, without a complete split of the personality, jump states of embodiment. Book after book on cognitive science fails to recognize the basic problem of the position of being in the world.