Self-awareness/Consciousness

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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A_Seagull
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Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by A_Seagull » Mon May 21, 2018 11:11 pm

Is there a difference between self-awareness and consciousness?
Or are self-awareness and consciousness the same thing?
Are there any tests that can distinguish between self-awareness and consciousness?
Is it possible to have self-awareness without being conscious?
Is it possible to be conscious without having self-awareness?

Impenitent
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by Impenitent » Mon May 21, 2018 11:44 pm

aware of the dream yet unaware the dream is not reality or versa vice

-Imp

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Mon May 21, 2018 11:49 pm

A_Seagull wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 11:11 pm
Is there a difference between self-awareness and consciousness?
Or are self-awareness and consciousness the same thing?
Are there any tests that can distinguish between self-awareness and consciousness?
Is it possible to have self-awareness without being conscious?
Is it possible to be conscious without having self-awareness?
Considering all self-awareness begins with an act of reflection in which we replicate images through images, and consciousness can be argued as an act of measurement where boundaries are replicated to form structure...they can be argued as similiar in one respect.

What differs is the act of direction where self-awareness takes on an intradimensional nature and consciousness more of an extradimensional one in which this intra/extra nature merely is the direction in which symbols/boundaries are replicated.

Skip
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by Skip » Tue May 22, 2018 12:16 am

A_Seagull wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 11:11 pm
Is there a difference between self-awareness and consciousness?
It may be argued that awareness precedes self-awareness (that is, an entity may recognize its environment and respond to stimuli, but not realize that it is a discrete 'self'-contained unit of life. In that case, consciousness is a prerequisite of self-awareness.
OTH, some people deny the awareness, as well as the consciousness, of primitive creatures.
Or are self-awareness and consciousness the same thing?
The words are used more or less interchangeably, even in quite sophisticated discourse.
Are there any tests that can distinguish between self-awareness and consciousness?
I very much doubt it. We are only just emerging from 2000+ years of intense and prohibitive anthropocentrism; we've only recently come to admit the mental functions of species that are most like ourselves; have barely begun to collect information on the ones that are unlike us.
Is it possible to have self-awareness without being conscious?
I don't see how.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Tue May 22, 2018 2:15 am

"It may be argued that awareness precedes self-awareness (that is, an entity may recognize its environment and respond to stimuli, but not realize that it is a discrete 'self'-contained unit of life. In that case, consciousness is a prerequisite of self-awareness."

Yeah, that's my view: consciousness is awareness of 'out there'; self-awareness is awareness of 'in here'. Self-awareness is consciousness turned back on itself.

#

"Are there any tests that can distinguish between self-awareness and consciousness?"

The mirror test. If an animal looks at its reflection and recognizes itself, then it's probably self-awareness (to some degree). The trick is you, the assessor, determining if the animal recognizes itself.

Skip
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Re:

Post by Skip » Tue May 22, 2018 3:09 am

henry quirk wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:15 am
The mirror test. If an animal looks at its reflection and recognizes itself, then it's probably self-awareness (to some degree). The trick is you, the assessor, determining if the animal recognizes itself.
Oh, that's not hard: they'll touch the spot of paint on their forehead. But only if they are animal similar to humans in their visual relations to the world. Lots of creatures identify themselves and others by different criteria - smell, motion, taste, sound, chem-trail. And if they don't respond appropriately (by human standard) to the mirror test, you still know nothing useful about the working of their brain - there may be all manner of reasons why they didn't respond... like, reflections simply don't interest them, or they don't think of themselves as an external appearance.

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Greta
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by Greta » Tue May 22, 2018 4:58 am

Skip wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:16 am
It may be argued that awareness precedes self-awareness (that is, an entity may recognize its environment and respond to stimuli, but not realize that it is a discrete 'self'-contained unit of life. In that case, consciousness is a prerequisite of self-awareness.
Like Henry, I agree, and also with what you say of the limitations of the mirror test. The olfactory equivalent mirror test for dogs declared a positive, an unsurprising result to their human families.

