more from G Edelman / G Tononi

Single Idea 4936

[catalogued under 16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 7. Self and Body / a. Self needs body]

Full Idea

Structures in the brain stem map the state of the body and its relation to the environment, on the basis of signals with proprioceptive, kinesthetic, somatosensory and autonomic components. We may call these the dimensions of the proto-self.


These are awareness of body, movement, feeling and inner control

Gist of Idea

The self is founded on bodily awareness centred in the brain stem


G Edelman / G Tononi (Consciousness: matter becomes imagination [2000], Ch.13)

Book Reference

Edelman,G/Tononi,G: 'Consciousness: how matter becomes imagination' [Penguin 2000], p.174

A Reaction

It seems to me that there is no free will, but moral responsibility depends on the existence of a Self, and philosophers had better fight for it (are you listening, Hume?). Fortunately neuroscientists seem to endorse it fairly unanimously.