Reflectivity as part of an Evolutionary Scenario for Self-Consciousness. Impact on Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness. (Presented at ASSC 24 2021)

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The performance of reflectivity of self-consciousness is traditionally associated to the subject turning its consciousness of objects to its own entity. But such process introduces concerns of circularity and of infinite regress. To avoid them philosophers have postulated a “pre-reflective self-consciousness” understood as a “state of consciousness that is immediately aware of itself, unmediated by reflections”. We propose here that an evolutionary scenario for self-consciousness can introduce reflectivity as a natural performance, bringing pre-reflective self-consciousness to be reconsidered. The evolutionary scenario starts when our ancestors were capable to manage representations while also being able to partly identify with their conspecifics represented as existing in the environment. These identifications have allowed our ancestors to merge the representations they had of parts of themselves with the corresponding representations they had of their conspecifics. These mergers have progressively led our ancestors to begin representing themselves as entities existing in the environment, like conspecifics were represented. Such process has produced an elementary reflectivity and has provided our ancestors with an "ancestral self-consciousness". And thinking about the represented entity has led our ancestors to self-consciousness as object and as subject. Reflectivity can then be considered as a natural performance of self-consciousness. And postulating a pre-reflective self-consciousness may need to be re-addressed.
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Archival date: 2021-06-17
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