The infant sense of self is apparently blurred, encompassing both infant and mother - a composite self. I suspect that numerous animals are much more "conscious" than that which they are usually credited.

It's interesting to see some cold blooded animals fail to show self awareness. For instance, herpetologists keeping mutant two headed snakes must clean their faces off after feeding (which is a tense and competitive affair in itself) because if one smells food remnants on the other's face it will attempt to eat it. Mammals are easy to empathise with, but that ... very difficult. They have brains so they logically must lead a rich and vivid existence, but a very, very, very Zen one :)

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A_Seagull
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Re: Re:

Post by A_Seagull » Tue May 22, 2018 6:09 am

Skip wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:09 am
henry quirk wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:15 am
The mirror test. If an animal looks at its reflection and recognizes itself, then it's probably self-awareness (to some degree). The trick is you, the assessor, determining if the animal recognizes itself.
Oh, that's not hard: they'll touch the spot of paint on their forehead. But only if they are animal similar to humans in their visual relations to the world. Lots of creatures identify themselves and others by different criteria - smell, motion, taste, sound, chem-trail. And if they don't respond appropriately (by human standard) to the mirror test, you still know nothing useful about the working of their brain - there may be all manner of reasons why they didn't respond... like, reflections simply don't interest them, or they don't think of themselves as an external appearance.
Yes good point. What about octopuses? Presumably they must have some degree of self-awareness , even if it is only of their physical size, in order to determine whether they will fit into some small cavity or not.

Skip
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by Skip » Tue May 22, 2018 3:09 pm

Greta wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:58 am
It's interesting to see some cold blooded animals fail to show self awareness.
I don't believe that. I think people simply don't know how to interpret their actions. But some progress is being made. http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episod ... -an-animal
For instance, herpetologists keeping mutant two headed snakes
!!!??? Who committed that crime against nature? If it were a real animal, it would be two snakes (just like the caricature two-headed giant, or actual conjoined twins): the personality resides in the head. And snakes have no family loyalty. I think it's a bit too much to ask a tiny brain which has to operate thousands of intricate muscles and an array of sensory organs, also to figure out that it's a freak, not a regular snake. If anything, aggression reinforces the sense of self.
Last edited by Skip on Tue May 22, 2018 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Skip
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Re: Re:

Post by Skip » Tue May 22, 2018 3:17 pm

A_Seagull wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:09 am
What about octopuses? Presumably they must have some degree of self-awareness , even if it is only of their physical size, in order to determine whether they will fit into some small cavity or not.
Some degree? In fact, they're very clever indeed.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ses-smart/
Every other species is far more aware and intelligent than humans have been giving them credit for.
There was a line in that Nature of things episode I cited above. A scientist studying elephant behaviour was asked, "Are they really so much like us?"
She said, "The question shouldn't be: Are they like us? The real question is: Who are they?"

The sad thing is, we're only just regaining an understanding we had set aside 5000 years ago.

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Greta
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by Greta » Wed May 23, 2018 3:56 am

Skip wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:09 pm
Greta wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:58 am
It's interesting to see some cold blooded animals fail to show self awareness.
I don't believe that. I think people simply don't know how to interpret their actions. But some progress is being made.
They show awareness but their self awareness is weak, readily overridden by impulse.
Skip wrote:http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episod ... -an-animal
For instance, herpetologists keeping mutant two headed snakes
!!!??? Who committed that crime against nature?
Gregor Mendel?
Skip wrote:If it were a real animal
Polyceaphaly is well known to snake breeders.
Skip wrote:... it would be two snakes (just like the caricature two-headed giant, or actual conjoined twins): the personality resides in the head. And snakes have no family loyalty. I think it's a bit too much to ask a tiny brain which has to operate thousands of intricate muscles and an array of sensory organs, also to figure out that it's a freak, not a regular snake. If anything, aggression reinforces the sense of self.
Yes, I think you're right. No family loyalty - joined siblings in competition.

