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"The Origin of Consciousness..." A Stuctured Book Discussion Options
Epiphileon
Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011 7:43:18 PM

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Posted early due to possibility of power loss.

Oct.30-Nov.6
Chapter 1
pages 21 thru 30.25
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 11:50:03 AM

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Well amazingly we still have power, despite 25 inches (63.5cm) of snow overnight.
The introduction went pretty well, despite the wide ranging nature of it, and a high potential for tangential off topic forays, we stayed pretty much on topic. Thank you all. Please understand this thread is an experiment, one that I very much want to see succeed, not only for my personal edification, and because I think there are a whole bunch of people out there who enjoy discussing the issue and find it enriching, but because I am convinced, if there is to be any chance for a continually progressive future for humanity, understanding this phenomena is absolutely critical. It is still hard for me to believe, but this is the first time, since I began trying to discuss such issues, from the very beginning of the WWW, that I have found a group of people willing to give this a go in a rational, structured, and productive way, perhaps there is yet hope for some of the promise of such a media to be fulfilled.
I have been grappling with this issue for over 25 years, but I haven't read the rest of this book since that long ago. In the times since then that I was able to turn my attention to the issue again, that time has been entirely taken up with attempting to maintain a reasonable currency, and an adequate grasp of the theory of the physiological basis for consciousness, as first proposed by Gerald Edelman in the late 1970s.

Why the long hiatus from the first third of Jaynes' book, which I obviously feel is a significant contribution to the issue? Four words, The Problem of Subjectivity. For you see while the neuro-cytoarchitecture of the brain, and the theoretical processing systems that occur upon that architecture, responsible for consciousness, are incredibly complex systems, they are, to a degree, observable, based on empirical evidence and subject to objective analysis, gaining a grasp of them is just a matter of tedium and time. However, such is not at all the case when it comes to the behavioral aspects, aspects that are evidenced by statements like "Oh what a world of unseen visions, and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind." Here we step, oh so unfirmly, into a world of complete subjectivity. In my opinion, we are not unlike the first explorers going to map above the arctic circle, we come to the end of the known world, and the maps bear a stout warning, "Here there be dragons" (pardon me folks, I can get quite carried away).But I will get back to the dragons in a minute, for there are some formidable ones along the path to knowledge of this area, formidable and extremely sly.

I want to mention a concept here that I have not been able to track down the origins of, it may go by another name, all I can remember is that in the group of colleagues I worked with at the university we had a term, "Levels of Observation". It is important here because there are many levels of observation from which to investigate consciousness, from the evolutionary through the cytoarchitectural, to the behavioral, and while all of these will be inter-related in any overall answer to the problem of consciousness, as long as there is some basic agreement across them, it can be useful at time to compartmentalize a level for discussion. This is what I suggest we do over at least the next chapter, for no matter how you think the brain produces it, whether you have any idea at all how it might do that, as long as you acknowledge that the brain does produce it, then you are fully equipped to address the behavioral level from a natural science perspective.

Now concerning those dragons, I would like to offer something for your consideration, if you have never turned a critical, analytical, eye, upon the nature of consciousness, Jaynes is about to launch a full scale attack on most of the assumptions we naturally make concerning consciousness. Consider that this is tantamount to a direct assault on the very nature of self, and here is where the dragons come in. These dragons have another name, and there is extensive research into their nature, they are formally called defense mechanisms. They are extremely intelligent subsystems of an individuals psychology(they are at least as smart as you are), they are expert systems at stealth, and deception, and by default a primary characteristic of their operation is that they are unconscious, they are self modifying, automated strategies, that began being built before we uttered our first words. So consider that there is a good possibility that a perceived outright attack on the very nature of self, may just activate a few of these.

Like I said I've been at this problem for a long time, these are some of the things I've learned along the way that are relevant to the adventure, I've offered them here for your consideration, they have been useful to me. These are not issues for discussion within this thread but, anyone of them I would be more than happy to discuss in a separate thread of by pm.

So it has been a quarter century since I had the opportunity to bring this issue to a meeting place of other minds, here I can put my take on it out of my mind alone, and into the viewing of other minds for their comment, and I get to see how some other of these "ephemeral existences" of subjectivity, respond to the careful questioning of the nature of that very subjective thing, the "I" of mind. This is exciting.




JackH
Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 8:51:34 AM
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Jaynes wrote:

A sprinter may be conscious of where he is relative to the others in the race, but he is certainly not conscious of putting one leg in front of the other. (page 26)

and

In writing, i am reacting to a pencil in my hand... but i am only conscious of what i am trying to say and whether or not i am being clear to you. (page 22)

In these and quite a few other discussions in the beginning of Chapter 1, Jaynes seems to be talking about consciousness with a presumption of what it means.

In the above examples, consciousness seems to mean that state of mind when an event (the relative position of a sprinter to his competitors, a pencil in the writer's hand, the ideas the writer is trying to make clear in words) grabs a person's attention.

My problem with it is that Jaynes seems to be using the word consciousness or the phrase "to be conscious of" in their common, everyday sense while trying to have a more rigorous discussion about this phenominon. In other words, in order to have a discussion on what consciousness is not, or when it is not at work, Jaynes assumes that consciousness is when the person pays attention (consciousness = attention?). In fact, I'm starting to suspect that Jaynes built his entire book around the presumption: "We've established what consciousness is. Now let's see how it started and how it works."

Have we already agreed that consciousness equals attention? Because if it does, what makes it so special? After all a dog is capable of paying attention (not least of all to its tail), but is that really what we mean when we talk about consciousness?


Epiphileon
Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 9:12:07 AM

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JackH wrote:
Jaynes wrote:
Have we already agreed that consciousness equals attention? Because if it does, what makes it so special? After all a dog is capable of paying attention (not least of all to its tail), but is that really what we mean when we talk about consciousness?

Certainly we can consciously attend to something; however, as in the example of while struggling to make himself clear while writing, he might attend to a bird suddenly flying up nearby, and not being consciously aware of it. The sense of self, the faculty of introspection, the "I" of mind, that sense of "Jackness" that pervades your entire experiential history, this is what I think Jaynes means by consciousness.
FounDit
Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 12:12:12 PM

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Jaynes, p. 21

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(emphasis mine).

