On 3/9/2011 9:24 AM, David Nyman wrote:
On 9 March 2011 16:21, Brent Meeker<meeke...@dslextreme.com>  wrote:

>  To me that is an open question.  Are philosophical zombies possible?  It
>  seems unlikely, but when I consider specific ideas about consciousness, such
>  as Julian Jaynes, then it seems more plausible that conscious-like behavior
>  could be evinced with such different internal processing that it would not
>  realize consciousness as I experience it - though it might still be
>  consciousness in Bruno's sense of being capable of mathematical
>  self-reference.
My reading of Jaynes (and TOOCITBOTBM is one of my favourites) is that
by "non-conscious" he actually meant non-self-conscious.  The
non-self-conscious person essentially obeys the voices in her head,
but when these can no longer provide guidance, internal dialogue - and
with it, self-consciousness - may emerge as a superior survival
strategy.  However I don't believe Jaynes thought that the bicameral
person literally lacked phenomenal experience.


Yes, I realize there are kinds of consciousness. I thought the interesting idea in Jaynes was that perceptual consciousness, which I'm sure my dog has, was co-opted by evolution to become self-consciousness. Specifically that with the development of language, communication of aural information became very important. The brain evolved to internalize this into an inner-narration to realize the advantage of keeping one's thought's to oneself (e.g. decpetion). It would imply that if, for example written communication was invented before language, then our brains might implement consciousness through an inner text (like those ribbons across the bottom of a TV news program) instead of an inner voice. This is what leads me to speculate that there could be completely different modes of internal cogitation that we could not easily identify even though the external behavior was what we could call "conscious". The intelligent Mars Rover may be an example of this.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to