Several great philosophers were interested in this conscience. For example, Descartes considers that the heart – seat of conscience – has a large self-awareness. It doesn’t take any place and it doesn’t divide. By opposition, matter extends, occupies some place, divides and isn’t aware of itself. According to Descartes, heart and matter are independent one of the other but they both follow from the Lord, because the Lord exists in an independent way. Thought is independent of all the material processes. This kind of thought is a dualistic design; there is a radical distinction between spiritual and material reality. For example, animals are only a material reality; only human beings have a soul. Body is only, a “sophisticated mechanics”, an automaton; soul can live independently of the body. But Descartes acknowledged that there is a permanent interaction between both these two things: soul can be touched by several kinds of feelings and different kinds of bodily needs, but it can cut itself off from, by letting reason lead the play.
In other words, the fundamental question isn’t : “ Has an human being conscious of itself? ” because many philosophers answered previously to this thorny matter ; henceforth, the question is : “ How can we be aware of ourselves? ”. The answer to this question must be the result of a personal progression. None is currently able to specify how each person can be conscious of itself. This relation is different for each one among us. Throughout this work, we were interested in this relation which binds the conscience to each person, even if a final answer cannot be found.
Etymologically, the word "conscience" has two fundamental significations. Conscience is both a knowledge and a science, but also the report which links the soul with this knowledge. Conscience is the experiment of the report we have to our knowledge.
Therefore conscience can call for the following concepts. Firstly, it could be taking conscience of an event. In other words, conscience could be the perception of some adventures which could take place in our environment. Conscience could also signify: “to be conscious” or “to have a good conscious”. In this case, we have to understand this explanation like the expression of a honest man. A synonym of that signification could be: “clear-headedness”. Finally, we can consider a last signification: to be conscientious, that is to say to be scrupulous, to be serious, to be meticulous.
For philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, "A man is nothing else than what it makes of itself". This is the first principle of “existentialism”, a well-known current among philosophers. What each human being does of itself makes only confirm the principle of unicity.
The conscious being doesn’t get away from the principle of materiality and cannot be reduced to a simple somatic and neurobiologic entity. But we couln’t exclude the approach which considers that human being forms a species complexes made up at the same time of a conscience part and an unconscious part. These two parts are indissociable, as Jean-Paul Sartre claims it. The conscious part is the part present in our everyday life. With the opposite, unconsciousness was defined by Henri Laborit in "The legend of behaviours" as follows:
"The unconscious one contains all the automatisms which formed, in the period known as of the print, the relational structure of the neurons or certain neurons between them; it is the result of all the driving, conceptual and linguistic drivings, that a culture of a certain place and a certain time, after having assimilated all the history of the preceding generations, introduced into the brain of a child. We arrive at the following conclusion: when two men communicate, this is their unconscious trainings, their cultural automatisms which are expressed."
The concept of conscience is often associated with the idea that human being is an alive subject. We could find traces of this association with grinds included in the texts written by many philosophers. Consequently, this reflection leads us to refer to philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre according to whom it would be impossible to define to be conscious for it as a simple presence since the absence develops also to be it; according to him, not to be there, it is still to be. It opens the way with two entities diametrically opposite which are being and nothingness.
The conscience is consequently only the reflection of what each one has with deepest its being and of what we’ve taught during our childhood. Each alive being is thus single and exceptional. In other words, it becomes an objective observation.
Our attention was then focused on the relation which exists between the engineer and knowledge. Usually, it is thought that it’s the engineer who is in possession of knowledge. That concept results in the interaction which exists between both this things: the engineer “learns", and knowledge "is learned". All occurs as if what we call knowledge exists only grace and through us. The reading of the various texts opened the eyes to us on this point: the roles are perhaps not so clearly defined! Certain authors express completely different opinions on this subject: for one, there is a world of "objective knowledge", a kind of knowledge without expert, for the other, knowledge is not this inert thing which we learn, but well a thinking entity working towards a clean end ( an idea that we could compare with the deterministic current, which affirmed among other things that the will of the man is only one lure ).