He calls all this false, sets about to prove it, but by p. 30, has, in my opinion, failed to prove it.


p. 22

We have for example the phrase "to lose consciousness” after receiving a blow on the head. But if this were correct, we would then have no word for those somnambulistic states known in the clinical literature where an individual is clearly not conscious and yet is responsive to things in a way in which a knocked-out person is not.

Apple and oranges. If a somnambulist is struck on the head hard enough to cause unconsciousness, it is doubtful he will then get up and perform actions that might ordinarily qualify as somnambulistic.

Furthermore, if "loss of consciousness" means the loss of "awareness of self", then the somnambulist qualifies as he will not be aware of his actions any more than a dreamer necessarily remembers his dreams.


p. 22

This distinction is also important in normal everyday life. We are constantly reacting to things without being conscious of them at the time. Sitting against a tree, I am always reacting to the tree and to the ground and to my own posture, since if I wish to walk, I will quite unconsciously stand up from the ground to do so.

A poor analogy here. Yes, he can do this, after years of experience and practice. Observe a child of, say, 15 months attempting to do it. He seems to be saying that unless one is "focused" on a particular action or thought, then that is not consciousness.

I disagree. I think our consciousness is so adept and refined that it can carry out many tasks simultaneously. We can only "focus" on one thing at a time, but we can perform many things at a time once learned e.g. walking, talking, thinking, avoiding objects in our path, to name but a few.

All these things seem to me to fall under the definition laid down in the beginning paragraph; things he says are false.
intelfam
Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 2:50:28 PM
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I am struggling with issues like JackH and FounDit.
Jaynes seems to keep shifting the goalposts - well, more like moving the flag about on the golf tee. Can someone precis what he's saying for me. One minute I think I've got it, like the bird bit, where we are doing something with full attention, but can "without consciously realising it", swing into a sort of pre-programmed "movement in corner of eye, lift head and look, no danger, back to business" sort of way. In this sense he appears to be building an argument that much of what we call conscious action, is in fact, clever examples of "unthinking", conditioned (or inherited) patterns of behaviour - that we could go through life in a totally unreflecting way.
He seems to be crossing from consciousness meaning "being conscious" i.e. alert reflective and focussed - to "being conscious" as just "not unconscious". The latter requires no need for being conscious of consciousness at all.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 10:29:36 PM
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It seems that Janes is telling us in chapter one, that what he told us in the first few paragraphs or pages of the introduction, is not true. It seems like he started out with this beautiful description of what consciousness is, and then tells us it is all a mirage within ourselves, and reduces consciousness to what we are giving our attention to.

This is a curious thought to me. Many, many, times, I have driven my car without consciously thinking about it, and arrived at my destination--and often times, someplace I have never been before--and wondered how I possibly could have done it because I was so deep in thought about something else in my mind, to the degree that I had no recollection of driving at all. So, did I stop at lights and makes turns and speed up and slow down and put my blinkers on and turn signals and follow road sighns all without thinking about it? Did I actually drive and arrive where I wanted to be without having some kind of subconscious "awareness" of what I was doing, without having made any driving decisions? Was my only real "consciousness" what I was thinking about, which wasn't at all about my driving?

What was my reality?

I haven't completed reading chapter one yet, and perhaps I am speaking too soon; but by reducing consciousness only to a direct stimulus seems far too simplistic...and I want to say: ridiculous!

Perhaps in an attempt to understand consciousness, Janes is trying to break consciousness down into something very basic that can be dissected and understood and verified by scientific means. I am not saying that what I have thus far read, that consciousness in someways works like this, but surely this is only a particle of what consciousness is.







Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 6:59:01 PM

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Wow, okay this is really challenging, I found Jack's post somewhat baffling, but as the posts since then appeared, I became increasingly baffled, and am even now, not convinced that I have overcome being completely lost as to how to respond. My first reaction was that I found the fact that there was confusion about this inconceivable, what I found even more interesting is that it is incredibly difficult to even understand the explanations, for why the confusion exists, and that, [i]in its self[/i], was all very perplexing, even disturbing to me.
[i]~~~~~~~~~~~more hours pass~~~~~~~~~~decide to leave the above and trust you guys to believe me when I say at no time was it patronizing, or demeaning, it was more about what the hell is wrong with me.[/i]

Sorry this is not a direct response to anyone yet, just trying to work through this, and I think some further general comments may help. One major key that has resolved why I didn't understand why the confusion was occurring, is because for the first time, I spent some time actually recalling what my experience was with this portion of the book, and aha! Guess what? Lots of confusion. In fact this was the first book I'd ever encountered that stopped me dead in my tracks. What is still a bit odd is I do not, and so far can not seem to recall what the exact nature of the confusion was. It was a text book for a class I was taking, and I just could not reconcile what the professor was saying about it with what I was reading, fortunately two of the other research assistants from the group I was involved with were taking the class as well. This much I remember clearly I had to read and reread the text numerous times, and on top of that anytime I was going to read new material I had to start at least a third of the way back into the last material I'd covered.
[i]~~~~~~~~~~more time while I reread the first section of this week~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/i]

I think that one of the problems is, that while Jaynes style of writing is engaging, it can be misleading, and he has not taken nearly enough effort to put off a natural expectation, that expectation is that he has said anything definitive about what consciousness is. There is one sentence in the beginning of this chapter that addresses this issue...
Quote:
To demonstrate these errors and show what consciousness is not, is the long but I hope adventurous task of this chapter.

Perhaps a "keep in mind we have no operational definition of consciousness as yet." may have helped a lot.
If I'm not mistaken, to this point he has said what it is like, and a lot more about what it isn't. It seems a majority of the confusion stated in these posts, does not take this into account.
Is this an accurate speculation?

