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PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Oliver Sacks, The Red Dot, Milgram Experiment

Course Code
Romin Tafarodi

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PSY425H1 S Self-Consciousness 10/01/2013
Note: TA’s office hour changed to SS4004 on the syllabus
Example of a cheetah:
watching a cheetah instinctively chasing its prey – it has the
capability to modulate its own actions with whatever it is chasing
with some sense of anticipation or at least some concurrence of
movements to catch its prey
but there is no evidence that a cheetah can modify its future
through capitalizing its actions – they cannot conceptualize its
actions and planning
Example of a job interview:
Anticipate a sequence of events, which is not from a hallucination of
it, but a projection of the future – we know how to make a
distinction between the prediction and current reality
The main reason that we can is because we are making a
reduplication of ourselves – we are able to construct conceptually a
construct of ourselves within a conceptualized future
Not actually time travel
oA scrub jay is not actually present in both time parallel
connection to self-consciousness
cheetah is refined, but does not connect to the world from itself
from self duplication
[exp] interruption experiment of asking how people think of
ocame up with only 8-10% of the time that we are thinking
about ourselves
obut it may be highly misleading because there may be time
that one is focusing exclusively on oneself – it’s misleading
because it is not the only time that self is taken into
consideration in one’s thoughts
oit is not the case that 90% of the time that oneself is not
present in awareness
oin reality, almost all of the time that there is a background
awareness of the self – the fact that we are not focusing on
ourselves as the centre of thoughts does not mean that it is
not in the background
[ex] drinking might be a use to take away the appropriating the self
between our identities
[ex] addicts having conflicting desires: want for the drugs, and the
want to not do them
oidentify with some of those desires and away from the others
oeveryday actions exhibit the constant struggling at different
levels, not discrete presence
We cannot know if the conscience is identical from one to another
osame way applying to language: we use languages in
different ways, but it does not stop us from connecting with
each other
Other dissociate states: including aging and pathologies – more
related to ourselves, to our desires and needs – cannot be
appropriated and take on a life of its own
See ourselves in the entity of the future defines our investments in
oBut oneself is a continuum as a story and what had brought
one here, where one is going, as a constant defined,
experienced through time. A static representation cannot be
used to define as self
oFully identify with a future self does not mean that one
believe in the unity of self, one can change
Pro-presence and pre-presence
oReflection is always about the past, even if it is just a
milleseconds ago
oAll you can become self-conscious about is what has already
The historicity of action: what is action and how is it different from
behavior –
oAction has more a sense of urgency
oActions are behaviors with a reason – we are not concern with
the causality of behaviors – first person subjectivity is taken
into consideration for actions
oHow do we prescribe that action: people’s reason of doing so
is tied with the action that they just did
oSocial meaning has a multiplicity to it even though it is just
from one single physical act – but we understand the winking
differently because we belong to certain cultural bounds that
determine the meaning the reason behind the doer the
receiver and the onlooker
oYou cannot understand the action without understanding the
past of the person (missing the whole dimension of doing the
action and its reason)
oWe need to understand the past to know where we are right
now because we occupy a moral space that determines where
we are right now – self with a personhood is ALWAYS about
understanding ourselves with time
oRecursive sense of self by re-constructing the past and re-
wondering in a cycle
[example] reading a novel with a character changes over time – you
talk about the character in a singular sense, but the word used is in a
hedged way because there has been changes
real pathos in identity crisis, brokenness – fear that we will end up
like that
1. Plurality of self-consciousness:
Duality of identity: “I can see that the person is me.”
o[example] seeing oneself in a picture
ousing the personal pronoun in 2 different way
othis implies about how we experience ourselves using subject
of consciousness and object of attention of selves
reflecting and observing ourselves
binary aspects of this: we oscillate between senses of
“I” by being someone and observing someone
we can occupy a social position because we can only do
this by using the same social position that we judge
children who did not grow up with proper social
stimulations cannot fit into normal life and full
capacity of self-consciousness
most from social to internal – the ability we
understand from facilitating with others
oaware of both at the same time