Various philosophical authors approached through their works about the conscience. We can quote for example "L’étranger” of Albert Camus, a dialogue between Paul Ricœur and Jean-Pierre Changeux, respectively philosopher and biologist, in which they confront their points of view on the conscience as well as a text of Christian de Duve who explains only a biological point of view of the conscience. Various important informations can be withdrawn from these texts. The comprehension of the cerebral development of human being can make possible to understand many behaviours.
With the birth, child is not distinguished from the animal. Until the three years age, it is not aware, just unconscious. It is during this period that to be to it master key of “nature” to the “culture”. Its brain which was completely opened with the birth is a potentiality. Progressively, it will be restricted. This intellectual potential will develop only with the passing of years as following experiments which the everyday life will come to enrich. From approximately three years, the child will become conscious. He will be limited by the culture. All the remainder of its life will be based over these three years. What was registered in the unconsciousness will not be accessible anymore, but it will be always registered in itself. It will fit gradually in the company. Its medium will help it while making him discover, more or less according to the cases, “richness” of the world with its own universe. Like blood in the veins, it will be propagated in any sound being, will come to strengthen it and will give him an intellectual and spiritual dimension. This conscience, this assertion of sound “me”, are not a gift of nature; there are no genes learning how to us to say "I". They have another origin, which can be only "the others". It is necessary to be immersed in a human community so that in us the self-awareness emerges. Because any alive being is the true life (biological man). The culture makes it "become" a balanced human being. In the animal world, there is no conscience and unconsciousness.
Symbolism following from the language had as a consequence the linguistic interpretation of all the problems raised by the operation of the human brain in social condition. A logical speech always made it possible to explain and defend all the behaviours, whereas the logic of the speech is not that of biochemistry and the neurophysiology which underlies these behaviours and this speech itself. It will be necessary to penetrate and make comprehensible the mechanisms which order with the principal functions of the brain, known under the names of impulses, affectivity, love, hatred, memory, imagination, desire, altruism, user-friendliness, competitiveness, etc, with which one built the building of the social sciences: psychology, sociology, economy and politics to limit itself to some examples.
One of the fundamental differences which exists between the operations of our brain and the operations of our thought is that the second cannot have a manifestation of the conscience without the normal operation of the neurones while the gestures and other functions of our body are regulated unconsciously (only the neurones of the cerebral cortex generate conscious experiments). Even when that the conscience is committed the brain often carries out a considerable sum of work before sending information to him. We can easily conclude that our conscience depends directly on the correct operation of our neurones. Certain extreme theories go until announcing that conscience is not used for nothing, that it is only one puppet of the neurones!
We have consequently the right to put the question about the conditions and the chances of success of the human adventure. If, by all that precedes, a point emerges with obviousness, it is certainly supplements it and radical incapacity where is human plurality to escape from the powers which tend to concentrate it on itself. But let us have for as much the right to conclude that the experiment tried on us must necessarily succeed, i.e. that we are sure to arrive indeed at the unit towards which we are driven out No, answer the facts. So that the planetary Evolution of the Conscience arrives in the long term, two series of conditions are necessary. Initially there are external conditions. By there, we understand especially the multiple reserves (of time, nutritive material and human material) essential to feed until the end of the operation. Internal conditions, then, i.e. related to the operation of our freedom. Know-how, on the one hand, and to want to make especially. In what touches the conditions of first species, it doesn’t seem that the chances of failure are particularly to fear. Thus remain that, to maintain the play and the tension always increasing and always fallible amount all our freedoms, a super condition takes shape, namely that the reasons and the taste of living are reinforced at the bottom of the human heart.
In conclusion, it is important to underline the increasingly important place that takes conscience in everyday life of many human beings. In the topicality, we cannot prevent oneself from noticing the importance of the conscience in research, more particularly for extreme subjects such as the cloning. Indeed, any researcher must become aware of the impact which its discoveries can have.