And there is another problem, one that is perhaps worse, from an ease of understandability point of view, he does not warn you to suspend your own beliefs of the nature of consciousness. I actually thought of saying something to that effect in my general comments at the beginning of this week, but when considering that brought up the potential problem of a perceived attack on the very nature of self, I forgot it, and went off on the defense mechanism bit. What needs to be said here is not an easy thing to say, and it is definitely not an easy thing to hear and even harder to really take seriously. There is a very deep assumption, that we actually know what consciousness is, of course we do, it's been with us all of our recollective history, how could we not know what it is?
One word, SUBJECTIVITY!

There is another investigator into the issue of consciousness, that Intel referenced to my recently in a you tube video, I have heard of this guy, and he wrote the introduction to another book on the issue I have been trying to get through, but he is a major player in the field, and amazingly this morning as I was "stumbling" around the web, I came across this TED video of his, and it directly addresses the issue of how we are not the knowledgeable folks we think we are when it comes to this issue. I am really glad I found someone else to say this, someone whose authority on the issue is considerably greater than mine. After all, I'm still working on understanding how to communicate how much, by default, we don't know what we're talking about, when we talk about the thing we think, we know the most about.
Dan Dennitt on Consciousness

Please I hesitated to post this here, because I don't want to discuss Dennnitt in this thread, I almost posted the video as a separate thread, but then thought it would be better to wait a bit to do that.

My brain is definitely strained, I'll go back and read the recent posts again tomorrow, there are things I don't think this covers; however, I do see the issues in this post as having been a problem.
intelfam
Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 8:18:41 AM
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Epiphileon wrote:

I think that one of the problems is, that while Jaynes style of writing is engaging, it can be misleading, and he has not taken nearly enough effort to put off a natural expectation, that expectation is that he has said anything definitive about what consciousness is. There is one sentence in the beginning of this chapter that addresses this issue...
Quote:
To demonstrate these errors and show what consciousness is not, is the long but I hope adventurous task of this chapter.



Ok, Maybe what causes me some confusion is this attempt by Jaynes, as I said before, to do a whistle stop tour of previous ideas on consciousness, before (perhaps?) putting forward his own. In doing so he has to try to concisely summarise previous themes and, again as I said, he ends up caricaturing them. As I read the little cameos, he is not comparing like with like but is comparing [i]approaches to the issue[/i]. But he is not succeeding in "comparing approaches" - because they are, for want of better words not approaches to the same thing. How can I make my self clearer?

Say I want to do a similar grand tour of "Man's Use of Energy" - I would talk about fossil fuels, nuclear power, solar energy, wave power etc. But, if I adopted Jayne's model, I would talk about coal, X-ray machines, suntan lotion, and swimming. As FounDit said, apples and oranges. I obviously don't understand him, because he seems to be just erecting a load of straw men, picking and choosing in order to [later?] ridicule. None of the paragraphs are nonsense in themselves - just, to me, poorly thought out - or, possibly, they started out longer and got redacted so much to avoid taking up paper, that his point - which seems to me only that earlier models have failed - could have been expressed better in that one sentence. And if that is all he is saying, then it is so obvious - that he'd have been better not sacrificing rigour and cutting to the chase sooner.

But we have moved on; maybe it will become clearer or, more likely, irrelevant to his manifesto.


Epiphileon
Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 9:22:48 AM

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FounDit wrote:
Jaynes, p. 21
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, [i]all of these statements are false[/i](emphasis mine).

He calls all this false, sets about to prove it, but by p. 30, has, in my opinion, failed to prove it.

Well by page 30 he hasn't covered them all yet, and I don't know where he is going with the portion I underlined, I think he got carried away there because I do not remember him proposing that it was anywhere else. I do not understand how you think he has not shown, that consciousness is not the defining characteristic of all our waking states though, I know I've had plenty of experiences where later I had no conscious recollection of performing them. As Marrissa related her experience, driving while deep in thought is a good example. I believe his point here is to dissuade us of assumptions about consciousness that are not entirely true, not that they are not true sometimes.

p. 22

We have for example the phrase "to lose consciousness” after receiving a blow on the head. But if this were correct, we would then have no word for those somnambulistic states known in the clinical literature where an individual is clearly not conscious and yet is responsive to things in a way in which a knocked-out person is not.

Apple and oranges. If a somnambulist is struck on the head hard enough to cause unconsciousness, it is doubtful he will then get up and perform actions that might ordinarily qualify as somnambulistic.
Furthermore, if "loss of consciousness" means the loss of "awareness of self", then the somnambulist qualifies as he will not be aware of his actions any more than a dreamer necessarily remembers his dreams.

Ah but a dreamer does sometimes remember his dreams, and a lucid dreamer even directs them, and both experience awareness of self within those dreams, but if we insist on the traditional usage of the word, then we have a real dilemma, for clearly the person is asleep. That is all I think he was trying to point out with this analogy, and that the two states are indeed apples and oranges.
p. 22

This distinction is also important in normal everyday life. We are constantly reacting to things without being conscious of them at the time. Sitting against a tree, I am always reacting to the tree and to the ground and to my own posture, since if I wish to walk, I will quite unconsciously stand up from the ground to do so.

A poor analogy here. Yes, he can do this, after years of experience and practice. Observe a child of, say, 15 months attempting to do it. He seems to be saying that unless one is "focused" on a particular action or thought, then that is not consciousness.

I disagree. I think our consciousness is so adept and refined that it can carry out many tasks simultaneously. We can only "focus" on one thing at a time, but we can perform many things at a time once learned e.g. walking, talking, thinking, avoiding objects in our path, to name but a few.
Sure but the point is we are no longer conscious of them, and indeed in the case of walking, we are not at all consciously aware of having learned to do that, and in fact couldn't possibly explain how we do it, if we tried.

