On 5/7/2011 8:19 AM, John Mikes wrote:
Thanks, Russell,
I am gladly standing corrected about our fellow smart animals.
We speak about a "self-awareness" as we, humans identify it in our human terms and views. Maybe other animals have different mental capabilities we cannot pursue or understand, as adjusted to their level of complexity usable in their 'menatality'. It may - or may not - be only according to their number of neurons as our conventional sciences teach. Or some may use senses we are deficient in, maybe totally ignorant about. (We have a deficient smelling sense as compared to a dog and missing orientation's senses of some birds, fish, turtle) In our anthropocentric boasting we believe that only our human observations are 'real'.
Thanks for setting me straight

Not only do other species have different perceptual modalities; even within the "self-awareness" there are different kinds. Referring to my favorite example of the AI Mars rover, such a rover has awareness of it's position on the planet. It has awareness of it's battery charge and the functionality of various subsystems. It has awareness of its immediate goal (climb over that hill) and of some longer mission (proceed to the gully and take a soil sample). It's not aware of where these goals arise (as humans are not aware of why they fall in love). It's not aware of it's origins or construction. It's not a social creature, so it's not aware of it's position in a society or of what others may think of it.

I expect that when we have understood consciousness we will see that it is a complex of many things, just as when we came to understand life we found that it is a complex of many different processes.


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