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Old 12-26-2017, 02:57 PM
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bluewpc (Offline)
The Next Bard
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Im gonna parse hairs here because I mostly agree with you and we do need something to argue about

I would say that self-awareness isnt indicative of consciousness. So while grooming has a social function and methods of hygiene are inherently social I think theyre more akin to the building of nests that you see in ants or the grooming of plumage in birds. Bees know geometry but we certainly wouldnt argue they have mathematical abilities. Its all unconscious chemical reactions, at least so far as we can tell.

To my mind consciousness is the ability to reflect upon the self. Not in the manner of physical appearances but the interiority of the psychic self and this is interesting because I dont see any real evolutionary benefit of it. You dont need self-reflection for art or tool usage or making or building or social interactions or really anything at all.

We see fish make art on the seabed to attract mates. We see termites creating intricate mounds that are comparable in size (relatively speaking) as that between a skyscraper and a man. Spiders are able to make traps. Whales sing songs, dolphins name each other, and apes appear to engage in very primitive funeral services as well as engage in war.

Now with the exception of dolphins naming each other there doesnt appear to be any conscious guidance to any of these behaviors.

Imagine if youre trying to do something and you become self-conscious in the attempt. Its very likely that that self-consciousness is going to impede your ability. Likewise if youre consciously thinking of word theres a good chance you wont remember it until you stop trying to think of it.

In that way Id argue that consciousness is less an evolution of social pressures as it is a disjointed leap into self-preservation. And I use the word leap because even though consciousness is predicated upon the unconscious it nevertheless is limited and very easily overridden. It seems to me that consciousness is a method by which we self-abstract and which would make it at least in part unrelated to social dependence.

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