Epiphileon
Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 9:44:13 AM

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intelfam wrote:
I am struggling with issues like JackH and FounDit.
Jaynes seems to keep shifting the goalposts - well, more like moving the flag about on the golf tee. Can someone precis what he's saying for me. One minute I think I've got it, like the bird bit, where we are doing something with full attention, but can "without consciously realising it", swing into a sort of pre-programmed "movement in corner of eye, lift head and look, no danger, back to business" sort of way. In this sense he appears to be building an argument that much of what we call conscious action, is in fact, clever examples of "unthinking", conditioned (or inherited) patterns of behaviour - that we could go through life in a totally unreflecting way.
Well as a matter of fact, much later in the book he claims that homo-sapians did exactly that until about relatively recently, that is whole point to bicamerality. Please remember I am dubious about his claims of the bicameral stage of mental development in the species, as I said it has some compelling aspects, but some very problematic ones as well, but that comes later.
He seems to be crossing from consciousness meaning "being conscious" i.e. alert reflective and focussed - to "being conscious" as just "not unconscious". The latter requires no need for being conscious of consciousness at all.
This is exactly what he is trying to draw the distinction between, that you can be alert and reactive, without necessarily being reflective.
Epiphileon
Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 10:13:00 AM

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Marissa La Faye Isolde wrote:
It seems that Janes is telling us in chapter one, that what he told us in the first few paragraphs or pages of the introduction, is not true. It seems like he started out with this beautiful description of what consciousness is, and then tells us it is all a mirage within ourselves, and reduces consciousness to what we are giving our attention to.
No Marissa, in those first few paragraphs he is describing the subjective experience of consciousness, what it seems like, and no I do not agree that he reduces it to that level, for behind all other things consciousness may do, there is this, the "I" of mind, that must be the beginning of any definition of modern human consciousness.

This is a curious thought to me. Many, many, times, I have driven my car without consciously thinking about it, and arrived at my destination--and often times, someplace I have never been before--and wondered how I possibly could have done it because I was so deep in thought about something else [i]in my mind[/i], to the degree that I had no recollection of driving at all. So, did I stop at lights and makes turns and speed up and slow down and put my blinkers on and turn signals and follow road sighns [i][i]all [/i][/i]without thinking about it? Did I actually drive and arrive where I wanted to be without having some kind of subconscious "awareness" of what I was doing, without having made any driving decisions?
Yes you certainly did drive there, doing all the things you said, but obviously without being consciously aware of them, you reacted to the environment in an adaptive way according to skills you have learned.
Was my only real "consciousness" what I was thinking about, which wasn't at all about my driving?
What you were thinking about was what consciousness was attending to, the rest was on autopilot.

What was my reality? hmmm, well four different philosophers would give you four different answers to that one, me I'd say there is only one reality and you were behaving within it. ;)

I haven't completed reading chapter one yet, and perhaps I am speaking too soon; but by reducing consciousness [i]only [/i]to a direct stimulus seems far too simplistic...and I want to say: ridiculous!

Perhaps in an attempt to understand consciousness, Janes is trying to break consciousness down into something very basic that can be dissected and understood and verified by scientific means. I am not saying that what I have thus far read, that consciousness in someways works like this, but surely this is only a particle of what consciousness is.
I do not think Jaynes is reducing consciousness in any way at all, the phenomenon of "the I of mind", is irreducibly amazing, even if it's not all we thought it was, in fact many of the things we thought were aspects of it are fairly mundane feats of mentality, when compared to that most amazing of brain feats.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 10:35:42 AM

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Epi,

I will use just this last part of my post and your response as I think it is representative of the question.

Quote from Jaynes:
This distinction is also important in normal everyday life. We are constantly reacting to things without being conscious of them at the time. Sitting against a tree, I am always reacting to the tree and to the ground and to my own posture, since if I wish to walk, I will quite unconsciously stand up from the ground to do so.

My Response:
A poor analogy here. Yes, he can do this, after years of experience and practice. Observe a child of, say, 15 months attempting to do it. He seems to be saying that unless one is "focused" on a particular action or thought, then that is not consciousness.

I disagree. I think our consciousness is so adept and refined that it can carry out many tasks simultaneously. We can only "focus" on one thing at a time, but we can perform many things at a time once learned e.g. walking, talking, thinking, avoiding objects in our path, to name but a few.

Your answer:
Sure but the point is we are no longer conscious of them, and indeed in the case of walking, we are not at all consciously aware of having learned to do that, and in fact couldn't possibly explain how we do it, if we tried.


As I said above, we can "focus" on only one thing at a time, but can do something like drive a car without conscious effort. Are you then saying this is not consciousness? That only "focus" is consciousness?

If so, I could agree in this way. Actions such as this did not spring forth unpracticed. Everything had to first be learned through a sometimes arduous process. Simply because we are now practiced at something and do not have to "focus" to accomplish it, does not, in my mind, translate into non-consciousness. All wakeful states are conscious states, whether we are focused on any particular thing or not. Consciousness seems to be built upon a series of "focused" states. If we are simply "alert and reactive" as you mentioned to Intelfam, then we are not any different than other creatures around us.

Also, notice that the only reason given for not recalling the drive is the fact that one is "focused" on something else at the time. Therefore, again, we have two states of mind present at the same time as I pointed out in the above paragraph: the thing "focused" upon and all other sensory inputs being utilized that have been habituated from past "focused" moments.

Consciousness, therefore consists of the ability to focus inwardly, to learn from that focus and then build upon those memories. I find myself entering into the first stages of a detailed definition I have of consciousness here, but said I would hold off on putting forth until a later time.


Epiphileon
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 6:18:58 AM

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okay this is another general post, as when I'm thinking about the issues being raised during the day, I don't have the individual posts in front of me, and I think there are still some commonalities to the confusions being posted.
First; in the opening paragraphs, Jaynes makes it clear what "consciousness" he is talking about, i.e. "The I of Mind", perhaps not directly but majorly by implication in my opinion. He is talking about the ability to introspect and gives a rather eloquent description of what the subjective experience of consciousness is like. That's all. So far the only thing we have heard from Jaynes, is that consciousness is "the awareness of self." That is what is different about modern human consciousness, and that alone is what he intends to be talking about. Being awake is not unique to mankind, attending to things is not unique to mankind, what is unique to mankind is the perception of self. If you think about it saying that consciousness focuses on anything is redundant, consciousness is aware of what it is aware of, if you want to say that is consciousness attending to something, okay I can go with that, but what it is not attending to it is not conscious of, and is not consciousness, and therefor is not conscious in this sense of the word.

