Britni Pepper here, ILLUMINATION editor. You know that you have turned off comments for all your stories? We're discussing this as policy, and it's a tricky subject, but we'll leave it as now for the time being.

In Delphi, there is a frieze in the museum there depicting the battle between Gods and Giants. This is also referred to in Plato's The Sophist.

Basically, it refers to the philosophical division between those who see the physical world as real, and those - like I - who do not. So the question has been around for a while. Aristotle tried to take a different approach, but frankly, I see his view as not holding water.

If you, like Aristotle, see consciousness as something the brain generates, some derived function of a complex biological system, then it appears to me that you are also taking the view that there is something magical (in the Clarkeian sense) in brains and life.

But there is nothing in biology that is beyond our understanding. It is all just chemicals and electricity, really. We could construct a working model of a brain - hell, we could build one from scratch if we get the plumbing right; all we need is DNA, the right enzymes, and a supply of nutrients etc. - but you say that there is no way that such a thing could be conscious because consciousness is something that our brains do, and we are special because we are so complex and stuff.

That doesn't hold water for me. I'm not seeing where the special resides.

I think that your response to the question "What am I" is constrained. You look into the mirror and you label your perception as you, am I right? You regard yourself as something that you can perceive. Maybe not the physical embodiment reflected in the mirror, but as something that you can regard with your mind's eye, that is held within the grey jelly of your brain, and not in that rock over there, perish the thought.

I view things differently.


Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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