Hi Bruno Marchal 

For what it's worth, Leibniz differentiated between ordinary perception
(which would include sentience or awareness) and self-awareness, which he called
apperception.

    


Roger , rclo...@verizon.net
8/14/2012 
----- Receiving the following content ----- 
From: Bruno Marchal 
Receiver: everything-list 
Time: 2012-08-12, 04:15:11
Subject: Re: Libet's experimental result re-evaluated!


On 11 Aug 2012, at 01:57, Russell Standish wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 09:36:22AM -0700, meekerdb wrote:
>> But a course of action could be 'selected', i.e. acted upon, without
>> consciousness (in fact I often do so). I think what constitutes
>> consciousness is making up a narrative about what is 'selected'.
>
> Absolutely!
>
>> The evolutionary reason for making up this narrative is to enter it
>> into memory so it can be explained to others and to yourself when
>> you face a similar choice in the future.
>
> Maybe - I don't remember Dennett ever making that point. More
> importantly, its hard to see what the necessity of the narrative is
> for forming memories. Quite primitive organisms form memories, yet I'm
> sceptical they have any form of internal narrative.
>
>> That the memory of these
>> past decisions took the form of a narrative derives from the fact
>> that we are a social species, as explained by Julian Jaynes. This
>> explains why the narrative is sometimes false, and when the part of
>> the brain creating the narrative doesn't have access to the part
>> deciding, as in some split brain experiments, the narrative is just
>> confabulated. I find Dennett's modular brain idea very plausible
>> and it's consistent with the idea that consciousness is the function
>> of a module that produces a narrative for memory. If were designing
>> a robot which I intended to be conscious, that's how I would design
>> it: With a module whose function was to produce a narrative of
>> choices and their supporting reasons for a memory that would be
>> accessed in support of future decisions. This then requires a
>> certain coherence and consistency in robots decisions - what we call
>> 'character' in a person. I don't think that would make the robot
>> necessarily conscious according to Bruno's critereon. But if it had
>> to function as a social being, it would need a concept of 'self' and
>> the ability for self-reflective reasoning. Then it would be
>> conscious according to Bruno.
>>
>> Brent
>
> IIRC, Dennett talks about feedback connecting isolated modules (as in
> talking to oneself) as being the progenitor of self-awareness (and
> perhaps even consciousness itself). Since this requires language, it
> would imply evolutionary late consciousness.
>
> I do think that self-awareness is a trick that enables efficient
> modelling of other members of the same species. Its the ability to put
> yourself in the other's shoes, and predict what they're about to do.
>
> I'm in two minds about whether one can be conscious without also being
> self-aware.

I tend to think that consciousness is far more primitive than self- 
consciousness. I find plausible that a worm can experience pain, but 
it might not be self-aware or self-conscious.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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