No one has yet to address the points I brought up in my two previous general posts concerning the problem of subjectivity, and I highly suspect at this point that there is where the problems lie.
What Jaynes is now doing, is something that probably only a long arduous journey of addressing the issue allowed him to come to be able to do, turn an objectively analytical cross examination upon consciousness.
Remember there are those who think it is ludicrous to think we can know anything objective about consciousness at all, since it is the very essence of subjectivity, but then there are people who don't think we went to the moon either. We actually have the ability to appraise consciousness, we've only been after it for a couple thousand years, we have made some progress. We even have devised empirical tests to demonstrate that consciousness is not, many of the things we may have thought, the previously cited video by Daniel Dennett, demonstrated a few of these, Jaynes will cite a few more, and there are many, many more.

There are difficulties, potentially severe difficulties, to being objective about consciousness. First of all it is an act contrary to its very nature. Our entire experiential history with it, which by the way accounts for our entire experiential history, we have taken for granted that we knew what it was, how could we not? To our knowledge, it has always been there. We have a lifetime of presumed preconceived notions, or actively constructed notions, these are not easily questioned. It is more than a willingness to be objective, it takes a concerted effort to do so. A willingness to call into question assumptions about the deepest characteristics of our very selves. This may just meet with a wee bit of resistance.

This is a very straight forward argument, if you stick to the definition of modern consciousness being the awareness of self
I have driven ten miles
I am not aware of having driven those ten miles
I was not conscious of driving those ten miles.

Yes, consciousness may have been involved in learning the task, but it clearly was not present during the performance of the task in this instance.

So ask yourself what may be standing in the way of seeing this? A lifetime's worth of assumption is not easily seen around, it will take a concerted effort to set it aside, there is no doubt it will be uncomfortable, but, there is also no doubt that if you don't, none of what Jaynes says in this entire chapter is going to make sense. You don't have to change your mind, but I would submit that without at least suspending your beliefs, these arguments of Jaynes' are not going to make any sense.
Please keep this in mind, these arguments all appear to be assailing the presumed nature of the very self, but if the presumed nature is wrong, then there is no attack, just an investigation for understanding, and understanding a phenomenon brings enhanced ability with that phenomenon.



intelfam
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 7:37:25 AM
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Epiphileon wrote:

No one has yet to address the points I brought up in my two previous general posts concerning the problem of subjectivity, and I highly suspect at this point that there is where the problems lie.



Sorry Epi, I thought that you were side-lining this to your separate thread on defence mechanisms - that's why I was puzzled by your not following through over there.

Epiphileon
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 7:42:50 AM

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No sweat Intel, I was just sidelining the issue of defense mechanisms, not the problem of subjectivity.
The defense mechanism thread is now stalled because I think we need to get through this chapter, in order for me to say anything else about what I meant, and have any basis for discussion.
Ray41
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 8:01:50 AM

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Epi wrote:
This is a very straight forward argument, if you stick to the definition of modern consciousness being the awareness of self
I have driven ten miles
I am not aware of having driven those ten miles
I was not conscious of driving those ten miles.
Yes, consciousness may have been involved in learning the task, but it clearly was not present during the performance of the task in this instance.


I have been ploughing in paddocks(fields) that were so big that in a 15 hour day I would only do 4 circuits(plough widths).
This would go on for up to a month,7 days a week,in temps of over 100*F, so, sleep deprivation kicked in fairly quick. I can, on numerous occasions, not remembering ploughing up the straights, would wake up just as the tractor approaches the corner, I would turn the corner and then not remember a thing until the tractor again approached the next corner. I never missed a turn,and the furrows were always straight. The only explanation that I could come up with at the time was that it was the 'feel' of what the tractor was doing was being fed back to my subconscious mind.Think
What was allowing me to 'sleep' but still maintain complete control of the tractor?

I have also driven some prodigious distances, yet, I can not recall having been through some major towns en-route, even though my driving was unaffected. I regularly covered the 740 miles between two properties in ten hours, so, my mind had to be focused on driving[I would not be here otherwise.Think ]
The trouble is that as I get older I find that I am doing things automatically, not be able to recall doing them, and having to go back and check.Anxious For example, I lock the doors at night, I know that I have done it,but, because I cannot recall doing it I have to check to reassure myself.[and NO, I don't have obsessive compulsion disorder]. Old timers disease maybeShhh

I have been trying to follow this thread, but, must admit, there are times when I cannot make head nor tail of what Jaynes is trying to achieve as he weaves his thoughts in and out of a pattern only he seems to grasp. It is almost like he is planting a seed, but, even he is not sure what will grow?
Regards 'perception of self' being unique to mankind, makes me think just what definition of 'perception' is being used?
When we see the intricate mating rituals of ,say, birds, and observe the way that the male preens and struts in order to impress the female, then we cannot say that he does not have some perception of what, or why, he is doing it. The same applies to nearly all species in various degrees.
Oh, just another dumb question, but, how do we define 'exactly/precisely' what is 'The I of mind"?
Just my take on things to this point.
Epiphileon
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 8:16:43 AM

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Ray41 wrote:

Oh, just another dumb question, but, how do we define 'exactly/precisely' what is 'The I of mind"?
[/color]

The sense of "Rayness" that pervades your entire experiential history, you're ability to say, "I think; therefore, I am."

Your ploughing story is the most extreme example I have ever heard of, but I would contest the notion that you were technically in a state that would be considered completely asleep, particularly since the lines stayed straight, I have never ploughed a field so I really can not say with authority, but I doubt very much you could do that by feel. Certainly there is no way you would have known when to return to consciousness in order to reverse direction. Try it blindfolded sometime.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2011 12:03:45 PM

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Epiphileon wrote:
Ray41 wrote:

Oh, just another dumb question, but, how do we define 'exactly/precisely' what is 'The I of mind"?
[/color]

The sense of "Rayness" that pervades your entire experiential history, you're ability to say, "I think; therefore, I am."

