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consciousness

L Wallace kwallace at u.washington.edu
Tue May 20 10:52:01 EST 1997


	We are animals, and are conscious by definition.

On 9 May 1997, F. Frank LeFever wrote:

> I'm glad you restated the question: "are animals self conscious".  In
> the sense of "self observent" and "self-responsive" etc., the question
> can be meaningfully approached.  One line of research involves a
> paradigm testing limits of animals' abilities to notice and respond to
> themselves in a mirror in a way which suggests they know it is
> themselves, not another animal.
> 
> Can't give refs off-hand, but The Self was a recent 2-year theme of the
> speakers at Psychology Section meetings of The New York Academy of
> Sciences, and at least one session featured this line of work.  Maybe
> published as Annals by now.  Check http://www.nyas.org
> 
> Possibly Henry Moss could dig up names of the speakers: hmoss at nyas.org
> 
> The OTHER way of stating the question: do animals "have consciousness?"
> or "are animals conscious?" leads to the nonsense one sees when famous
> pundits solemnly debate whether COMPUTERS can be conscious without
> having the sense or the decency to doo what every freshman philosophy
> student is required to do: DEFINE THE TERM!
> 
> Never waste time even thinking about something that is not defined.
> "Conscious OF" in the sense of "responds this or that way TO" can be
> argued and evidence developed.  "Conscious" sounds suspiciously like a
> reference to private experiences which can never be known directly by
> another.  If this is what  you mean, there is in principle NO WAY
> WHATSOEVER to know the answer (or even to say how an answer might be
> sought).
> 
> Frank LeFever
> New York Neuropsychology Group
> (Member of NYAS Psych Section Advisory Committee; past Chair)
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> In <863084165.29277 at dejanews.com> hefeng at cz3.nus.sg writes: 
> >
> >Is the aqusition of consciousness a gradual thing in evolution? Are
> >animals self conscious?
> >--------------------
> >He Feng
> >e904952p at hjc.edu.sg
> >
> >-------------------==== Posted via Deja News
> ====-----------------------
> >      http://www.dejanews.com/     Search, Read, Post to Usenet
> 
> 
> 




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