What is self-awareness?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by kmguru, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. teerum Registered Senior Member

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    66
    HMMM Merlijn:

    I can appreicate that response, I will admit there are ideas there I have not considered in regards to how the body operates biologically to self awareness.

    Allow me to interpet what you have asserted in my own words. I experience first person sensations, however it does not necesarilly mean I am conscious or in a state of self awareness. My third person interpetations of my first person sensations is actually an acuter state of self awareness.......is that what you have said?
     
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  3. Hermann Registered Senior Member

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    159
    Merlijn,

    You really raised a capital question by differentiating between self-awareness and consciousness.

    Let's imagine a robot in front of a mirror: Its image analyzing capability will allow to recognize itself and we could call this "self-awareness", but the robot is certainly not conscious. But when an ape recognizes itself in a mirror, I would assume that there is something like consciousness.

    The problem is, that we feel self-awareness and consciousness in first person, but any description of them in third person is poor or wrong. Self-awareness is often used as a description of consciousness, but this relates to the feeling not to objective observations (e.g. robot in front of a mirror).

    Can we conclude by this, that we are unable to describe what our self-awareness and consciousness really means and therefore we are far away from the possibility to provide computers (robots) with such features?

    --------
    my world-outlook: http://home.t-online.de/home/hraith/english.htm
     
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  5. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

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    consciousness ...the ability to understand the self ability to alter ones surroundings!


    self-awareness ... a linguisticly simplified word constructed in an attempt to bridge the gap between science and spirituality!



    consciouse independent life form would be more attune to the
    nature of free choice as to self actualisation in regard to affecting the enviroment and thus may come the ability to theorise on social issues

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    .........mostly........

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    just a little thought from a little thought guy!


    groove on all

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  7. kmguru Staff Member

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    Here is a thought...along the lines of awareness...

    Are you aware that you can communicate with other humans nonverbally and nonsight? We use the five senses to collect our information because we can physically locate those senses. Do you have a sense that you can not physically locate? yet communicate with others?
     
  8. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

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    2,235
    kmguru ...

    Yes, I'm aware.

    But it doesn't require the additional sense that you seem to be implying. Touch, taste and smell are also methods of communication.

    So what is your point?
     
  9. kmguru Staff Member

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    Just waiting for the other fishes to come by....
     
  10. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

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    2,762
    ouch :/

    yes they are sometimes very strong and overriding of feeling but seem to lack attainable manipulation! :/
    that makes it very frustrating ! :/

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    groove on all

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  11. Hermann Registered Senior Member

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    kmguru,

    Yes, I am aware, too - even out of reach for all five senses.
    I would be very interested to hear your explanation for such phenomena.
     
  12. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    I can offer wild speculation. It is so wild that, you have to wear camoflague...

    I have been thinking, we have sonar technology. Bats, Dolphins have too. Nature has sonar and other sophisticated technology, some of which we still have not learned to duplicate like DNA, Cosmic rays etc.

    Now we can communicate via wireless technology to great distances. Recently we found a specific layer of the ocean depth that carries sound waves without much degradation for thousands of miles which the whales use to communicate. So is it possible that nature already has a mechanism to communicate information which we have named Telepathy or that there is a central mind that coordinates these message transfers.

    Somewhere God shows up. But I think there could be more layers between Man and God. Some are Physical and some are spiritual. Even some religions acknowledge that there is a layer of Angels...

    Just a wild thought.
     
  13. Hermann Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    159
    kmguru,

    Thanks - it seems that we are closer than I have expected.

    There is no need to assume a personalized God, but without the dogma of materialism everything becomes much easier and more satisfying.

    ---------
    my world-outlook: http://home.t-online.de/home/hraith/english.htm
     
  14. synaesthesia Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    89
    "There is no need to assume a personalized God, but without the dogma of materialism everything becomes much easier and more satisfying."

    Yes, positing a supernatural explanation is an easy alternative to attempting to develop a coherent explanatory theory, it is even a good one if you are looking for a "just so story". Easy answers, however, tend to be useless if it is the truth that you are after.

    Merlijn said:

    "For that matter: an elephant, robot, ant, ant-colony, zombie, whatever may be self-aware - but that does not necessarily guarantee that they are conscious."

    I'm afraid I don't understand the distinction that you are drawing between self-awareness and consciousness. Surely to be aware of oneĀ¹s self presupposes some sort of consciousness.

    You also mentioned that the activity of your brain is not your consciousness. You must be an unusual person. When you sustain brain damage, your mind is not affected? When you drink alcohol or take LSD you will feel nothing? Or perhaps you are confusing an epistemic dichotomy with a metaphysical one.
     
  15. Merlijn curious cat Registered Senior Member

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    1,014
    Hi synaesthesia,
    thanks for the reply.

