Re: COMP & Self-awareness

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 08:39:12 -0700

Russell Standish wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 25, 2006 at 11:46:08AM +0200, Bruno Marchal wrote:
>>Le 24-juil.-06, à 13:56, Russell Standish a écrit :
>>>Consciousness is the state of "being like something" to use Nagel's
>>>term. It is also the characteristic of the "reference class" in
>>>Anthropic reasoning.
>>>Self-awareness is being aware of oneself as a distinct thing different
>>>from the environment.
>>>It is not immediately obvious that these are identical - but perhaps
>>>I'm overlooking something.
>>I am pretty sure consciousness and self-awareness are different concept.
>>But we are a long way to distinguishing them theoretically at the
>>present stage, so I would say that to insist on the difference here is
>>akin to a 1004 fallacy, imo.
>>The difference you are mentioning is the difference between awareness
>>and self-awareness, or between consciousness and self-consciousness I
>>would say,
> Are they different or not? If we use different words for them, that
> indicates that there is a difference.
> I wasn't satisfied with Stathis's answer, but there has to be some
> reason why consciousness cannot appear without
> self-awareness. Otherwise the Occam catastrophe will bring down all of
> Platonia on our heads!

I'd say it's the other way around. Self-awareness can't appear without consciousness. My dog is
conscious in that he knows his name and he knows he's different from my wife's dog, whose name he
also knows. But I don't think he has the reflexive self-awareness of a human being, an "inner
narrative". I don't see how you could have self-awareness without being conscious, but I'm often
conscious without being self-aware.

Brent Meeker

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Received on Tue Jul 25 2006 - 11:41:16 PDT

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