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"The Origin of Consciousness..." A Stuctured Book Discussion Options
Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 5:50:11 PM

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This thread is intended as a structured discussion of the book, "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes. The intended structure...
>The discussion will be centered around the section of text for that week. Keep in mind this is a discussion of a book, if you find that you have issues with it, that would entail debate outside of the text under discussion please start a separate thread for the purpose of conducting that debate. I anticipate a few of these. I think this is probably the best way to keep the thread moving and focused.
>Except for this week, new sections will be posted on Sunday nights, discussion of that section will proceed until the next Sunday night. References to previous text sections can be made; however no discussion or reference to future sections should be made.

If you do not have a hard copy of the book but wish to participate, there is a pdf file of the entire book available here.
You can also read the introduction and first chapter here.

I also thought it might be a good idea to make the sectional announcements stand out, and be easily findable, so I will be formatting them like this

Oct.18-Oct.23
Introduction
pages 1 to 8.5


A page with a decimal will mean to read to the next section title on that page. In this case up to but not including "Consciousness as Metaphysical Imposition"

Well that should about take care of that. One thing I would encourage you to do, is to read at least that first paragraph out loud. Those first few paragraphs are definitely the most eloquent first few paragraphs of any text book, I have ever read. One thing can certainly be said about Jaynes, despite whatever errors he may make, he is certainly passionate about his pursuit of knowledge, and that, I can not help but admire.
intelfam
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 6:15:19 AM
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I wondered where your "advert" was Epi. It was ousted from a prominent position by spam for tablet PCs. Bit like my IQ is ousted by tablets ....

Epiphileon
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 4:23:07 PM

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Something I don't remember noting previously about the first three paragraphs, is that they each address the three questions posed at the end of the first, if you take, "the problem of consciousness" as the subject.
The first I think clearly delineates what type of consciousness Jaynes is talking about. The second paragraph pretty clearly states where the problem has come from. And the third addresses why he see's it is still a problem, and although I get it, as far as the whole paragraph goes, the first sentence has me scratching my head. Does that sentence come across clearly to anyone?
RubyMoon
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 5:08:24 PM
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Epi: are you talking about the sentene below of chapter 1? Or, the first sentence of the intro?
(just wondering... and maybe a suggestion... when discussing a sentence or paragraph, it might be beneficial to post it for easy-quick reference?)
... what do you think?

BOOK ONE

The Mind of Man

Chapter 1: The Consciousness of Consciousness

WHEN ASKED the question, what is consciousness? we become conscious of consciousness. And most of us take this consciousness of consciousness to be what consciousness is. This is not true.
In being conscious of consciousness, we feel it is the most self-evident thing imaginable. We feel it is the defining attribute of all our waking states, our moods and affections, our memories, our thoughts, attentions, and volitions. We feel comfortably certain that consciousness is the basis of concepts, of learning and reasoning, of thought and judgment, and that it is so because it records and stores our experiences as they happen, allowing us to introspect on them and learn from them at will. We are also quite conscious that all this wonderful set of operations and contents that we call consciousness is located somewhere in the head.

On critical examination, all of these statements are false. They are the costume that consciousness has been masquerading in for centuries. They are the misconceptions that have prevented a solution to the problem of the origin of consciousness. To demonstrate these errors and show what consciousness is not, is the long but I hope adventurous task of this chapter.

NancyLee
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 5:15:37 PM
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Men have been conscious of the problem of consciousness almost since consciousness began.

Is this the problem sentence? Perhaps Descartes "I think therefore I am." is always remembered to help with awareness. Some shorthand thought for OK, it's fine, we're conscious, and we are aware of it.


Epiphileon
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 8:23:31 PM

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Third paragraph of the introduction,
Quote:

It is the difference that will not go away, the difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it.


Please remember the section for this week is pages 1-8.5, but I see that I didn't phase that query well and in the future will quote the text in question.
leonAzul
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:24:33 PM

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Epiphileon wrote:
Third paragraph of the introduction,
Quote:

It is the difference that will not go away, the difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it.


Please remember the section for this week is pages 1-8.5, but I see that I didn't phase that query well and in the future will quote the text in question.


