Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know the meaning of "any animal is conscious"
in the following passage.
Consciousness is experienced;
it cannot be defined in words
or measured from the outside.
But sometimes conscious beings can meet and at least can
agree that there is such a thing.
The human consciousness can approximately be paraphrased as
"what it's like to be human" (akin to Thomas Nagel).
»Any animal is conscious« means that any animal is (sometimes)
experiencing this phenomenon.
However, what it's like to be me might be different from
what it's like to be you, and what it's like to be a bat
might differ from both.
Heck, what it's like to be me might even differ from what
it was like to be me when I was a child, or ten years ago.
While we cannot know from the inside what it is like to
be a bat, we can see that bats have a brain and a spine
and four limbs just like we do, and similarities in behavior
(searching for food, avoiding pain, ...), and we can
suspect that such similarities, when seen from the outside,
might indicate similarities of the inner experience.