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Re: [evol-psych] Re: do animals 'know'?

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  • Jay R. Feierman
    (1) Jay R. Feierman: I am defining consciousness as the awareness of self-awareness. (2) Mike Tintner: Er, there is no consciousness that does not include
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 2, 2007
      (1) Jay R. Feierman: I am defining consciousness as "the awareness of self-awareness. "
       
      (2) Mike Tintner: Er, there is no consciousness that does not include self-consciousness.
       
      (3) Jay R. Feierman: There is no error in a formal definition. Your statement above does not refute my definition of consciousness, as self-consciousness is synonymous with and redundant to consciousness. If consciousness is the awareness of self-awareness, the self-awareness is obviously awareness of self. However, it is more than awareness of self, as it is the awareness of self in relationship to other-than-self.
       
      (4) Mike Tintner: To be conscious is to be conscious not only of the world outside you, but you seeing the world - your body, eyes, face, head etc.   Your consciousness is always actually a field at one end of which is the world around you, and the other end of which is you. A good approximate model is a Protagonist' s Point-of-View shot in any movie as the camera moves around a room, corridors etc. That picture "contains" you the viewer moving closer to, or further away from, the external scenes as well as the external objects..Every animal has . . . POV [point of view] consciousness - that's a good term for it, actually - all consciousness is POINT-OF-VIEW consciousness. Say hello to your animal brethren, Jay.
       
      (5) Jay R. Feierman: You have given a nice description (not a formal definition) of what you call consciousness. I prefer my formal definition, as it has sharper borders and is more useful in comparative studies. What you are calling consciousness, I would call just awareness, which I have defined as "the ability to attend to and utilize sensory and perceptual stimuli as behaviorally- biasing information (that which reduces uncertain and which is necessary to make decisions)." Using my definition of consciousness, humans and the great apes are conscious but bugs are not. That makes consciousness a useful concept with which to understand the difference in brain function between bugs and humans. What is the utility is your Hollywood-type description of consciousness?
       
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    • Jay R. Feierman
      Gayle Dean: Very few scientists these days, think non-human animals do not possess consciousness. That view of animals flies in the face not only of common
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 3, 2007
        Gayle Dean: Very few scientists these days, think non-human animals do not possess consciousness. That view of animals flies in the face not only of common sense, but of the combined weight of evidence from several sciences including ethology, neuropsysiology, and evolutionary biology. It is not an option that can be taken seriously by anyone who claims to be on the side of science.
         
        Jay R. Feierman: What you say above has no interpretable meaning unless you formally define "consciousness." Can you formally define it? Perhaps my saying that a bug does not have consciousness but a great ape and a human do, is based on how I have defined consciousness, which is as follows: "the awareness of self-awareness," where awareness is defined as "the ability to attend to and utilize sensory and perceptual stimuli as behaviorally- biasing information (that which reduces uncertain and which is necessary to make decisions)." 
         
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