Info on the role of self-awareness in evolution?

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I'm looking for a good book/paper/whatever that discusses the role of self-awareness in the evolution of primates/early humans.

Basically, I'm looking for a work that addresses questions like:
What is the role of self-awareness in evolution?
Does self-awareness confer some survival benefit to the animal?
Is it a selected trait?
Or is it simply a side effect from other selected traits that increase brain complexity/function?
Etc.

I'm having trouble seeing where self-consciousness fits in evolution because I know very little about this aspect of evolution.
But, I am very eager to learn more.

Thank you.
-GeoMike-
 
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  • #2
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Well i would speculate that self-awareness is of benefit to adaptabillity. A self aware system is one that can adapt to changes in its enviroment and its self.
 
  • #3
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If you find anything good please let me know. I read through half a dozen or more papers on evolutionary psychology a while back and there was not one mention of consiousness/awareness. I get the impression it is bad form to suggest that human consciousness has any effect on our behaviour, since it would imply we are not zombies. Darwin had no problem with the idea, but neo-Darwinists seem to dislike it intensely. But maybe this is a false impression.
 
  • #4
selfAdjoint
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Anything written about this would be sheerest speculation, since we don't know of any fosselizable correlates of self-awareness.

There is stuff on the growth of the brain and the presence of notable frontal development, and correlations with archaeological industries, for example, but was Homo Ergaster self aware? Was Lucy? Who in hell knows?
 
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  • #5
somasimple
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Some great researchers have made some conlusions about self-awareness.
You may read the Damasio's Trilogy.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/014303622X/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0156028719/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0156010755/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20

Even a microbe is already aware of its environment (but perhaps not self-aware of it).

We spoke about the man in a thread:
http://www.somasimple.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49
 
  • #6
selfAdjoint
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somasimple said:
Some great researchers have made some conlusions about self-awareness.
You may read the Damasio's Trilogy.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/014303622X/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0156028719/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0156010755/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20

Even a microbe is already aware of its environment (but perhaps not self-aware of it).

We spoke about the man in a thread:
http://www.somasimple.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49
I don't know on what basis Damasio or anyone else could conclude scientifically that a bacterium is aware, assuming that a computer is not.

Perhaps you could tell us?
 
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somasimple said:
Even a microbe is already aware of its environment (but perhaps not self-aware of it).
If a bacteria can recognise an invading virus as being not part of itself or its species, doesnt that mean the bacteria has some kind of self awareness?
 
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selfAdjoint
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PIT2 said:
If a bacteria can recognise an invading virus as being not part of itself or its species, doesnt that mean the bacteria has some kind of self awareness?

That gets us down again to things a very simple electronic gadget can do. By logic then if what the bacterium does entails self awareness, then so does what the gadget does.

For that matter, the recognition of unself is precisely what your immune system does; is it self aware?
 
  • #9
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selfAdjoint said:
For that matter, the recognition of unself is precisely what your immune system does; is it self aware?
Yes perhaps it is self aware. Of course it depends on how u want to define self awareness, or a self, but my general idea is that our human self and self awareness also have their evolutionary ancestors, and no clear beginning unless it is at the beginning of life. For me self aware would mean the recognition of self/unself through any subjective experience.
 
  • #10
somasimple
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That gets us down again to things a very simple electronic gadget can do. By logic then if what the bacterium does entails self awareness, then so does what the gadget does.
I just gave the point of view of Damasio. BTW, a bacteria is able to evolve and transmit some learned strategies. I never said, and Damasio never said it, too that a bacteria was self-aware. He just said that a bacteria was aware of its environment.

The self-awareneness thing seems to necessitate a minimal set of things: A brain map of the body, a past memory and a working memory. Many species have this mandatory collection.
 
  • #11
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More nonsense on the origin of consciousness

I would break the problem into these pieces.

1st Perception
2nd Perceptual Context
3rd Conservation of Perceptual Context (Contextual Memory -external)
4th Perception of Context
5th Perception of Other Contexts
6th Contextual Relationships
7th Contextual Interactions
8th Motility
9th Mobility
10th Interaction
11th Communication
Bright line-----------------------------------
12th Conservation of all of the above
13th Language
14th Vocabulary
15th Recognition of the Self
16th Recognition of the Other
Bright line ---------------------------------- Looping and Spiraling
17th Start at the Beginning again, Finnegan again

After all this I would begin to work on the ideas of consciousness. I have counted 17 perceptual modes the include the top eleven of the above list at inorganic levels. It is only when the combination of all of those include active conservation do we get into living perceptual modes.

I get the idea that your generalized idea of consciousness is an abstract self awareness, where the self sees the self from an abstracted perspective where none of the elements of existence are contextually significant. I am not even sure that humans do that! Except the insane, of course. :rofl:
 
  • #12
Q_Goest
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