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Sun Apr 10 20:43:05 EST 2005

the forms of conscious, intentional activity humans share 
with other animals, and also the special "higher-order" 
consciousness that developed through symbolic 
communication in human communities.

What I would like to ask readers of this board are some 
of your opinions of Edelman's model of consciousness, and 
how it is generally regarded in the field.  I have had a 
fairly extensive undergraduate background in the 
neurosciences, so was able to understand Edelman's 
arguments.  I am not in touch with the neuroscience 
community, however, and I suspect that Edelman's bold 
effort was met with some skepticism, especially since 
much was speculative.

I was impressed by Edelman's care in addressing the 
difficult empirical and philosophical issues in trying to 
bridge the gaps between human behavior and physiology, 
and I think he was largely successful in avoiding the 
reduction of one to the other.  What I found most 
impressive in Edelman's model is its compatibility with 
George Herbert Mead's theories of human consciousness, 
nearly point for point.  Mead's 65 year-old theories form 
the basis of much work in sociological social psychology, 
and so the neurophysiological dimension would provide 
grounds for expanding, modifying, and perhaps rejecting 
portions of Mead's theory.  I have noted a few limitations 
in Edelman's theory, but I hope I can justify it as a 
central model for further integrating these two fields.

Thank you in advance for your help

David Fearon
Dept. of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

6500fear at ucsbuxa.ucsb.edu

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