Your ploughing story is the most extreme example I have ever heard of, but I would contest the notion that you were technically in a state that would be considered completely asleep, particularly since the lines stayed straight, I have never ploughed a field so I really can not say with authority, but I doubt very much you could do that by feel. Certainly there is no way you would have known when to return to consciousness in order to reverse direction. Try it blindfolded sometime.



Ray41's ploughing (plowing-AE) example is similar to the driving experience described by him and marissa. As I've done the same, I understand exactly what he is talking about. This is what I referred to in my last post: "Therefore, again, we have two states of mind present at the same time as I pointed out in the above paragraph: the thing "focused" upon and all other sensory inputs being utilized that have been habituated from past "focused" moments."

It seems to me we have a couple of possible states of mind we are talking about here:

1. A state that is one of being alert and reactive, but without a sense of the "I" of the mind; a state much like that of any other creature on the planet.

2. A state of mind that incorporates the "I" of the mind that can focus inwardly, examine thoughts and ideas, and learn from them.

3. A state of mind that, having learned certain facts, practices and actions, can perform them without the "I" of the mind being called upon (habit).

Therefore, it seems to me that Epi, Jaynes, and Dennitt are calling only #2 consciousness; that although states #2 & #3 are present, if the "I" of the mind is not being utilized, then whatever is taking place is not conscious(ness).

The question then becomes whether or not we accept this definition of consciousness. At this point, it isn't a problem for me.





Ray41
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 12:16:09 AM

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Epi wrote:
Your ploughing story is the most extreme example I have ever heard of, but I would contest the notion that you were technically in a state that would be considered completely asleep, particularly since the lines stayed straight, I have never ploughed a field so I really can not say with authority, but I doubt very much you could do that by feel. Certainly there is no way you would have known when to return to consciousness in order to reverse direction. Try it blindfolded sometime.


Had this all answered, went to preview it, and, it disappearedBrick wall

Epi,I know that this may sound extreme, but, I have spoken to others who experienced the exact same thing. We were using one-way disc ploughs and the tractor wheel sat in the furrow left by the previous circuit. We were going around and around, not up and down as when you plough in strips with a mould-board.
This was in the 60's and we would eat, drink and pee without stopping. After 15 hours we refuelled,then serviced the tractor and plough, so, by the time we got back to the house and had a shower and a meal we were lucky to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep. With night temps still in the low 90's+ often it was not a good sleep.

To perform the task blindfolded would not duplicate what I described. Yes, I could keep the tractor ploughing straight, but, I would be awake and very aware/anxious as to where I needed to take off the blindfold in order to turn the corner.
I would be in a completely different state of consciousness to the one which I have described previously.


Some how, the word 'zone' keeps pervading my thoughts, as in, was I in a form of zone?Think

People sleepwalk, perform tasks, do not injure themselves, or bump into things, yet, they have no recall whatsoever. Is this another form of consciousness??

Today's broad acre cropping farmers sit in A/C cabs on 300+hp tractors pulling multiple hitched ploughs and complete in an hour what took us at least 10, so, we no longer get the same situation.[plus they now have GPS, so could go to sleep, and the tractor would complete the paddock and turn itself off!!!]


Why is it that when you lose a post the rewrite never sounds as 'correct' as the 'original'?Brick wall
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 3:38:38 AM

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Ray41 wrote:


Epi,I know that this may sound extreme, but, I have spoken to others who experienced the exact same thing.
Good day Ray I was by no means dismissing or demeaning it, I was actually pretty amazed. I have only one experience like that that stands out. I was in the middle of a fairly common 600 mile drive, and drove my Cougar about 100 miles at about 70 mph on a New England interstate highway, before "waking up" in the middle of Hartford, Connecticut in morning rush hour.

Why is it that when you lose a post the rewrite never sounds as 'correct' as the 'original'?Brick wall
What browser do you use? I used to make myself do anything but short posts in a word processor, then copy and paste them but, Firefox has me spoiled again, it doesn't seem to loose them.
JackH
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 8:51:53 AM
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[quote=Epiphileon][quote=intelfam]I am struggling with issues like JackH and FounDit.
Jaynes seems to keep shifting the goalposts - well, more like moving the flag about on the golf tee. Can someone precis what he's saying for me. One minute I think I've got it, like the bird bit, where we are doing something with full attention, but can "without consciously realising it", swing into a sort of pre-programmed "movement in corner of eye, lift head and look, no danger, back to business" sort of way. In this sense he appears to be building an argument that much of what we call conscious action, is in fact, clever examples of "unthinking", conditioned (or inherited) patterns of behaviour - that we could go through life in a totally unreflecting way.



Well, that's kind of what I was talking about. While dealing with what it is NOT, Jaynes seems to be shifting between several presumed meanings of consciousness. And in nowhere in the assigned part of chapter one have i seen him use the term to mean the I of the mind, as Epi proposed. Does the athlete being conscious, or unconscious, of putting one leg before the other have anything to do with the subjectivity, for example?

The approach of looking at what it is not first seemed to work for me at first. But when you think about, you still need a working definition of consciousness in order to make the call that certain phenomena cannot be mistaken for it.

Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 8:57:22 AM

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Where I think it is directly implied Jack is in the first and third paragraph of the introduction.
JackH
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 9:14:17 AM
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Epiphileon wrote:
Where I think it is directly implied Jack is in the first and third paragraph of the introduction.


Yes, Epi. Then in chapter one, not all examples he uses are consistent with the same implied definition.
JackH
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 9:29:46 AM
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Epiphileon wrote:
Certainly there is no way you would have known when to return to consciousness in order to reverse direction. Try it blindfolded sometime.


Again, this seems to imply that you have to be conscious in order to reverse direction. By saying this, we take conscious to mean the same as awake and walk away from the defintion of consciousness being the I of the mind. If consciousness is something unique about humans than it cannot be the same as awake simply because awake happens to most, if not all, living things.
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 1:36:24 PM

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JackH wrote:
Epiphileon wrote:
Certainly there is no way you would have known when to return to consciousness in order to reverse direction. Try it blindfolded sometime.


Again, this seems to imply that you have to be conscious in order to reverse direction. By saying this, we take conscious to mean the same as awake and walk away from the defintion of consciousness being the I of the mind. If consciousness is something unique about humans than it cannot be the same as awake simply because awake happens to most, if not all, living things.