The antecedent of "it" is consciousness. My interpretation is that this paragraph is an elaboration on some of the more commonly held notions of consciousness. This particular sentence touches on the awareness of ego that consciousness facilitates.
leonAzul
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:32:36 PM

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Epiphileon wrote:
Something I don't remember noting previously about the first three paragraphs, is that they each address the three questions posed at the end of the first, if you take, "the problem of consciousness" as the subject.
The first I think clearly delineates what type of consciousness Jaynes is talking about. The second paragraph pretty clearly states where the problem has come from. And the third addresses why he see's it is still a problem, and although I get it, as far as the whole paragraph goes, the first sentence has me scratching my head. Does that sentence come across clearly to anyone?


Respectfully, I disagree with the parallelism you propose. I suspect, having read ahead, as I have, that you are recalling the first paragraphs of the first chapter proper. The response from others requesting clarification reinforces my suspicion.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 10:53:06 PM

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Is this the sentence?


It is the difference that will not go away, the difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it.

If it is, it seems perfectly clear to me, but perhaps I'm too dull to know what I'm missing.

Consciousness is the property of the imagination that conveys a sense of an awareness of a "self" within a body, a self-aware life force. Consciousness = "I" = "Will" = "Decision Making".

The difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves is a result of all that we have experienced since the womb. Every sound, light, touch, smell, etc. has influenced us, shaped us, molded us into the unique individual we are today. No two of us are identical because of this. This is because no two of us would respond in exactly the same way to an identical stimulus. Reactions, or responses if you like, are the "deep feelings" that imprint upon the brain and cause it to retain the memories.

All of this molding has been cumulatively fashioning a creature that understands the idea of self inside a body. We then look out at other bodies and understand that they, too, possess a self inside that body, that while similar, is unique also.

I'll stop here because I'm not clear at all if this is what we're talking about. It's just the way I interpreted what I'm reading in the posts.

Edit:

I left out something I wanted to say concerning this section:


On critical examination, all of these statements are false. They are the costume that consciousness has been masquerading in for centuries. They are the misconceptions that have prevented a solution to the problem of the origin of consciousness. To demonstrate these errors and show what consciousness is not, is the long but I hope adventurous task of this chapter.


It seems to me he shifts here from trying to define what consciousness is to the problem of the origin of consciousness. Which one is it?

Ray41
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:42:43 AM

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Ok, stupid is as stupid does!

It is the difference that will not go away, the difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it.

I think that I am extremely intelligent, handsome and attractive to gorgeous women, this is what I perceive myself to be, and, I fully believe it. [Just an example, it isn't true,Boo hoo! ]

Others think that I am an idiot, ugly, and women would never be attracted to me and they fully believe that they are right.Anxious

Why do they do this to me? Why cannot they see how strongly I feel about this? What makes me so sure about myself? Why are my perceptions so different, and, why do they think that 'I' am wrong?

Is it my consciousness that sustains my belief?
or, is it a case of,
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who 'is' the fairest of us all.Shhh

Aah! to post or not to post? Told you it is stupid!d'oh! Back to bed with a double brandy,Brick wall
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:09:03 AM

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leonAzul wrote:
[quote=Epiphileon]
Respectfully, I disagree with the parallelism you propose. I suspect, having read ahead, as I have, that you are recalling the first paragraphs of the first chapter proper. The response from others requesting clarification reinforces my suspicion.


No I was definitely talking about the sentence I quoted, and see the third paragraph as, intentionally or not, describing why the problem of consciousness, does not go away.
And in the phrase "It is the difference, I believe "it' refers to the "difference", I just have never quite been satisfied as too why this would be part of the reason for why, "Something about it (consciousness) keeps returning, not taking a solution."
It seems to me the second paragraph traces where the problem has come from, as far as how it has been passed down to us, and the third proposes why we can't leave it alone.
In the first part of the second sentence he continues with, "The difference between the you and me, and the shared behavioral wold..."
Once he gets to "and the unlocatable location of things thought about." through the end of the paragraph "How do these ephemeral existences ... fit into the ordered array of nature, that somehow surrounds and engulfs this core of knowing? I totally get why these contribute to the persistence of humans grappling with the problem.
It may just be a personal thing, I don't see "the difference", whatever that may be, as contributory to why I pursue the problem, but like I said a can thoroughly relate to the other reasons.
intelfam
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:24:33 AM
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I thought I understood it. Now I see that I cannot continue this conversation, as it stands, without a copy of the book beside me, as some have. My god, have I got to have more than one tab open in my browser? Why can't others see why the me that is me is having trouble convincing the me that is not me, to keep two windows open at the same time, knowing that the me that is not me will hit the wrong "X" up in the right hand corner, close them both, and cause the me that is me to get angry at the sheer stupidity of the me that is not me? Or vice versa.....Brick wall
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:35:34 AM

