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« Who is I | Main | The Epitome of Consciousness »

April 30, 2014

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Robin Datta

and their consciousness

And consciousness's they. None of the functioning of the biological automatons (meat robots) is attributable to consciousness. They do not "possess" consciousness.

The co-evolution of language and higher-order consciousness

Consciousness does not evolve. Awareness does not evolve. Awareness "of" language changes with changes in language.

or cause of the kind of consciousness we have.

Consciousness is not caused. Awareness is not caused. Awareness "of" changes with the "of".

Cantab

I have to observe, that your Cat's Story reminds me quite forcefully of some very self-obsessed people I have known, most of them female..... but that is only judging them by their conversation.

Thank you, by the way, for the stimulation of this blog.

George Mobus

Typepad appears to be suffering on-going problems with log in. So I am responding as a "guest".

@Robin,

Several of your recent comments on this and the last post may require a bit more unpacking. Essentially I read "claims" that consciousness is this or that (and seemingly contrary to my explanations) but without explanation or evidence.

For example, when you claim that neither consciousness or awareness evolve it is unclear to me what this could mean. In my telling of the story these (which are in my view the same notion) these evolve in the sense that brains have evolved to expand the capabilities of consciousness.

If I had to guess, based on prior references to Vedic traditions, I would say you are actually talking about the idea that one (perhaps the only real) property of the Universe IS consciousness. Biological evolution, then, is an unfolding of this property. In humans it is expressed at some "level" or levels dependent on the competency of the individual's brain.

For my part I see this perspective as interesting but not explanatory (in the same way that general relativity or evolution theories are). But I also see no necessary dichotomy between the ideas I am exploring and the possibility that there is some kind of universal consciousness property that is unfolding through the evolution of brains. At least that is what I came away with from my studies under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1970/80s. But then, as a westerner it is possible there is something I missed.

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@Cantab,

Trouble with the ladies????

For my part I have found Narcissistic-bound awareness prevalent in both sexes in equal portion. You may be suffering a confirmation bias in your observation ;^)

George

Cantab

Dear George

I believe males perhaps hide such tendencies by talking less, and not so personally!

And one always has trouble with the ladies....

Bruce Perry

What would the effect of the reported mirror neurons have on the development of language, self concept and organization of the thought, process, narrative development etc?

George Mobus

@Bruce P.,

Good question! For the moment I will just point to Damasio's theory that mirror neurons are involved in what he describes as the brain's capacity to build models of self and others. He posits that mirror neurons (among other facilities) are involved in what he originally described as an "as-if loop" in which the brain processes somatic milieu images (and their changes) as if they were really happening in the body but actually aren't. That is the brain is simulating a body state change that would happen if the organism had actually been affected by an external event (e.g. an emotional evocation). His explanation is that this is an efficient form of anticipation that can prime the motor circuits but not actually activate them. The basis is, presumably, that the neocortex's model of the world is predicting an impending state change and rather than wait for the actual event before reacting the as-if loop preps the circuits to respond more quickly when confirmation arrives via, say, the limbic inputs.

How this relates to the development of language, etc. is an interesting domain to explore. In future postings I intend to start exploring actual brain structures and functions. I am doing this in preparation for developing my simulated brain-based robot system. I have explored the role of mirror neurons in empathy in my working papers on sapience, but perhaps a more explicit exploration in line with your question would be fruitful. Meanwhile, if you have any ideas please feel free to post.

George

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