Well that is exactly what I was saying, or meant to say, that he was awake but consciousness, in the sense of "the I of mind" was not active.
There is no doubt that the word can be used, and probably always will be primarily used in the sense of "being awake". But if we intend to address the issue at hand, that which does mark us as different from perhaps all other life on Earth, that "I of mind", or that sense of yournameness that you recall for all of your experiential history, we can either, for the sake of discussion say that is what we mean by "consciousness", or we can be saddled with bulkier, more awkward phrases. And yes Jack I agree that the explanations of this are beginning to confuse the issue, I think more than the text did.


Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 7:16:27 PM

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Nov.6-Nov.13
Chapter 1
pages 30.25 thru 47
JackH
Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:11:48 AM
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Epiphileon wrote:
Nov.6-Nov.13
Chapter 1
pages 30.25 thru 47


Jaynes wrote:

Learning is learning is better described as organic rather than conscious. Consciousness takes you to the task, giving you the goal to be reached. But from then, it is as if learning is done for you.

I can't help but remember the DreamWork animation Kung Fu Panda, where Mater Shifu said to the panda, "When you focus on kongfu, you stink." Shifu ends up getting to his pupil through food. Ha ha..
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 1:42:16 PM

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Jaynes
P. 33


As we saw earlier in the performance of skills, (I hardly consider reflex actions of Pavlovian conditioning as “skills”.) so in the learning of skills, consciousness is indeed like a helpless spectator, having little to do.

A simple experiment will demonstrate this fact. Take a coin in each hand and toss them both, crossing them in the air in such a way that each coin is caught by the opposite hand. This you can learn in a dozen trials. As you do, ask, are you conscious of everything you, or Is consciousness necessary at all? I think you will find that learning is much better described as being Organic5 rather than conscious. Consciousness takes you into the task, giving you the goal to be reached. But from then on, apart perhaps from fleeting neurotic concerns about your abilities at such tasks, it is as if the learning is done for you.

This simple experiment only proves that years of eye-hand co-ordination by an adult makes learning this simple test easier. Let a 2 year old try it and see how easy it is for him to learn it.

I find Jaynes’s simple-minded examples annoying. He attempts to prove a point by using modern human adults, possessing consciousness and years of experience, as (eventual) proxies for earlier humans.

He attempts the same in the following paragraphs using the example of typing. I can not believe he says consciousness (the “I” of the mind) is not present in learning this skill. Consciousness takes you into the task, giving you the goal to be reached. But from then on, apart perhaps from fleeting neurotic concerns about your abilities at such tasks, it is as if the learning is done for you. And one sentence later: The learning of complex skills is no different in this respect.

I recall learning how to type, and it was not done for me! I learned on an old mechanical Underwood, and it took months of concentrated practice, because I had to pound the hell out of those keys to make them work properly.

As with any repetitive task, our minds create neural pathways that make the task easier, once learned. Using focus after that does make the task difficult because we are using different pathways, and a different focus.

I do not, however, consider this "unfocused" performance as having nothing to do with consciousness, because consciousness was absolutely necessary for the initial learning of the task. It has simply become a different level of consciousness.

It should be obvious that we possess different levels of consciousness by now. I do not accept the idea that we have only one, as Jaynes seems to be attempting to have us to believe.

I didn't get very far into the reading this time before becoming annoyed, did I? I try to remain objective and neutral, but an analogy that offends my sense of reason and logic stabs me like a thorn. I re-read it over a couple of days just to make sure I'm reading what I think I understood, and each time I can find no other understanding. That's when I really get annoyed at him and remember that saying by Dorothy Parker:

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.


Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 5:32:18 PM

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FounDit wrote:
Jaynes
P. 33


As we saw earlier in the performance of skills, (I hardly consider reflex actions of Pavlovian conditioning as “skills”.) (I believe he is referring to last weeks reading and the many skills he pointed out there, in which consciousness was either not necessary, or would get in the way of the skills performance)so in the learning of skills, consciousness is indeed like a helpless spectator, having little to do.

A simple experiment will demonstrate this fact. Take a coin in each hand and toss them both, crossing them in the air in such a way that each coin is caught by the opposite hand. This you can learn in a dozen trials. As you do, ask, are you conscious of everything you, or Is consciousness necessary at all? I think you will find that learning is much better described as being Organic5 rather than conscious. Consciousness takes you into the task, giving you the goal to be reached. But from then on, apart perhaps from fleeting neurotic concerns about your abilities at such tasks, it is as if the learning is done for you.

This simple experiment only proves that years of eye-hand co-ordination by an adult makes learning this simple test easier. Let a 2 year old try it and see how easy it is for him to learn it.
So you think at some point extremity to eye coordination required conscious intervention? I'll admit that Jaynes perhaps makes his examples too simple, and he makes a classic mistake of someone long immersed in an issue, of presuming too much shared knowledge in his illustrations, sometimes; however if you wish to make the case that extremity-eye coordination requires consciousness, then how do all those earlier life forms prove so adept at it, for instance Peregrine falcons catching prey in the air? Seals bouncing balls on their noses? And back to humans, what about infants learning to walk?

I find Jaynes’s simple-minded examples annoying. (Why? Could this not be some of the type of defensiveness I attempted to address in my general comments posts?) He attempts to prove a point by using modern human adults, possessing consciousness and years of experience, as (eventual) proxies for earlier humans.
What he does, or does not "eventually" do with this part of the discussion has no bearing on its validity. He is not discussing ancient consciousness at this point at all, so are you actually reacting to what he says later? Most of what he covers in this part of this chapter is actually not controversial at all to my knowledge, it is born out by tons of research.
He attempts the same in the following paragraphs using the example of typing. I can not believe he says consciousness (the “I” of the mind) is not present in learning this skill. Consciousness takes you into the task, giving you the goal to be reached. But from then on, apart perhaps from fleeting neurotic concerns about your abilities at such tasks, it is as if the learning is done for you. And one sentence later: The learning of complex skills is no different in this respect.