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FounDit wrote:

The difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves is a result of all that we have experienced since the womb. Every sound, light, touch, smell, etc. has influenced us, shaped us, molded us into the unique individual we are today. No two of us are identical because of this. This is because no two of us would respond in exactly the same way to an identical stimulus. Reactions, or responses if you like, are the "deep feelings" that imprint upon the brain and cause it to retain the memories.
All of this molding has been cumulatively fashioning a creature that understands the idea of self inside a body. We then look out at other bodies and understand that they, too, possess a self inside that body, that while similar, is unique also.
Yes Foundit, I fully agree with what you've said, and I do understand that; however, what I didn't quite get was why, he seems to think that "the difference" is one of the reasons why, "the problem keeps returning(AHA*)not taking a solution."
*at that moment it dawned on me what a possible explanation would be, it may be that he is saying that due to the vast differences in each individuals subjective experience of consciousness, that this difference may contribute to why it has been resistant to a solution. But that is a major stretch in my opinion, but regardless I don't think it makes a critical difference to the overall argument, I was just curious.



Edit:

I left out something I wanted to say concerning this section:


On critical examination, all of these statements are false. They are the costume that consciousness has been masquerading in for centuries. They are the misconceptions that have prevented a solution to the problem of the origin of consciousness. To demonstrate these errors and show what consciousness is not, is the long but I hope adventurous task of this chapter.


It seems to me he shifts here from trying to define what consciousness is to the problem of the origin of consciousness. Which one is it?

I believe he is staying with what consciousness is; however, that is in a future discussion section.
I appreciate that the introduction does not have much in the way of discussion potential, however as we get further into the book, I believe we will find that a week is a relatively short amount of time to discuss the scheduled section. Perhaps it would have been better to cover the entire introduction in this abbreviated week, but hindsight is always annoyingly 20/20. I think overall though we will get the most benefit to all involved if we stick to the structure. I have to go to work right now, but I'm thinking I will post a query about the rate of progression in the "Call for participants" thread in the knowledge and culture section later.


FounDit
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:10:40 AM

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I was lying awake last night contemplating what I had written and trying to figure out this thing called consciousness, when it suddenly occurred to me exactly how and why consciousness developed (its origin). It was all so clear and simple, but this morning I have to analyze my thoughts and condense them into a reasonably small posting..*L*

As soon as I get that done, I'll post it for everyone to examine.

Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:14:17 AM

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FounDit wrote:

I was lying awake last night contemplating what I had written and trying to figure out this thing called consciousness, when it suddenly occurred to me exactly how and why consciousness developed (its origin). It was all so clear and simple, but this morning I have to analyze my thoughts and condense them into a reasonably small posting..*L*
As soon as I get that done, I'll post it for everyone to examine.

If so FounDit, I do hope you will start another thread for that purpose.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:44:16 AM

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Did I miss something? I thought the origin of consciousness was the topic of this thread.

Going back and re-reading your last post, I see:

I believe he is staying with what consciousness is; however, that is in a future discussion section.


Ok. So you'll save what consciousness is for a future discussion.

I must have misunderstood what the topic was about.
I think, then, I'll sit back and read until I know what we're discussing.
No problem.


FounDit
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 10:09:08 AM

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@ Intelfam:

Laughing with you, friend. Have done that so many times myself...*L* Makes you want to smack your glabella.
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:42:54 PM

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FounDit wrote:

Did I miss something? I thought the origin of consciousness was the topic of this thread.
Going back and re-reading your last post, I see:

I believe he is staying with what consciousness is; however, that is in a future discussion section.

Ok. So you'll save what consciousness is for a future discussion.
I must have misunderstood what the topic was about.
I think, then, I'll sit back and read until I know what we're discussing.
No problem.


The topic for this week is the text of Jaynes book from page 1 to page 8.5.
I anticipate and even hope that this thread does give rise to other threads relating to the issue, but as for this thread the proposal in the OP is to discuss the book. I know there isn't much to discuss in the introduction; however, I believe that will change as we get deeper into the book.
leonAzul
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:53:41 PM

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FounDit wrote:

Did I miss something? I thought the origin of consciousness was the topic of this thread.

