On 8/25/2011 3:12 AM, 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.Corona wrote:
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).
Consicence may be a less sophisticated version of self-consciousness..
I think honestly that all attemps of explaining conscience in terms of
a certain degree of complexity or as a certain property of neurons or
tissues goes the wrong path. Broadly speaking, this is like a medieval
scientist trying to explain a video game console in terms of the
complexity and colourfulness of the printed circuits. These views
ignores the work of the hardware designer that creates the machine and
the programmer that make the algorithms.
In living beings the work of the hardware designer and the programmer
are done by a guy called Natural Selection. and this guy builds things
for a purpose: Survival.
Or more accurately: Reproduction. But evolution must work with what it
has. That was Julian Jaynes insight into why we have an inner narrative
instead of some other kind of consciousness. Our symbolic cogitation is
built on top of our language, which in turn is built on top of social
What is conscience for? A self preserving
being with a central nervous system (an animal) must stablish a clear
distinction between its body and the environment in order to preserve
itself. If he do not know the status of each of its parts in relation
to the environment, he can not determine the priorities for self
preservation: does he must avoid a predator? does he must eat
something? etc. The effect of the activity set of all these central
nervous systems is the conscience in the most basic manifestation.
No degree of "complexity" or neuronal-like machinery will manifest
conscience without the proper algorithms (and the sensors-actuators
too). As Theodosius Dobzhansky said: Nothing in Biology (and i
suspect, nothing in anything) Makes Sense Except in the Light of
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