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[ontolog-forum] Self Comes to Mind

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Paula Newman <paulan@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2011 09:13:43 -0400
Message-id: <4E774007.5020509@xxxxxxxxxxx>
In the recent discussions about self interest, I said that it's not
possible to define self interest without a foundation in biology
that is sufficiently broad to include all organisms from bacteria
to humans.  That led some people to think that I wanted to start
with bacteria.    (01)

What I meant was that to define self for very complex human beings,
we need a broad definition of self and self preservation.  I believe
that focusing on humans is important because they include most of us
on this list.  (I added that disclaimer because you never know who
might be lurking.)    (02)

I was recently reading a book with the title of this thread, which
presents an integrated view of the full range of life forms, but
with an emphasis on humans and consciousness:    (03)

    Damasio, Antonio R. (2010) Self Comes to Mind:  Constructing the
    Conscious Brain, New York: Pantheon Books.    (04)

Damasio is a neuroscientist who has written several books for a broader
audience.  I recommend this one as a good overview of the range of
issues related to self and self interest, for organisms with and without
consciousness.  For anyone who would like to browse through the book,
Amazon has a preview on their site:    (05)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0307378756/ref=pd_re_dt_td2#reader_0307378756    (06)

John    (07)

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