Going back and re-reading your last post, I see:

I believe he is staying with what consciousness is; however, that is in a future discussion section.


Ok. So you'll save what consciousness is for a future discussion.

I must have misunderstood what the topic was about.
I think, then, I'll sit back and read until I know what we're discussing.
No problem.




The topic is the critical reading of a book, to wit: "The Origin of Consciousness in the Break-Down of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes.

With all due respect, there is a quote function in this forum. Please use it. The confusion caused by misattributed citations cannot be underestimated. ;)
leonAzul
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 1:14:06 PM

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Epiphileon wrote:

Yes Foundit, I fully agree with what you've said, and I do understand that; however, what I didn't quite get was why, he seems to think that "the difference" is one of the reasons why, "the problem keeps returning(AHA*)not taking a solution."


Because you are banging on with a false assumption. Jaynes is alluding to the (in his opinion) cul de sac of dualism. The proper antecedent of "it" is consciousness, otherwise one finds oneself in that peculiar misapprehension that you have expressed.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 3:40:59 PM

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Ok...going to stick a teensy toe into the water again:

Quote:
It is the difference that will not go away, the difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it. The difference between the you-and-me of the shared behavioral world and the unlocatable location of things thought about. Our reflections and dreams, and the imaginary conversations we have with others, in which never-to-be-known-by-anyone we excuse, defend, proclaim our hopes and regrets, our futures and our pasts, all this thick fabric of fancy is so absolutely different from handable, standable, kickable reality with its trees, grass, tables, oceans, hands, stars — even brains! How is this possible? How do these ephemeral existences of our lonely experience fit into the ordered array of nature that some-how surrounds and engulfs this core of knowing?

(It is)The difference between ... the unlocatable location of things thought about...(and)all this thick fabric of fancy is so absolutely different from handable, standable, kickable reality

How is this possible? How do these ephemeral existences of our lonely experience fit into the ordered array of nature


Is this not the "difference" you allude to? And is it not the difference I spoke of in my post? Ok. Back to my corner, now.
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:25:44 PM

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leonAzul wrote:

Because you are banging on with a false assumption. Jaynes is alluding to the (in his opinion) cul de sac of dualism. The proper antecedent of "it" is consciousness, otherwise one finds oneself in that peculiar misapprehension that you have expressed.

Well if you wish to think so, you certainly may; however, I do not see any introduction of the concept of dualism here. Consider that he has just proposed that "something about it keeps returning not taking a solution." It seems to me that he would follow that up with why that might be.
He does indeed allude to dualism in the last paragraph on the following page but only to dismiss it immediately. In the paragraph that begins "Now originally, this search into the nature of consciousness was known as the mind-body problem..."
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:30:33 PM

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FounDit wrote:


Is this not the "difference" you allude to? And is it not the difference I spoke of in my post? Ok. Back to my corner, now.


You know FounDit, I can not say with any certainty what he meant by that first sentence, what you're saying is plausible. Like I said, I don't think it makes any difference to the gist of the paragraph, I just wondered what other's take on it was.
RubyMoon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 5:53:12 PM
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It is October 20, and one sentence from the introduction of the book is being discussed, which is fine by me -- this isn't criticsm at all.

Epi, you say (a few posts back) that there "isn't much to discuss in the introduction". I realize you mean that you are looking forward to the beefy portion of Jaynes' work.

I think the introduction is jammed with "much to discuss", or much to simply read and absorb and acknowledge.

How can this be accomplished by October 23?

It is the difference that will not go away, the difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it.
Is the construction of the sentence confusing, or the context? (just seeking an A. B. C. basic-type clarification-- if this has already been established, then, well OK...).

If the sentence read: The difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it, will not go away... [how we view ourselves will always be different from the way others see us, etc... we can't escape this "difference"...]
(would this make more sense, Epi?)

leonA-- is this what you meant?

RM
leonAzul
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:26:57 PM

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Epiphileon wrote:

Well if you wish to think so, you certainly may; however, I do not see any introduction of the concept of dualism here.


How can one have a difference without contrasting two distinct things?
leonAzul
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:33:10 PM

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RubyMoon wrote:

I think the introduction is jammed with "much to discuss", or much to simply read and absorb and acknowledge.