    I had hoped to be a bit clear, apparently I wasn't.
    By self-awareness I mean the awareness of one's own body in relation to the world. Knowing that the person looking back from behind a mirror is a reflection of you. It is exactly what the word says: being aware of yourself.
    By consciousness is meant the world of your experiences.
    It is like Hermann said:
    Hermann continuous:
    I don't think that is necessary at all!
    Well look at it this way:needless to say, nowhere in your brain there is actual music playing when you hear Queen's "Bicycle Race" and nowhere in your brain there is no actual picture in the brain when you are looking at Hieronymus Bosch' "The Garden of Delights". Yet you experience the sounds and the colours, that is part of you consciousness.
    These experiences are dependent on the brain, but they are not the brain processes themselves. Here is an analogy: the brain processes are like the carrier signal and the experiences are like the message.

    Hermann:
    YES! That is what I meant, but the words get turned around:
    ==
    The problem is, that we feel self-awareness and consciousness in first person, but any description of them in third person is impossible. Consciousness is often used as a description of self-awareness, but this relates to the feeling not to objective observations (e.g. robot in front of a mirror).
    ==
    thank you!

    Teerum, you too thanks for your reply. I would say that consciousness is not acuter (quantitative difference) but on a totally different level (qualitative difference) than self-awareness. This is exactly why it is impossible to give a description in words (or any other medium) of your consciousness: consciousness is of a different category than what can be expressed (linguistically).

    bye for now,
    ~Merlijn
     
  16. Gliks Registered Member

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    human doormat??

    talking about self awareness......i want to ask about human doormat...the person who say "yes " when they mean "no"
    because they dont want to hurt someone else feeling...

    is that include in a self awareness passive type????
    and if yes....how do you make a question or case study ...to investigate that the person is a human doormat?
    thanks.....
     
  17. Merlijn curious cat Registered Senior Member

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    1,014
    Welcome Gliks,
    however... I think that your doormat is too far off of tehe subject. Why not make a new thread under the human science dept.?

    live long and prosper.
    Merlijn
     
  18. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    15,162
    The Explanation

    Self-awareness is what you develop when you evolute spiritually. It's not directly connected with soul, is connected with spirit.

    Soul has more to do with your conscient. Is your thoughts and emotions. In Christianism, its symbol is the Tree of Conscience.

    Spirit has more to do with inconscient. It's your Highter-Self, your True-Self. In Christianism, its symbol is the Tree of Life.

    In your Spiritual Evolution, you struggle to eat from the Tree of Life, guarded by "angels with mighty swords".

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    Self-Awareness is what is improved in your enlightment process. You ARE self-aware now. You can look to the mirror and say: That's me! But an improved Self-Awarenes is caused by meditation and Spiritual Evolution. You become in touch with your Spirit which has no limits. You become in touch with the Universe that is within you.

    The Spiritual Evolution leads to an improved Self-Awareness and later to a point of culmination called nirvana, satori, salvation, enlightment... each culture has its own name. In this state, you are totally aware of yourself and you become the Universe.

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    That's Self-Awareness.

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    Love,
    Nelson
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2002
  19. Aware watcher Registered Senior Member

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    If there is one thing for me to agree with the bible, it is that the body is purely a temple for the "soul". I am haveing trouble finding a word to describe something that u yourself know is true without proving it to yourself, but can never proof it to another person. Any one know a word for this?
     
  20. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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  21. Aware watcher Registered Senior Member

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    but isnt faith based on belief? in this aspect the viewer of course, which is u, can only have faith that i know i exist, while me myself know for sure i do. only each of us individualy know for sure without believing that we are self aware but we cannot prove it to anyone. i do not beleive that i am aware of myself, i know, but u can only believe that i am. im sure there is a word for this or possibly not do to the lack of situations that consist of this type of event. speaking of, do u know of any other similar events that have this same type of extreme concepts? i can only think of basic examples such as this one:

    (this may seem reaching but im trying to describe the basic concept) one example that could be compared is if i take a box, and put a ball inside the box. now i tell u that there is a ball in the box. but u are not allowed to physicaly see this ball. u can only base your assumptions on what i have told u. (lets call your bases for assumptions a belief. and a belief of course meens to accept as real or the truth but not knowing for fact.) therefore, i know for a fact that there is a ball in the box however u cannot possible know, for a fact, unless u see it with your own eyes.
     
  22. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    15,162
    You are right...
    I don't remember the name... I tried to use another Religion... but I don't know...
    The "basic" example you described seemed to me Essential. It's not basic. It says everything...

    I don't remember either... I remember have read it in Portuguese... in a book about Zen-Buddhism...

    Love,
    Nelson
     
  23. Aware watcher Registered Senior Member

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    its good to know that there is a name for it i hope u can remember it sometime. ill keep thinking though about what term represents this concept instead of thinking there not to be one at all.

    thx

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