Evolution and Mirror Neurons. An Introduction to the Nature of Self-Consciousness

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Self-consciousness is a product of evolution. Few people today disagree with the evolutionary history of humans. But the nature of self-consciousness is still to be explained, and the story of evolution has rarely been used as a framework for studies
  I) IntroductionII)ConsciousnessandEvolution II.1)XXthcenturyPhilosophicalApproachesto Consciousness . II.2) Rationalefor an EvolutionaryApproachto Consciousness. III)ProposedEvolutionaryScenariofor Self-Consciousness. Mirrorneurons III.1)EvolutionofWhat? -Awarenessas indicator. III.2)EvolutionaryStages: Basic Life, Pre-HumanPrimates, Humans. -Body Awareness, Body Self-Awareness, Self-consciousness. III.3)Definitions -Basic Life, Body Awareness, Body Self-Awareness, Self-Consciousness. IV)EvolutionfromBasic Lifeto Pre-HumanPrimates IV.1)Pre-HumanPrimate close to GreatApes performance wise.IV.2) MirrorNeuronsfromBody Awarenessto Body Self-AwarenessandAnxiety. V)EvolutionfromPre-HumanPrimates to Humans V.1)FromBody Self-Awarenessto Self-Consciousness -Self-Consciousnessas a by-productoftheevolutionofBody Self-Awareness. V.2) AnxietyLimitation as an evolutionaryengine -Self-Consciousnessrootedin emotions. VI)SummaryandContinuation TSC 2005 -Copenhague August 2005 -http://www.cfs.ku.dk/tsc2005/ -Evolution and Mirror Neurons. An Introduction to the nature of Self-Consciousness - ChristopheMenant(2/7)  II)ConsciousnessandEvolution II.1) XXthcenturyPhilosophicalapproachestoConsciousness . * Mostlybasedon PhenomenologyandAnalyticPhilosophywhere:«Biologicalconsiderationsas such, andevolutionaryonesin particular, were jugedirrelevantto genuinephilosophy».* Evolutionaryapproachestoconsciousnesshave beenlimited.* Studiesonanimal consciousnesshave beenfocusedonphenomenalconsciousness. II.2) Rationalefor an EvolutionaryApproachtoSelf-Consciousness. * Evolutionisa scientificreality:Matter, Life, Humans.*Discoveryof Mirrorneuronsintroducesnaturalintersubjectivitythatcanbeusedfor thebuildupofthenotion of Self in living elements.* Towarda Science of Consciousness2005 to focusonMethodologicalandConceptualIssues.* EvolutiontowardSelf-consciousness:a concept for theXXIthCenturyPhilosophyof Consciousness. NB:MirrorNeurons: *  A class ofneuronsthatdischargenotonlywhena monkeyexecutesgoal-relatedhand action,but alsowhenobservingotherindividualsexecutingsimilaractions.* SuchMirrorEffectexistsalsofor otherbody movements(mouth) andseemsto existfor feelings.* Existalsofor Humans. TSC 2005 -Copenhague August 2005 -http://www.cfs.ku.dk/tsc2005/ -Evolution and Mirror Neurons. An Introduction to the nature of Self-Consciousness - ChristopheMenant(3/7)  III) ProposedEvolutionaryScenariofor Self-Consciousness.MirrorNeurons III.1)Evolutionofwhat? Consciousness?, Representation?, Data Processing?, Communication ?, Awareness?, … ? III.2)EvolutionaryStages: Basic Life, PrehumanPrimates, Humans TSC 2005 -Copenhague August 2005 -http://www.cfs.ku.dk/tsc2005/ -Evolution and Mirror Neurons. An Introduction to the nature of Self-Consciousness - ChristopheMenant(4/7) Basic Life => Pre-Human Primates => Humans -Environment Awareness -Body Self-Awareness-Self-Consciousness -Body Awareness(Group Life &Mirror Neurons)as Evolution of  (Senses and Proprioception) (Intersubjectivity& Anxiety)Body Self-Awareness ( Anxiety LimitationasEvolutionary Engine) III.3) Definitions:BasicLife: Designatesliving elementsthatcanreceiveinformation fromtheenvironmentby their senses, andfromtheirbody by proprioception. Body Awareness for subject:information about hisbody madeavailableby sensesandproprioception. No notion of Self/I/Me. No needoflanguage. BodySelf-Awareness for subject:Information about hisbody as similarto thebodies ofconspecificsin theenvironment. Bringsupnotions ofSelf withinsubject. MSR level. Languageisfavorized. Self-Consciousness : Is« the possession of the concept of the self and the ability to usethis conceptin thinking about oneself  ». Languageisneeded.  IV) EvolutionfromBasic Lifeto Pre-Human-Primate IV.1) Pre-HumanPrimate (Australopithecus) close to GreatApes performances wise . IV.2)MirrorNeurons: fromBody AwarenesstoBody Self-AwarenessandAnxiety Evolution   Senses & proprioception * Environment Awareness * Body Awareness   - Basic Life -- Pre-Human Primate - Group Life &Mirror Neurons Intersubjectivity * Body self-Awareness Subject Identification tosuffering ConspecificAnxiety  to be limited Development of: - Empathy- Imitation- Group Life- LanguageAnxietyLimitation TSC 2005 -Copenhague August 2005 -http://www.cfs.ku.dk/tsc2005/ -Evolution and Mirror Neurons. An Introduction to the nature of Self-Consciousness - ChristopheMenant(5/7) Body Self-Awareness for subject:Information about hisbody as similarto thebodies ofconspecificsperceivedintheenvironment.Comes fromintersubjectivityallowed byMirror Neurons. Subject feels what observed conspecificisfeeling and progressively identifies with conspecific.Body Self-Awarenessintroduces the notion of Self within the subject. MSR level. Languageisfavorized. Anxiety for subject: comes from identification to suffering conspecifics(dangerous environment).Tools for  Anxiety Limitation will be developed by subject and by group.
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