It is my opinion that this is the point of the introduction: to pique the reader's curiosity rather than satisfy it.
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:53:45 PM

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Quote:
It is the difference that will not go away, the difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it. The difference between the you-and-me of the shared behavioral world and the unlocatable location of things thought about. Our reflections and dreams, and the imaginary conversations we have with others, in which never-to-be-known-by-anyone we excuse, defend, proclaim our hopes and regrets, our futures and our pasts, all this thick fabric of fancy is so absolutely different from handable, standable, kickable reality with its trees, grass, tables, oceans, hands, stars — even brains! How is this possible? How do these ephemeral existences of our lonely experience fit into the ordered array of nature that some-how surrounds and engulfs this core of knowing?


It seems to me, from my corner here, that he is laying out the contrast, the difference, by stating it in different ways.

The difference between what others see of us and our own view of self.

The difference between the you-and-me in common behavior and the location of where the root of that lies.

Our dreams, imaginary conversations of our mind and the reality that surrounds us.

How does this ephemeral existence of the mind fit into nature, the world that surrounds this mind (core)?

Btw, RubyMoon, like the new avatar. Very visually appealing.

Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 7:13:27 PM

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RubyMoon wrote:
It is October 20, and one sentence from the introduction of the book is being discussed, which is fine by me -- this isn't criticsm at all.

Epi, you say (a few posts back) that there "isn't much to discuss in the introduction". I realize you mean that you are looking forward to the beefy portion of Jaynes' work.

I think the introduction is jammed with "much to discuss", or much to simply read and absorb and acknowledge.

How can this be accomplished by October 23?
Hi Ruby, we're only discussing through page 8.5 by that date, I had been planning on scheduling the rest of the introduction for next week. Are you suggesting we need more time to discuss the rest of the introduction?

If the sentence read: The difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it, will not go away... [how we view ourselves will always be different from the way others see us, etc... we can't escape this "difference"...]
(would this make more sense, Epi?)
When I was replying to FounDit on this issue, I had the following thought, it may be that he is saying that due to the vast differences in each individuals subjective experience of consciousness, that this difference may contribute to why it has been resistant to a solution. But that is a major stretch in my opinion, but regardless I don't think it makes a critical difference to the overall argument, I was just curious.
So yes, I do see how that could be a reason why humans have continued to grapple with the problem; however, I had never been aware of it being within the reasons that motivated me to do so. So perhaps that is why it seems odd to me. And once again I believe the paragraph accomplishes it's goal regardless.




RM
RubyMoon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 7:26:35 PM
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Hi Epi-- So yes, I do see how that could be a reason why humans have continued to grapple with the problem; however, I had never been aware of it being within the reasons that motivated me to do so. So perhaps that is why it seems odd to me. And once again I believe the paragraph accomplishes it's goal regardless.

This is it-- your statement above clears up everything regarding your "question". Great!

No, I'm not really suggesting "more time"... just wondering where you see this discussion going now-- until the 23rd?
Are there a few choice sentences in the introduction to quote next-- something that particulary grabs you & why?

Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 7:27:42 PM

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FounDit wrote:


It seems to me, from my corner here, that he is laying out the contrast, the difference, by stating it in different ways.

The difference between what others see of us and our own view of self.

The difference between the you-and-me in common behavior and the location of where the root of that lies.

Our dreams, imaginary conversations of our mind and the reality that surrounds us.

How does this ephemeral existence of the mind fit into nature, the world that surrounds this mind (core)?

The differences between consciousness and everything else? Yea I get that, and I can sure see why that would keep the problem in the center of our attention, why it keeps coming back, not accepting any of the solutions proffered to date.
As to the difference between the you and the me, well in the sense that we will always and ever be at some level mysterious to each other, no matter what level of relationship we may attain. Well I consider that a given, and not a reason the problem keeps returning, that is merely an acknowledgement of the infinite variety of individuality, and the lack of perfect communication.
Thank you all for your input the sentence does make sense to me now.
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 8:23:01 PM

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RubyMoon wrote:
Are there a few choice sentences in the introduction to quote next-- something that particularly grabs you & why?

Well yes there is, personally, I really like this,
Quote:
Now originally, this search into the nature of consciousness was known as the mind-body problem, heavy with its ponderous philosophical solutions. But since the theory of evolution, it has bared itself into a more scientific question. It has become the problem of the origin of mind, or, more specifically, the origin of consciousness in evolution.