It's interesting how the heads are in competition despite so many shared organs, including the nervous system, so what hurts one head and "neck" must register as pain to the other brain. Thinking about it more, the connection is probably what keeps the snakes from attacking each other over territory, but the feeding impulse is strong enough to overpower other connections.

It reminds me of the "exploding toads", whose (non toxic) livers were surreptitiously being plucked out by corvids while the toads were mating - and the males finished the deed before their lungs expanded into the cavity left by the stolen liver.

It's interesting how self awareness toggles with overpowering impulses. Moving back through the evolution of nervous systems, there seemingly comes a point where an organism is pretty well all reflex (as was mistakenly attributed to all animals in the 19th century).

I've had debates on other forums about where that line of consciousness may be. Some say that consciousness starts with the nervous system, making C. elegans the simplest conscious creature (I personally think microbial structures that are equivalent to nervous systems and brains could be worth more exploration).

The line between reflexes and awareness is not only blurred, I suspect it is inconsistent over time, switching on or off, just as impulses seem to effectively switch off the snakes' and toad's sense of awareness, seemingly guided by hormones. Different species are more or less subject to reflexive impulse.

AlexW
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by AlexW » Wed May 23, 2018 8:05 am

A_Seagull wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 11:11 pm
Is there a difference between self-awareness and consciousness?
When people talk about self-awareness they really refer to thoughts about a separate self - they believe that thinking about themselves is self-awareness. This includes recognising themselves (this body) in the mirror or referring to themselves via language and weaving it into all sorts of conceptual structures. The conventionally accepted meaning of self-awareness is as such not more then thought referring to more thought.

The same is true for consciousness - people mistake the presence of thought for consciousness. But thought is NOT consciousness. Thought as well as all experience arises in consciousness (that includes all apparent things as well as the body).

Skip
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by Skip » Wed May 23, 2018 1:59 pm

Greta -- I've had debates on other forums about where that line of consciousness may be.
Does there have to be a line? Most other qualities of life don't seem to be divided by lines, but are on an imperceptibly shifting continuum. Evolution didn't draw any lines, any more than it it took "steps" - it just keeps experimenting. Even if there was a Eureka moment somewhere in the development of species, it wasn't recorded for us to read. We may not be able to discern the fine-tuning when it happens.
Some say that consciousness starts with the nervous system, making C. elegans the simplest conscious creature
Stands to reason. But of course it all depends on one's definition of consciousness. Some people set the standard so high that they themselves don't qualify. I prefer to set it low, so as to give widest possible benefit of the doubt - short of starving to death.
(I personally think microbial structures that are equivalent to nervous systems and brains could be worth more exploration).
They're certainly interesting - have fascinated many since Leeuwenhoek. But not easy to communicate with.

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bahman
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by bahman » Wed May 23, 2018 2:37 pm

A_Seagull wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 11:11 pm
Is there a difference between self-awareness and consciousness?
Or are self-awareness and consciousness the same thing?
Are there any tests that can distinguish between self-awareness and consciousness?
Is it possible to have self-awareness without being conscious?
Is it possible to be conscious without having self-awareness?
Self awareness is the understanding of the fact that we exist. The understanding is obtain through a reflection.

Consciousness is the door to reality, Qualia, which we experience it.

Inkthing
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Re: Self-awareness/Consciousness

Post by Inkthing » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:52 pm

Hi everyone.

I think self-awareness and sefl-consciousness arent exactly the same but are a part of the same thing or the same goal.

I think self-awareness is more about attention, about what u pay attention and think about what u pay attention .( meta-cognition). It's like " I'm aware that my attention is on this and not on that".

once u pay attention to thing, u can now be conscious of them and try to understand them in order to figure out what u can do with it.

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