Originally Posted by Typo
Perhaps I've been unclear as to the distinction between self-awareness and consciousness. I'm not arguing that animals aren't conscious. They certainly are. But they aren't aware of their consciousness. It's just there.
Self awareness may only be a small part in the psychological workings of beings, but the differences it makes are tremendous. The output of humans has far surpassed the output of dogs, all on account of self awareness.
I still don't see how there can be varying degrees of self awareness or consciousness. Would a proponent of this theory care to explain?
You may find this interesting: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0914172644.htm
Bottom line: higher order animals are not just a collection of instincts but can process information in a similar way to us, just less sophisticated.
Degrees of consciousness - try caring for an elderly parent with dementia for a while and you'll see it. You see the degrees of consciousness falling away bit by bit ...