And this is why, I imagine it like this...
Over a century ago when the bells in the tower were ringing in the birth of psychology, and it was assumed to be launching a formal scientific investigation into this very thing, it immediately became pretty evident that this was not going to be possible. The doors to the tower were boarded up, and the bells silenced, the hard core scientists went about formulating the beginnings of psycho-physics, figuring we first had to know how we built the world in the head to begin with before we could even begin to ask the question, and the less rigorous went about building stories about mind, based purely on observing behavior. This latter is what became mostly known as psychology, and in no way resembled science, well we tried really hard. So completely apart from anything else Jaynes says, or concludes, I see this renegade psychologist, going up to the boarded up tower, ripping open the door, and ringing the hell out of the bells.*

For I am convinced that now we do have the ability to drag this problem away from the purely philosophical treatments of the past, and begin to subject it to actual scientific inquiry. BUT we first must have a pretty good handle on what it is we are talking about, and even if the entirety of what Jaynes conjectures about consciousness in the first third of this book is completely wrong,(which I seriously doubt), it is a damn good exercise to begin formulating a handleable definition.

This has been a strictly editorial comment, from a sometimes, slightly mad romantic.

As for the rest of this weeks text, I have no problems with it, I find the progression of the metaphors for mind, from the early Greeks into the 20th century interesting, and would be very useful for the people who maintain mind as computer, to review.
leonAzul
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:03:11 PM

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Epiphileon wrote:

Over a century ago when the bells in the tower were ringing in the birth of psychology, and it was assumed to be launching a formal scientific investigation into this very thing, it immediately became pretty evident that this was not going to be possible. The doors to the tower were boarded up, and the bells silenced, the hard core scientists went about formulating the beginnings of psycho-physics, figuring we first had to know how we built the world in the head to begin with before we could even begin to ask the question, and the less rigorous went about building stories about mind, based purely on observing behavior. This latter is what became mostly known as psychology, and in no way resembled science, well we tried really hard. So completely apart from anything else Jaynes says, or concludes, I see this renegade psychologist, going up to the boarded up tower, ripping open the door, and ringing the hell out of the bells.


Applause Well said.

There's no doubt a few bats have been rudely disturbed in the process. Whistle
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 10:24:50 PM

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Joined: 9/19/2011
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Hmm. Well, now I'm not sure what to think. We have this: "Over a century ago when the bells in the tower were ringing in the birth of psychology, and it was assumed to be launching a formal scientific investigation into this very thing (the origin of consciousness..FounDit), it immediately became pretty evident that this was not going to be possible. The doors to the tower were boarded up, and the bells silenced..."


"...the less rigorous (scientists) went about building stories about mind, based purely on observing behavior. This latter is what became mostly known as psychology, and in no way resembled science(emphasis FounDit), well we tried really hard.

(Now)I see this renegade psychologist, going up to the boarded up tower, ripping open the door, and ringing the hell out of the bells.


"For I am convinced that now we do have the ability to...begin to subject it to actual scientific inquiry. BUT we first must have a pretty good handle on what it is we are talking about..."


I hope this doesn't come across as complaining or fault-finding. I don't mean it that way. I am genuinely confused by this.

Does this mean that psychology has become a science now? Can building stories about mind, based purely on observing behavior be considered valid efforts now? What once did not resemble science, now does, indeed, resemble science? Is it acceptable to form hypotheses by observing behavior or using reasoning ability?

The statements above seem contradictory to me. Clarify, please.
FounDit
Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 12:28:57 AM

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You know what? The more I think about it, the more I think I should just say, Never mind. I'm not sure its worth getting into, really.

So let's just continue on, ok?



Epiphileon
Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 5:06:53 AM

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Joined: 3/22/2009
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FounDit wrote:

You know what? The more I think about it, the more I think I should just say, Never mind. I'm not sure its worth getting into, really. So let's just continue on, ok?


That's okay FounDit, the answer is short, the difference today is we have modern neuroscience, and evolutionary theory that provide an actual scientific foundation on which to proceed. My favorite analogy is, psychology prior to neuroscience discoveries of the late 20th century, was much like astrology and astronomy, before and after the telescope.
The paragraph I quoted...
Quote:
Now originally, this search into the nature of consciousness was known as the mind-body problem, heavy with its ponderous philosophical solutions. But since the theory of evolution, it has bared itself into a more scientific question. It has become the problem of the origin of mind, or, more specifically, the origin of consciousness in evolution.

To me Jaynes was one of the first in the field to recognize that we could finally return to the problem, with some reasonable hope of scientific inquiry.

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