David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Consciousness and Cognition 6 (1):75-86 (1997)
This article offers a general definition of self-knowledge that embraces all forms and levels of self-knowledge in animals and humans. It is hypothesized that various levels of self-knowledge constitute an ordinal scale such that each species in a lineage displays the forms of self-knowledge found in related species as well as new forms it and its sister species may have evolved. Likewise, it is hypothesized that these various forms of levels of self-knowledge develop in the sequence in which they evolved. Finally, a general hypothesis for the functional significance of self-knowledge is proposed along with subhypotheses regarding the adaptive significance of various levels of self-knowledge in mammals including human and nonhuman primates. The general hypothesis is that self-knowledge serves as a standard for assessing the qualities of conspecifics compared to those of the self. Such assessment is crucial to deciding among alternative reproductive and subsistence strategies. The qualities that are assessed, which vary across taxa, range from the size and strength of the self to its mathematical or musical abilities. This so-called assessment model of self-knowledge is based on evolutionary biological models for social selection and the role of assessment in animal communication.
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References found in this work BETA
Robert W. Mitchell (1993). Mental Models of Mirror Self-Recognition: Two Theories. New Ideas in Psychology 11 (3):295-325.
G. G. Gallup (1970). Chimpanzees: Self-Recognition. Science 167:86-87.
G. G. Gallup (1977). Self-Recognition in Primates: A Comparative Approach to the Bidirectionalproperties of Consciousness. American Psychologist 32:329-38.
F. G. P. Patterson & Robert G. Cohn (1994). Self-Recognition and Self-Awareness in Lowland Gorillas. In S. T. Parker, R. Mitchell & M. L. Boccia (eds.), Self-Awareness in Animals and Humans: Developmental Perspectives. Cambridge University Press
K. Marten & S. Psarakos (1994). Evidence for Self-Awareness in the Bottlenose Dolphin. In S. T. Parker, R. Mitchell & M. L. Boccia (eds.), Self-Awareness in Animals and Humans: Developmental Perspectives. Cambridge University Press
Citations of this work BETA
Lonnie W. Aarssen (2010). Darwinism and Meaning. Biological Theory 5 (4):296-311.
Mark R. Leary & Nicole R. Buttermore (2003). The Evolution of the Human Self: Tracing the Natural History of Self‐Awareness. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 33 (4):365-404.
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