Re: Sensory and sensibility

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 00:57:55 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Sensory and sensibility
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    > Sun, 20 Jan 2002 19:16:06 -0500
    > "Philip Jonkers" <> Re: Sensory and sensibilityReply-To:
    >--- Original Message ---
    >From: "Francesca S. Alcorn" <>
    >Subject: Re: Sensory and sensibility
    >>Salice said:
    >>> > Some developmental types suggest the 'self' is
    >not intact until somewhere
    >>>> in the fourth year.
    >>>Is the 'self' required for memetic processes?
    >>No, but perhaps the same thing that gives rise to
    >memes also gives
    >>rise to a our idea of self: the ability to create an
    >>representation of something in our mind.
    >Exactly... and is has a name too: the self-plex.
    >See The Meme-Machine.
    The existence of the self-conscious awareness is necessary for the imbuement of meaning, which is necessary for the creation of memes. Although self-creation and world-creation co-evolve from their perceptual interface, the prior existence of a form to be filled by memetic (that is, meaningful) content is necessary; the container is necessary for there to be a contained. Self-conscious awareness is achieved when the product of the number of neurons and their axonal and dendritic interconnections and the complexity of those interconnections breaches the Godelian limit, beyond which self-reference becomes possible.
    A clear indication of this is the recent discovery of mirror neurons in great apes; it has been hypothecized (by V. S. Ramachandran) that not only do humans also possess them, but also that their mal- or non-function is responsible for the phenomenon of autism. They seem to function in a way that bestows upon their possessor an incipient philosophy of mind, so that the other is cognitively ceded the same internal experiences and motivations that prompt the selfsame actions in oneself. Mirror neurons, of course, do not exist in a vacuum; in the absence of complex systems with which they are interconnected, such neurons could not perform such a mirroring function. But likewise, unless a system of self-reference has been previously established, mirror neurons would be unable to cognitively displace it into an other on the basis of the other's perceived actions.
    One direction of inquiry that the existence of mirror neurons suggests is to ascertain whether or not other species, such as elephants, parrots and cetaceans, are self-consciously aware not only by employing the mirror test for self-awareness, but also by investigating whether these species also possess mirror neurons.
    >This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    >Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    >For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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