On 05 Jul 2011, at 14:11, Alberto G.Corona wrote:



On Jul 5, 1:07 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
On 05 Jul 2011, at 11:42, Alberto G.Coronawrote:

Jost to introduce another point of view about consciousnees. The one
that I think its right:

According with evolutionary Psychology,  Consciousness evolved as an
adaptation to social life.

Are you sure you don't confuse consciousness and conscience. I think
that solitary primitive animals felt pain, and are thus consciouss
(although not necessarily self-conscious).

Depending on the pain and depending on the animal and the context.
Following the theory exposed, self consciousness of pain, exist when
the animal know that other individuals can take actions to alleviate
it. Social Animals grown t in isolation don´t cry (including humans).

Of course either conscious or not, the animal must avoid the pain,

Personnally I tend to consider that the word 'pain' refer to something we are conscious of. If not conscious it is a signal, an information, but not a pain. Of course this does not need self-consciousness, just consciousness. I tend to think that all animals, even microbe are conscious, and I am open to the idea that plant might be too on some time scale. Just from observation. On the contrary I tend to believe that self-consciousness appears with an already rather elaborate circuitry. Recently I have enlarge the spectrum to the spider and the octopus. Spider seems to be able to bond with people. I have made some test on spiders which confirm this feeling. Note that such kind of things are not provable, but only guessable. I can't prove to you that I am conscious. I cannot even define what I mean by that.




but
a non self aware animal may experiment pain just as you and me may
experiment pain when we are deeply concentrated in an intellectual
activity. the reactions to pain in this case are automatic.

But as far as I am not conscious of it. It is no more pain. If I can forget a pain by hard work (which is indeed possible), then it is like a pain killer. Unfortunately, most of the time, hard work will only act like an attention shifter, I remain conscious of the pain aspect of the experience, but, if not too big, we can focus the conscious attention on something else.




Broadly specaking, non social animals are
unconscious and selfless.

I tend to believe the contrary. The more an animal is social, the more
it could be self-less. Even humans can destroy the individual self by
using strong group identity.

That can happen sometimes. If you feel very good inside a group, why
bother to control yourself?. Self awareness is not for social life as
such, it is for avoiding conflicts  and making profit of social
interactions. If you are immersed in an activity where you feel free
of conflicts, you dont need self awarenees. For example in a concert,
or in a meeting with people who think like you, with your friends etc.

OK, that makes sense.



Other situations where you feel selfless is when you travel to a
foreign pacific place. where you are surronded by peaceful foreigners
and  your acts will not influence your future reputation at home. To
feel selfless is probably one reason why people travel.

I am OK, although I am not sure if you are not confusing non-self- consciousness, and consciousness with no attention focusing on the self part of consciousness. That might be very close, yet different. With some meditation technic, or with sleep technic, we can easily forget the self, yet the type of consciousness is still of the self- consciousness sort, in the sense that we keep up the belief in the self. We just don't pay attention to it. It is very different from experience where the self vanishes, which can also happen in sleep (non REM sleep), death, etc.




interaction with them if I am aware of what the others expect from me. For this purpose, I must be aware and I must register, whathever I do
that may affect to others.  So I may  unconsciously pick up a donut
from the refrigerator and not even notice it, but I´m well aware of it
when  I´m fatty and my wife is looking.

Self conscious supervision of our acts is not for free. it adds an
extra overload in the brain and in the way we do things that is
visible to others. If the other that is looking is very important for
us, we can experiment seizures. Conversely, the absence of self
awareness is experimented as flowing.

To complete the picture, I must say that the awareness of spiritual
beings that continuously supervise us is a further social instinct
that make use of the self supervision machinery. This avoid
machiavelic behaviours that may be deleterious for the group

Of course a machine can be designed to have such computational self
awareness, but the question of if real self awareness is still open.

In which theory?

This is more or less the theory of the evolutionary origin of self
consciousness according with Evolutionary Psychology.

I can be OK with this. In the big picture I think that this is only an explanation of a re-instantiation of consciousness, not a creation of it. But for this you need to study a bit what I explain here (and there).



This is more or
less the consensus.

So let us be skeptical :)



 Daniel Dennet wrote something about it.  Pinker
too.   Evolution is parsimonious. It proceed step by step by
accumulation functionalities in respionse to evolutionary pressures,
in this case, mental modules that correspond to computational hardware
in the brain. This is the most logical path that  evolution may have
follow.

OK. That is the reflexive loop which makes us Löbian. Now humans have super-exploited that loop. But the original one belongs to the cerebral stem, and part of the limbic system, I would say. The cortex integrate it probably in even more high level loop. This does not add anything to self-consciousness, but can interface it with a more elaborate relationship with the body.




There are psico-phisical experiments that is according with this
theory. There are experiments where the activity of both the motor
signal of a hand and the cortex tissue that "control" the hand  are
measured. The  "control" signal in the cortex appears  one second
after the motor signal when the test individual received the order to
move the hand. this means that some other unconscious part

?  Why unconscious?
Anyway, I think that neither self-consciousness, nor free-will, are related with determinism. Most conclusion derived from Libet experience relies on a naïve supervenience thesis between brain and mind which is obsolete once we take seriously the idea that consciousness can be associated to a computation. (as they do). Time is somehow the main construct of that computation, which is not a physical thing, but an informational immaterial pattern. This might not be relevant for your present point though.



does the
real control, and the cortex just take note of the movement and assign
the action to the self, when in reality, the action has been done
already unconsciously. This is described by Pinker in some of its
books. Presumably in "how the mind works".

OK.




So, by definition, consciousness is causally efective.

We agree on that. Not sure this is given "by definition". Some will object that this is still only "self-awareness" of the kind of what is available to a super-zombie robot. This in particular does not solve the qualia problem, which needs to take into account the self- reference logics to account of the true feeling + the impossibility of communicating it.



it is a mind
module. Mind modules are not located in specifin spatially conected
parts of the brain, they are distributed, in the same way that the
file search in Microsoft windows is not located in a concrete zone of
the PC hardware. In this case self consciousness is distributed in the
human cortex.

I am not sure. The cortex surely can make us believe this, by linking the consciousness to complex images of the body. Nevertheless I tend to think, since I read the theory of dreams by Hobson, that self- consciousness originates in a complete loop activated by the interplay of the cerebral stem, the limbic system and the cortex. Now, I think that the cortex alone might emulate such kind of loops, so that if you cut the brain in little (but not too much little) parts, some self- conscious circuitry can, for a time continue. But I do think that the usual original sense of the selves is distributed in the whole brain. The cortex seems, from what I read, to allow the integration of the self with a highly sophisticated view we can have of oneself. Consciousness and selves are per se relatively simple and primitive, and might already be a "product" of the oldest part of our brain. Some experiences with dissociative chemical products can point on this, as far as we can use this in such a complex debate.

Bruno




Bruno



On Jul 1, 1:23 pm, selva kumar <selvakr1...@gmail.com> wrote:
Is consciousness causally effective ?

I found this question in previous threads,but I didn't find a answer.

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