The society of selves
Topics:Self and Mental State Attribution
Keywords:social intelligence, consciousness, self concept, other minds
Deposited by:Professor Nicholas Humphrey
Date of Issue:2007
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.