Consciousness

Commentary by Richard Conan-Davies 

Can consciousness even be clearly explained? The word itself is quite variable in its meaning in many ways from very weak and vague definitions to more complex ones. On a most basic level consciousness is a kind of continuum of states and feelings of an entity.  Consciousness is often attributed to different living things. For example different animals may have differing degrees and types of consciousness. 

So for most of the time consciousness should be attributed to a particular type. Such as animal consciousness like the consciousness of a human, dog, cat, bat, cow etc. 

On a regular everyday level consciousness is the state of an entity in which it is able to react to stimuli in some way. Consciousness also needs to have some sense of intentionality about interacting with the the environment. Entities can have consciousness in a non-continuous way. For example some animals lose consciousness when falling asleep. 

What is the minimum level of complexity for something to have something like consciousness attributed to it? For example is a bacteria conscious because it responds to chemical signals in its environment? 

Can basic process be regarded as consciousness? can a basic light sensing circuit connected to a motor be conscious? If it has a simple program to roam around randomly and move away from a light source to towards it, does that make it consciously aware of the light?