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

From: m (
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 22:08:17 MDT

--- wrote:
> 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.

 I agree with this. I think the discussion gets very confused.
 Given consciousness at all, intelligence, and the development of
language (OK that is a fair bit!), one can start to categorise
 oneself as "Me, an example of the Homo sapiens", etc.

 Maybe you don't really need language to have an idea of self either.
 Surely a dog has (a)consciousness and (b) some perception of itself
as its own body,etc (if not "Fido"), even if it doesn't verbalise it.

 This percept would make it a lot easier to function in the

 I have a body image, a feeling of "me" that is not just the verbal
label I attach to that perception.


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