The Evolution Of The Human Self

Páginas: 7 (1635 palabras) Publicado: 7 de enero de 2013
The Evolution of the Human Self: Tracing the Natural History of Self-Awareness

Previous discussions of the evolution of the self-have diverged greatly in their estimates of the date at which the capacity for self-thought emerged, the factors that led self-reflection to evolve, and the nature of the evidence offered to support these disparate conclusions. Beginning with the assumption thathuman self-awareness involves a set of distinct cognitive abilities that evolved at different times to solve different adaptive problems, we trace the evolution of self-awareness from the common ancestor of humans and apes to the beginnings of culture, drawing upon paleontological, anthropological, biological, and psychological evidence. These data converge to suggest that that modern self-thoughtappeared just prior to the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition, approximately 60,000 years ago.Recto running head: Evolution of the Self.

This article show some history of the evolution of the human self-awareness with this I can make some “patron” of the concept during time and make a comparison between humans and apes.

Self-awareness and the emergence of mind in primates

To date humans,chimpanzees, and orangutans are the only species which have been shown capable of recognizing themselves in mirrors. Several species of macaques have now been provided with years of continuous exposure to mirrors, but they still persist in reacting to their reflection as if they were seeing other monkeys. Even gibbons (apes) and gorillas (great apes) seem incapable of learning that their behavioris the source of the behavior depicted in the image. Most primates, therefore, appear to lack a cognitive category for processing mirrored information about themselves. The implications of these data for traditional views of consciousness are considered briefly, and a recent attempt to develop an operant analog to self-recognition is critically evaluated. Finally, an attempt is made to show thatself-awareness, consciousness, and mind are not mutually exclusive cognitive categories and that the emergence of self-awareness may be equivalent to the emergence of mind. Several indices of “mind” which can be applied to nonhuman species are discussed in the context of an attempt to develop a comparative psychology of mind.

This is important to my question because I can start to categorizewhich apes are able to recognized themselves, and give me information about the self-awareness that particular apes has.

Self-Awareness in Human and Chimpanzee Infants: What Is Measured and What Is Meant by the Mark and Mirror Test?

The objective study of self-recognition, with a mirror and a mark applied to the face, was conducted independently by Gallup (1970) for use with chimpanzees andmonkeys, and by Amsterdam (1972) for use with infant humans. Comparative psychologists have followed the model (and assumptions) set by Gallup, whereas developmental psychologists have followed a different model (e.g., Lewis & Brooks-Gunn, 1979). This article explores the assumptions in the definitions and methods of self-recognition assessments in the 30 years since these initial studies, andcharts the divergence between the developmental mark test and the comparative mark test. Two new studies, 1 with infant chimpanzees and 1 with infant humans, illustrate a reconciliation of the 2 approaches. Overt application of the mark, or other procedures related to how the mark is discovered, did not enhance mirror self-recognition. In contrast, maternal scaffolding appears to enhanceperformance, perhaps by eliciting well-rehearsed verbal responses (i.e., naming self). When comparable testing procedures and assessment criteria are used, chimpanzee and human infants perform comparably. A combined developmental comparative approach allows us to suggest that mirror self-recognition may be based on a specific aspect of mental representation, the cognitive ability to symbolize.

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