Do babies have self-consciousness when they first exit the womb?

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  1. ecoggins profile image92
    ecogginsposted 8 years ago

    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?

    1. M. A. Hook profile image61
      M. A. Hookposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      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...

  2. wyanjen profile image82
    wyanjenposted 8 years ago

    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 smile

  3. profile image0
    china manposted 8 years ago

    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.

  4. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 8 years ago

    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..

    1. profile image0
      china manposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I agree - my goldfish respond to music also - if they are self aware then what they are aware of must be freaky in the mirror of a round bowl big_smile

  5. WryLilt profile image90
    WryLiltposted 8 years ago

    Why do you think they cry?

    1. profile image0
      china manposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      How do you know if a goldfish is crying :  big_smile

      1. WryLilt profile image90
        WryLiltposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        The goldfish bowl overflows?

        1. profile image0
          china manposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Or maybe in their inverse world that is what all the bubbles are big_smile

          1. WryLilt profile image90
            WryLiltposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            I thought those were just fish farts....

            1. profile image0
              kimberlyslyricsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              lol  lol   lol   lol   lol   lol

  6. profile image0
    china manposted 8 years ago

    So much material here for the OP's doctorate - I hope he is appropriately grateful and we get some kind of recognition ! big_smile

  7. Diane Inside profile image77
    Diane Insideposted 8 years ago

    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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