more from G Edelman / G Tononi

Single Idea 4939

[catalogued under 16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 2. Self as Social Construct]

Full Idea

Two extreme views on the development of the self are 'internalist' and 'externalist'. The first starts with a baby's subjective experience, and increasing differentiation as self-consciousness develops. The externalist view requires language and society.

Gist of Idea

A sense of self begins either internally, or externally through language and society


G Edelman / G Tononi (Consciousness: matter becomes imagination [2000], Ch.15)

Book Reference

Edelman,G/Tononi,G: 'Consciousness: how matter becomes imagination' [Penguin 2000], p.197

A Reaction

Edelman rightly warns against this simple dichotomy, but if I have to vote, it is for internalism. I take a sense of self as basic to any mind, even a slug's. What is a mind for, if not to look after the creature? Self makes sensation into mind.