RE: Self-awareness vs. automatons; iceberg of consciousness; Greg Egan

Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 20:33:23 MDT

Anders writes:
> "Plunge" <> writes:
> > Exactly what is self-awareness anyway?
> Maybe the awareness of our own existence as a subsystem of the world?
> Note that self-awareness is something different from consciousness
> (which it is often mixed up with; the term consciousness is often used
> to refer to a lot of things).

I'd say that self-awareness is not the primary mystery; rather, awareness
itself is. The real puzzle is why there is awareness, or consciousness,
or qualia, or whatever other word you want to use to describe the fact
that we "experience" things.

Given that you can be aware and conscious, I'm not sure there is any
additional mystery in being self-aware.

There are times when we are aware mostly of things outside ourselves, as
when we are admiring the beauty of a sunset or caught up in the excitement
of a movie. Other times we are introspective and highly self aware.
But both of these involve the mysterious phenonenon of consciousness.
I don't see that the first state is any easier to explain than the second.


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