The society of selves

Document Type: 
Article
Article Type: 
Theoretical
Disciplines: 
Psychology
Topics: 
Self and Mental State Attribution
Keywords: 
social intelligence, consciousness, self concept, other minds
Deposited by: 
Professor Nicholas Humphrey
Date of Issue: 
2007
Authors: 
Nicholas Humphrey
Volume: 
362
Page Range: 
745-754
Alternative URL: 
http://www.humphrey.org.uk/papers/2007SocietyOfSelves.pdf
Abstract: 
Human beings are not only the most sociable animals on earth, they are also the only animals who have to ponder the separateness that comes with having a conscious self . The philosophical problem of “other minds” nags away at people’s sense of who – and why – they are. But the privacy of consciousness has an evolutionary history – and maybe even an evolutionary function. While recognising the importance to humans of mind-reading and psychic transparency, we should consider the consequences and possible benefits of being – ultimately – psychically opaque.
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