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consciousness

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Wed May 21 23:15:15 EST 1997


    Please read the fine print.  If the comment in the last paragraph  
    (re self-recgnition in mirrors) wass to someone else's post, I     
    apologize  , but in my (earlier) reply to the original question,
    I distinguished between the concepts "conscious" and "conscious    
    OF".  I cited studies (some presented at the NY Academy of Sciences
    program I referred to) using the mirror paradigm to approach the 
    question (n.b., APPROACH) of an animal's "consciousness OF SELF".
    Don't re-make my man as a straw-man!

    re your longer post: we all have such opinions, and as a practical 
   matter, act on them; but they have absolutely no bearing on the     
   question.

    Frank LeFever
    New York Neuropsychology Group





In <Pine.A32.3.91.970521173003.13619B-100000 at glibm8.cen.uiuc.edu>
Eugene Khutoryansky <ekhutory at glibm8.cen.uiuc.edu> writes: 
>
>
>
>On 21 May 1997, F. Frank LeFever wrote:
>
>> >	We are animals, and are conscious by definition.
>> 
>> 
>> WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?

        n.b.: I (LeFever) did not write "We are animals...(etc.),
              but quoted it before my RUDE REPLY.



>> 
>
>I can not answer for the author of this post, but this comment is
similar 
>to one which I would make regarding this issue, so here is what I
would 
>mean by it.  The answer to whether or not animals are conscious is 
>obviously yes because humans are animals.  But someone could claim
that 
>this does not imply that all animals are conscious.  However, what you

>actually know is only that YOU are conscious.  You can not know for 
>certain whether or not any other human being is conscious.  But we
assume 
>that they are.  We should be consistent.  The evidence that other
species 
>are conscious is of the exact same quality as evidence that other
human 
>beings are conscious.  To be consistent you should either believe that

>our own species and other species are both conscious, or that humans 
>(other than yourself) and other species are both unconscious.  The
second 
>alternative is clearly unacceptable.
>
>For those of you who are about to reply by listing all the features 
>regarding humans which you think provide evidence of consciousness and
do 
>not exist in other species, please first read the other (somewhat
lengthy) 
>post which I just made.
>
>Regarding this whole silly mirror thing, it is a mistake to assume
that 
>consciousness necessarily implies the ability to recognize your 
>reflection in a mirror.  I would agree that a being which recognizes
its 
>reflection in a mirror is probably conscious, but it is incorrect to
assume 
>that a being is not conscious because it does not recognize its
reflection.  A 
>severely mentally retarded human might not recognize his reflection,
but 
>this does not mean that he is not conscious.
>
>




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