I recall learning how to type, and it was not done for me! I learned on an old mechanical Underwood, and it took months of concentrated practice, because I had to pound the hell out of those keys to make them work properly.
I learned on some sort of manual typewriter, I forget which, but I would submit that you consider, what if all consciousness did was provide the reward for successful stimulus response pairings? That is, as far a the actual mechanics of typing were concerned. I don't know that typing is best example he could have used, but what about the constrained word parings that he extensively detailed, clearly totally unconscious learning occurred?

As with any repetitive task, our minds create neural pathways that make the task easier, once learned. Using focus after that does make the task difficult because we are using different pathways, and a different focus. This is an excellent point, and I believe entirely accurate. But the first part is true of monkeys as well, I don't think they are bothered by the second part.

I do not, however, consider this "unfocused" performance as having nothing to do with consciousness, because consciousness was absolutely necessary for the initial learning of the task. It has simply become a different level of consciousness.
It should be obvious that we possess different levels of consciousness by now. Why? Why should anything about an entirely subjective experience be obvious, why should it not all be first held in doubt? I do not accept the idea that we have only one, as Jaynes seems to be attempting to have us to believe.

I didn't get very far into the reading this time before becoming annoyed, did I? I try to remain objective and neutral, but an analogy that offends my sense of reason and logic stabs me like a thorn. I re-read it over a couple of days just to make sure I'm reading what I think I understood, and each time I can find no other understanding. That's when I really get annoyed at him and remember that saying by Dorothy Parker:

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
Well then by all means do so FounDit, but on many of these points to which you object so vehemently, they are not Jaynes' ideas alone. I am not trying to be contentious FounDit, I really hope that you will reconsider, and attempt to set aside the bias that has apparently formed against these ideas, if there is a logical argument against what he is saying about the limitations of consciousness I would be glad to hear it; however most of what I've heard here is an emotional argument. What he says later in the book I have some pretty sharp disagreements with as well. However what he says here is by no means novel, and these issues are widely discussed among investigators into the nature of consciousness at all levels.

FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:00:37 AM

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Epi:

I wrote a long and, I felt, logical response to each point in your post, but decided not to post it. To do so seems to be more argumentative than a worthwhile pursuit, and I have no desire to be contentious.

I find myself disagreeing with Jaynes at nearly every turn he makes, and attempting to convince you of the why. It seems like a divergence that is unnecessary.

Quite simply, at this point, I would rather have a dialectic among the denizens of TFD on the subject of consciousness than to continue with what Jaynes thinks. I believe we, having some knowledge and experience on the subject, can offer opinions that, at the least, carry weight equal to those of the author.

While we may never come to an agreement on exactly what consciousness is or how it came about, neither can anyone else. It would, however, be an enjoyable exercise, I believe; much better than gnawing and snarling at each other over a 30 year old carcass (literary license).

This would, in my opinion, accomplish your primary goal, that of a discussion of the subject, while avoiding the unhappy state of any one of us having to defend or hold forth a particular author or viewpoint on the subject (other than our own). We all have an equal voice, opinion, and thought on the matter here on the forum, without having to put them up against some outside measurement (not that that is what we're doing).

Should you desire to continue on with the book, it is likely I won't post much, if at all, so as not to be a distraction to the discussion, though will likely follow along just out of curiosity.




Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2011 10:10:20 AM

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Well I'm sorry that I could not convince you to reappraise the issues of chapter one, like I pointed out these are not solely Jaynes' ideas, most of them are rather prevalent in experimental psych. research. His book is the first time I have seen them put forth as succinctly and covering the whole range of mental behaviors that are subject to occurring without conscious participation.

What you propose as a dialectic, would I suppose be interesting; however, as far as I'm concerned non productive and would result in a purely philosophical exercise.

One of my points about this book was that it represents one of the first attempts to address the issue scientifically, yes it is 30 years old, and although the theory of bicameralism may have more holes in it than Swiss cheese, the independent issues of this chapter continue to be studied to this day and are extremely relevant to furthering any objective understanding of consciousness.

I do not at all agree that consciousness is beyond the purview of scientific investigation, and inroads to explaining exactly what it is at the physiological level have definitely been made, as the technology gets better and more affordable, there is no doubt that one day we will know the physiological substrate of consciousness as we currently do the immune system.

There is an outside measure that I attempt to adhere to in such discussions, the principles of scientific investigation which are evidentially based. Evidence can be challenged, methodology can be reviewed, conclusions can be questioned; however in the end, if these are all satisfactory, then the information obtained has authority. This is not true of opinions, there are no requirements to opinions other than subjective appraisal on the part of an individual, who indeed, has every right to form one. The fashion industry depends on this, science can not.

None of this means that I think we will ever have a science of consciousness, in the same way we have a science of chemistry, in fact I think that quite impossible. However, as long as consciousness is viewed as a naturally occurring phenomenon, a product of evolutionary processes, and the physiology of the brain, it is subject to scientific investigation, and there may indeed be agreement on what it is at the behavioral level for the purpose of that investigation. So one of the purposes of this thread was not merely a discussion of consciousness, but one constrained as noted. Nearly all of the various limitations Jaynes proposes in this chapter are to some degree evidentially based, not opinion, and even when that evidence is entirely a subjective report of the experience of consciousness, as in the section on "Consciousness not necessary for thinking", they are the reports of other scientists, not Jaynes.

I have not said all this to be contentious FounDit but I felt that some answer had to be made to your personal arguments for dismissal, lest they be generalized. I truly appreciate that if you disagree with the very basis of a discussion that you bow out, rather than be disruptive.

GabhSigenod
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2011 9:17:17 AM

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Now, Now. Let us not resort to an affaire d'honneur.
FounDit
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2011 9:54:20 AM

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GabhSigenod wrote:
Now, Now. Let us not resort to an affaire d'honneur.



No danger of that Gab, since no one's honor has been impugned. Two gentlemen simply agree to disagree, yet remain on friendly terms.

GabhSigenod
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 10:37:55 AM

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Thank you for the clarification, oh honorable FounDit.
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