A baby born with no senses

A baby born with no senses
simpleblue
Newbie

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jul 12, 2008

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 1
#1 - Quote - Permalink
1 of 1 people found this post helpful
Posted Nov 23, 2008 - 6:12 PM:
Subject: A baby born with no senses
I saw this question a few years ago and could not find it. So if looks familiar that's why.


Let us say that a baby is born into the world under the following conditions:
  1. No senses: No vision, No feeling, No hearing, No taste, No smell
  2. The baby had never had these senses, even in utereo
  3. The baby is given essentials to survive: oxyen, food, water, shelter, medical care...


So to get a more clear picture, it's kinda like a the baby is suspended in space. There is nothing but blackness. No ability feel surrounding objects. No ability to sense it's breathing, feel its insides, smell the world. No knowing where they moved a particular bodypart.


The question:


Could the baby think?

Would the baby have feelings, such as happiness or sadness?

What would the baby likely do? (a very broad question, i know)
SIR2U
The Wonderor of Why
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Nov 17, 2006
Location: The maps says "You are here"

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 2413
#2 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 23, 2008 - 8:05 PM:

The baby could probably get by with out everything else but I cannot see how it would survive without touch.

Having this sense it could be taught enough to be able to survive. this would be possible as long as the deffects were not caused by brain damage.
Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Newbie

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Sep 17, 2003

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 1
#3 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 23, 2008 - 8:24 PM:

SIR2U wrote:

Having this sense it could be taught enough to be able to survive. this would be possible as long as the deffects were not caused by brain damage.

What would they be caused by if not brain damage or malformation?

If the baby had no senses at all, including the internal ones, then I daresay it would die.

~~ Paul

Mars Man
PF Addict
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Sep 27, 2006
Location: Matsumoto, Japan

Total Topics: 63
Total Posts: 1390
#4 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 23, 2008 - 8:25 PM:

The question is, to be a party-pooper of sorts, unanswerable. No possible real-life event would ever allow such an embryo to make it much past still birth--taking your presentation and terms given to be absolute. The heart could not be controlled, the lungs could not be controlled, the entire autonomic and central nervous system would not work--and CNS, of course stops primarily at the brain.

If an animal were born with the nervous systems fully functional up to the brain, but the brain were so full of lesions that no signals made any loop rounds, that animal would not be able to achieve the cognitive level required for consciousness, and thus no thought in that sense could be achieved--AND. . . that animal would not live very long at all (unless fully supported by machine).
reincarnated
the moving finger writes
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 30, 2006
Location: on the road to Samarkand

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 107
#5 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 24, 2008 - 3:01 AM:

I tend to agree with Mars Man, the chances of the creature surviving long would eb slim, but it would not necessarily die (as suggested by Paul, so long as its physical needs were catered for. People can exist indefinitely in a coma, for example, so long as they are cared for and fed intravenously. Thus the ability to sense the external world, though being very useful for survival, is not absolutely essential for survival (so long as someone esle does the caring).

The question in the OP, however, was concerned about something else. I do not believe such a creature (if it survived) would ever develop consciousness as we know it. For consciousness to develop we need interaction with, information from, the external world - this is how we develop our image of "self" as opposed to "not self" (a baby starts to learn the difference between self and not-self by experimenting and interacting with its environment), and from this separation of self from not-self we develop an internalised reflexive self-model, which becomes the basis for our self-awareness.

A creature with no senses at all could not even start to form the basic concept of self and not-self, hence could not develop the internalised reflexive self-model required for self-awareness and thus consciousness.
ying
Daoist sceptic

Usergroup: Missing Mods
Joined: Feb 20, 2004
Location: Lichtenvoorde, Netherlands

Total Topics: 23
Total Posts: 785
#6 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 24, 2008 - 3:38 AM:

I agree with Mars Man, but let's advance this line of inquiry, just for the sake of argument. A baby with comletely no senses, but otherwise healthy? Not for long. Studies on feral children (Genie for instance) show that when deprived of social interaction or sensory information, the brain atrophies, resulting in less than optimal mental capabilities. On the sensory side of things, well, there's the case of Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf. Before she learned how to interact with the world (quitte a touching story, really), she was a quitte frustrated little girl; she went on to become a writer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genie_(feral_child)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_keller
TecnoTut
Resident
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Jul 09, 2002
Location: Florida

Total Topics: 221
Total Posts: 144
#7 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 24, 2008 - 10:58 AM:

simpleblue wrote:
I saw this question a few years ago and could not find it. So if looks familiar that's why.


Let us say that a baby is born into the world under the following conditions:
  1. No senses: No vision, No feeling, No hearing, No taste, No smell
  2. The baby had never had these senses, even in utereo
  3. The baby is given essentials to survive: oxyen, food, water, shelter, medical care...


So to get a more clear picture, it's kinda like a the baby is suspended in space. There is nothing but blackness. No ability feel surrounding objects. No ability to sense it's breathing, feel its insides, smell the world. No knowing where they moved a particular bodypart.


The question:


Could the baby think?

Would the baby have feelings, such as happiness or sadness?

What would the baby likely do? (a very broad question, i know)


I'm going yo say that it will have no phenomenal experiences and no intentional beliefs or desires, and thus, it lacks thoughts. The baby does not know it exists.


Edited by TecnoTut on Nov 24, 2008 - 11:07 AM
SIR2U
The Wonderor of Why
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Nov 17, 2006
Location: The maps says "You are here"

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 2413
#8 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 24, 2008 - 6:44 PM:

paul c. wrote:
What would they be caused by if not brain damage or malformation?


Babies are born every day missing one or two of the senses, there are even cases of people with no sense of touch. They quite often have perfectly well functioning brains when it comes to thinking. As others have mentioned there has to be at least a minimum of sensory imput for the being to develop thought as we understand it.

Studies have found that there is quite a lot of sensory perception and brain activity in unborn babies and that they react to sounds they heard while still inside their mothers. It is obvious then that they are capable of forming some sort of thought process.
Machiveli
post-philosopher
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Aug 19, 2004

Total Topics: 117
Total Posts: 61
#9 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 24, 2008 - 6:55 PM:

simpleblue wrote:

Let us say that a baby is born into the world under the following conditions:
  1. No senses: No vision, No feeling, No hearing, No taste, No smell
  2. The baby had never had these senses, even in utereo
  3. The baby is given essentials to survive: oxyen, food, water, shelter, medical care...

Last time I checked we had about 12 senses and yes our model of consiousness is embodied consciousness. But to be a little abstract: there would be chance firings of neurons which could be observed and the baby would learn to manipulate this internaly percieved world. Hell if you wire up the motor neurons to the optical nerve you have created a universe
reincarnated
the moving finger writes
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 30, 2006
Location: on the road to Samarkand

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 107
#10 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 24, 2008 - 10:21 PM:

SIR2U wrote:
Studies have found that there is quite a lot of sensory perception and brain activity in unborn babies and that they react to sounds they heard while still inside their mothers. It is obvious then that they are capable of forming some sort of thought process.


Capable - yes - but only if they have some sensory perception. The whole point of the OP is that we are asked to believe that the baby in question has, and never did have, any sensory perception at all. How can an unborn baby react to sound inside the womb if it is incapable of perceiving that sound? This is the premise of the OP.
Download thread as
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5



Sorry, you don't have permission to post. Log in, or register if you haven't yet.