Einstein on Consciousness

From an article by Galen Strawson, a philosopher of conciousness:

Herbert Feigl remembers a conversation with Einstein in Princeton in 1954 in which he asked Einstein whether he thought that “the qualities of immediate experience” would be left out in an ideally perfect representation of the universe — given that they are not accounted for in physics. Einstein “replied in his characteristic, humorous manner (I translate from the German in which he used a rather uncouth word): ‘Why, if it weren’t for this “internal illumination” [consciousness] the world would be nothing but a pile of dirt!’

Freddie’s emphasis. Presumably Feigl is hinting that Einstein said “pile of shit” (Scheissehaufen) in German.

— Feigl, H. (1958/1967). The ‘mental’ and the ‘physical’: The Essay and a Postscript. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Quoted in Strawson, Galen. (2019). A hundred years of consciousness: “a long training in absurdity”. Estudios de Filosofía. 9-43. 10.17533/udea.ef.n59a02.

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