Is consciousness innate or a social product?

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User1014865
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#1
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“Without the help of a verbal community all behavior would be unconscious. Consciousness is a social product. It is not only not the special field of autonomous man, it is not within the range of a solitary man.”

~ B.F. Skinner
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there's too much love
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(Original post by Iamyourfather)
“Without the help of a verbal community all behavior would be unconscious. Consciousness is a social product. It is not only not the special field of autonomous man, it is not within the range of a solitary man.”

~ B.F. Skinner
I think a stricter and clearer definition of what he means is essential to this conversation. Clearly he's not talking about simply being awake...Also is he talking about the tabula rasa instead? That we're just waiting to be in printed upon?
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demx9
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(Original post by Iamyourfather)
“Without the help of a verbal community all behavior would be unconscious. Consciousness is a social product. It is not only not the special field of autonomous man, it is not within the range of a solitary man.”

~ B.F. Skinner
Consciousness is innate and derives from the spirit.
The famous quote: "I think therefore I am" is incorrect,
it should be: "I am therefore I think".

Consciousness comes before everything .. in fact the Universe is itself one Consciousness.
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Politricks
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(Original post by demx9)
Consciousness is innate and derives from the spirit.
What do you mean by spirit?

Consciousness comes before everything .. in fact the Universe is itself one Consciousness.
How exactly is the universe a consciousness?
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Melancholy
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(Original post by demx9)
Consciousness is innate and derives from the spirit.
The famous quote: "I think therefore I am" is incorrect,
it should be: "I am therefore I think".

Consciousness comes before everything .. in fact the Universe is itself one Consciousness.
"I am therefore I think" is incorrect. Many things "are" yet do not "think" (at least, in our observations we have little reason to assume they do). Therefore it is not our "being" that is the cause of our thinking. "Being" does not universally cause "thinking" - so something else is the unique factor. From something being we cannot deduce that they think (as an intuitive argument it just doesn't work) - there are many counter-examples.

Descartes' point was not that thinking causes being. He meant that from the fact that we can think, we can deduce that we exist, which seems plausible and satisfactory to most minds. Though, likewise with the first point, I don't think he intends the thought that our "thinking" causes our "being".

As for the thread, I don't know - it depends what he means by "consciousness". I think it'd be quite hard to think without language, and hard to form an identity without other people (per Charles Taylor, I think we gain our identities dialogically - people are a mirror that help form our identities). Though this all seems to be a very narrow definition of what it is to be conscious. I think language (gained through the attempt to express to other people) is crucial to self-awareness though, for which I think there is a prior as well as empirical evidence.
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Protagoras
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Language is just an expression of consciousness.
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Melancholy
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(Original post by Protagoras)
Language is just an expression of consciousness.
It surely hinges on what you mean by "consciousness".

You're only able to think, speak and use language because you're "awake" or "alive"; but a better awareness of yourself is gained, I would suggest, through language. So our broader understanding of consciousness is innate, but our narrower understanding of consciousness is arguably a social product.
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there's too much love
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(Original post by demx9)
Consciousness is innate and derives from the spirit.
The famous quote: "I think therefore I am" is incorrect,
it should be: "I am therefore I think".

Consciousness comes before everything .. in fact the Universe is itself one Consciousness.
You're talking about dualism in the first part, which has fallen out of favour in the world of philosophy, the mind body divide is not something that most people subscribe to.

You're also randomly bringing unfounded religious ideas and just lumping them in. Which is just stupid. This is the philosophy section, please take your loony religious ideas out.

And you're treating the universe as a living thing (a lot like gia theory, but even more wrong, somehow).

This is again, stupid, please stop. Your arguments are based entirely on false premises.
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there's too much love
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(Original post by Protagoras)
Language is just an expression of consciousness.
Language has nothing to do with communication?

Are you saying that if you have language you must have consciousness because consciousness is needed to use language?


What of that of a network of computers who are programmed to give packets of information to each other? If they didn't have a language (even if it be binary) then they wouldn't be in a network. And if they're put on auto send packet of information when X happens then also, they stop lacking direct input from whoever built them.

Does that mean that according to your argument computers can have consciousness?

Philosophy of mind is a bit of a minefield when it comes to how to include and exclude things
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by Iamyourfather)
“Without the help of a verbal community all behavior would be unconscious. Consciousness is a social product. It is not only not the special field of autonomous man, it is not within the range of a solitary man.”

~ B.F. Skinner
Skinner also thought language was a learned behaviour, like driving. I am wary to trust anything he said.
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by Protagoras)
Language is just an expression of consciousness.
What on Earth does that mean?
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Kurraiyo
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If by "consciousness" you mean "awareness", then I find it hard to see how language/social interaction is necessary.
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demx9
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(Original post by there's too much love)
You're talking about dualism in the first part, which has fallen out of favour in the world of philosophy, the mind body divide is not something that most people subscribe to.

You're also randomly bringing unfounded religious ideas and just lumping them in. Which is just stupid. This is the philosophy section, please take your loony religious ideas out.

And you're treating the universe as a living thing (a lot like gia theory, but even more wrong, somehow).

This is again, stupid, please stop. Your arguments are based entirely on false premises.
Well philosophy is useless in the first place.. its all mental speculation without evidence, so I don't know what you're complaining about tbh.
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by Kurraiyo)
If by "consciousness" you mean "awareness", then I find it hard to see how language/social interaction is necessary.
Doesn't consciousness (in the relevant sense) mean 'self-awareness'? I'm inclined to agree with you, but I think it goes beyond mere awareness.
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by demx9)
Well philosophy is useless in the first place.. its all mental speculation without evidence, so I don't know what you're complaining about tbh.
Because all mental speculation is useless... Enjoy your life as a useful drone.
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demx9
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(Original post by TurboCretin)
Because all mental speculation is useless... Enjoy your life as a useful drone.
useful drone.. to who ?
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by demx9)
useful drone.. to who ?
Well, if your only object of learning is utility then I'd presume you'd aim to be useful to somebody.
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demx9
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(Original post by TurboCretin)
Well, if your only object of learning is utility then I'd presume you'd aim to be useful to somebody.
Well then first read my first quote in the thread and the reply of thereistoomuchlove to get a context.
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by demx9)
Well then first read my first quote in the thread and the reply of thereistoomuchlove to get a context.
I just gave it a read and it was enlightening. I may have misinterpreted, but are you agreeing with thereistoomuchlove that your contributions are worse than useless?
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demx9
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(Original post by TurboCretin)
I just gave it a read and it was enlightening. I may have misinterpreted, but are you agreeing with thereistoomuchlove that your contributions are worse than useless?
Fundamentally I do agree they are useless as not verifiable. But calling my ideas stupid is funny on a philosophy forum where all the ideas could be consequently called stupid.
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