Re: Sensory and sensibility

From: Ray Recchia (
Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 10:23:11 GMT

  • Next message: Price, Ilfryn: "RE: The necessity of mental memes"

    Received: by id KAA12784 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Mon, 21 Jan 2002 10:33:27 GMT
    Message-Id: <>
    X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 5.0.2
    Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 05:23:11 -0500
    From: Ray Recchia <>
    Subject: Re: Sensory and sensibility
    In-Reply-To: <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
    Precedence: bulk

    Hey Joe,

    At 08:26 PM 1/20/2002 -0800, you wrote:

    > >Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 22:07:56 -0500
    > > Ray Recchia <> Re:
    > Sensory and sensibilityReply-To:
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >Philip
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >At 08:06 PM 1/20/2002 -0500, you wrote:
    > >>Ray:
    > >> >Doesn't the fact that animals can dream mean that
    > >>they have a self? I have
    > >> >less objections to your term 'self-awareness' even
    > >>though I'm not fond of
    > >> >it either. In any case Irene Maxine Pepperberg's
    > >>work with parrots
    > >> >demonstrates that these animals are capable of using
    > >>words if properly trained.
    > >>
    > >>Indeed, IIRC it has been reported that cats have a REM
    > >>sleep-phase. But to infer from this that cats have
    > >>an actual abstract representation of other cats,
    > >>and of themselves... hmmmm, it may be on a very, very
    > >>crude level. I think it would be more likely that
    > >>REM sleeps with an abstract meaning occurs with
    > >>better equiped animals, like primates for instance.
    > >>
    > >>Philip.
    > >
    > >
    > >Oh, I suspect that the level of abstraction most animals are capable of is
    > >very limited. I object to those who claim that animals are incapable of
    > >abstraction altogether. The evidence indicates otherwise. (See most recent
    > >previous post - this topic - for more on parrots)
    > >
    > >I also object to those who claim that animals don't have a 'self'. When my
    > >dog is sleeping and she starts whimpering and twitching her legs I can tell
    > >that she's having a nightmare. If there were no self how could she have a
    > >nightmare? And doesn't that REM phase in animals indicate my dog is
    > >dreaming? Doesn't that Rapid Eye Movement show that she is visually
    > >tracking something inside her head in the same way it works with humans?
    > >
    >Animals can supposedly rerun a recorded tape, or a confabulation of
    >several of them, that features a dynamic perceptual array which we might
    >identify as 'chasing prey', but this does not mean that the animal, awake
    >or dreaming, can or does explicitly identify the perspective from which
    >the array would issue as itself.
    > >
    > >Ray Recchia
    > >

    Let's stop using the term 'self' for something like this then. There is
    somebody in there watching the movie. Whether they know the movie comes
    from themselves does not prove that they aren't in there. Heck until I
    took a science class I didn't know where my dreams came from.

    I am also not fond of this 'self conscious' term that you use. Primates
    can't use a doll house with items in it to recognize where those items are
    in an actual house. Occam's razor says that the mirror test points out a
    limited ability to recognize visual representations of other things and
    nothing else.

    Ray Recchia

    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jan 21 2002 - 10:41:11 GMT