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consciousness

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Tue May 20 22:24:37 EST 1997



In <Pine.A41.3.95b.970520085123.30148A-100000 at dante30.u.washington.edu>
L Wallace <kwallace at u.washington.edu> writes: 
>
>	We are animals, and are conscious by definition.


WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?






>
>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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