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22-Mar-2014 08:00

In the present case not much is said about the detailed nature of the Convergian convergence, and we’re pretty much left to assume that they are the same as us in every important respect.

This means there can be no final reveal in which – aha!

We’ve been paying careful attention to consciousness for some time now, and arguably it just gets worse.

In fairness that might rather short-change Scott’s detailed hypothesising about how the appearance of deep mystery might arise for Convergians; those, I think, are the places where xenophenomenology comes close to fulfilling its potential.

That gamble paid off, of course, and it leaves us uniquely able to identify and overcome our own limitations.

If it were true that our view of human conscious identity were built in by the quirks of our heuristics, surely those views would be universal, but they don’t seem to be.

That seems to short-change the human mind a bit though; in a way the whole point of it is that it isn’t the prisoner of instinct and habit.

When evolution came up with the human brain, it took a sort of gamble; instead of equipping it with good fixed routines, it set it free to come up with new ones, and even over-ride old instincts.

The xenophenomenological strategy requires us to consider objectively what alien minds might be like; but Scott’s theory tells us we are radically incapable of doing so.

– it turns out that all this is true of humans too!

Instead it’s pretty clear that we’re effectively talking about humans all along.

The question is whether that’s all there is to the problems of consciousness.

As Scott mentions here, we don’t just suffer misleading perceptions when thinking of ourselves; we also have dodgy and approximate impressions of physics.

The xenophenomenological strategy requires us to consider objectively what alien minds might be like; but Scott’s theory tells us we are radically incapable of doing so.– it turns out that all this is true of humans too!Instead it’s pretty clear that we’re effectively talking about humans all along.The question is whether that’s all there is to the problems of consciousness.As Scott mentions here, we don’t just suffer misleading perceptions when thinking of ourselves; we also have dodgy and approximate impressions of physics.Of course there’s a difference between what vividly seems true and what careful science tells us is true; indeed if the latter didn’t reveal the limitations of our original ideas this whole discussion would be impossible.