Antonio Damasio the Integrated Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1438 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

Keeping the object and sense of self separate from each other, the latter comes out as more subjective in generating judgments about an individual's experience. While the object is dependent on sensory experience, one's sense of self, meanwhile, is dependent on one's memory of other associated 'images,' triggered from the past to the present in order for the (present) experience to have meaning and significance for the individual. Thus, while the object is linked with the human body's external environment, the self is linked to the body's internal environment (or elements contained in and comprising the human mind).

Damasio's neurological studies showed that both elements, the object and the self, must be integrated or "united" in order for the individual to attain the state of consciousness. Both must exist; otherwise, consciousness will not be attained. The object, or the objective self, is most often identified in lay terms as the state of emotion, while the self as the subjective element of consciousness is identified as the state of feeling. Thus, unifying emotion and feeling creates the conscious self. Going further into his categorization, he relates the state of emotion as essential in the creation of the proto-self, which creates one's experience physically/sensually. The state of feeling helps create the autobiographical self, the non-conscious self responsible for subjective experience through recollections or memories of one's past experiences.

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Consciousness, then, results from the unification of the object and self, emotion and feeling, the autobiographical and proto- selves. The conscious state creates the core self, which is a manifestation of a "convergence" between both elements (object and self) inherently necessary in the creation of consciousness. There emerged a new self, a self best representing the individual, allowing him/her to have a better understanding of his/her reality. The conscious individual is aware of his/her external environment while at the same, s/he is also fully aware of how these external realities are affecting his/her perception of himself/herself as a person.

Term Paper on Antonio Damasio the Integrated and Assignment

Consciousness, once generated and developed, becomes more than just a biological occurrence: it evolves into something greater, becoming a social phenomenon. Consciousness has always been linked with the idea of rationalization, a state where the individual independently thinks about his/her needs and wants in life. With a conscious self, the individual becomes a better-thinking individual, who is able to create specific course of actions through planned and systematic thinking. It was no surprise that Damasio equated consciousness with humanity's innate need for survival: humans need to develop consciousness as an imperative tool towards committing actions that would ensure their survival and longevity in the society. Consciousness is also a unique state present only among humans, mainly because lower forms of animals did not have a "sense of self," recollections of past experiences committed and the ability to associate these experiences with present ones.

Of course, while Damasio was aware that consciousness is an imperative tool for human survival and superiority, he also recognized the fact that there is also a danger to one's attainment of consciousness: " ... The price we pay for that better life is high ... It is the price of knowing risk, danger, and pain. Worse even: it is the price of knowing what pleasure is and knowing when it is missing or unattainable."

Consciousness has always been humanity's desire; it symbolizes human progress; and more importantly, it serves as a manifestation of an individual's capacity to consider himself/herself capable of experiencing various forms of realities. Meaning-creation gives significance to human life, and this is only made possible through the individual's consciousness. In sum, the conscious self is the integrated self, whose function is to make meanings from realities created from people's daily lives -- actions and interactions among humans. Eventually, it is these meanings that help humanity survive and prevail over time. Damasio's discussion of the making of consciousness proves that humanity's desire to achieve a better life through rationalization was indeed not just an abstract thought created by humans, but was actually a realization that is another product of human experience.

Work cited

Damasio, A. (1999). The feeling of what happens: Body and emotion in the making of consciousness. NY: Harcourt Brace. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Antonio Damasio the Integrated" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Antonio Damasio the Integrated.  (2005, August 7).  Retrieved September 23, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Antonio Damasio the Integrated."  7 August 2005.  Web.  23 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Antonio Damasio the Integrated."  August 7, 2005.  Accessed September 23, 2020.