I posted this question in the "questions" section by mistake. So if you saw that and answered (lol Polly C - I very much appreciated your answer) then please forgive me if this is redundant.
I recent read an article in a philosophy journal in which the author claimed that babies do not have self-consciousness when they exit the womb. What do you think?
The brain of a newborn is not fully formed. It takes an additional number of weeks before the visual cortex is connected correctly, so newborns are *assumed* to have limited vision. One researcher who had a subject who could faithfully reproduce the numbers written on the wall near the telephone at three months of age has some serious doubts about it, though. Others can remember the bumping from his parents having relations while they were in the womb. That would require self-awareness to recognize.
It is well-known that babies recognize music while in the womb from as early as four and five months. That takes self-awareness to discern what the baby likes and dislikes. All the evidence suggests that the baby acquires this self-awareness as soon as the heart starts beating at about 12 weeks.
Just my opinion, but comic books, newspapers, and academic journals all need to be taken with a huge handful of salt...
Newborns don't pass the mirror test, so the answer is no.
In the animal kingdom, the mirror test is the standard to determine self awareness. Elephants recognize themselves, as do dolphins.
A young infant sees a baby in the mirror and wants to play
I would go with the mirror test, except that determines whether we are aware of ourself as a separate being, not necessarily self-concious - but maybe it is the same.
I would say that the experiences are recorded and form part of that person's sub-concious for the rest of their life, as do things like music while still in the womb and other environmental noises and motions like violence.
all what evidence? I think there's a confusion with meanings here. consciousness does not necessarily equal self-awareness. an infant can be conscious of surroundings, noises, anything via the 5 senses, but there is no cognitive processing of self until later. it's different for each baby according to the multitude of different factors involved..
So much material here for the OP's doctorate - I hope he is appropriately grateful and we get some kind of recognition !
I would have thought that is all babies are is self conscious, only aware of their own needs. Unaware of others needs only their own.
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