RE: Superconsciousness

From: Reason (
Date: Sun Nov 04 2001 - 23:16:30 MST

--> Robert J. Bradbury

> Phil Osborn wrote:
> > Jaynes work, however, appears to point at least in that direction, that
> > perhaps the "metaphorical" structure of consciousness which he describes
> > could in fact not only be radically different between different existing
> > individuals today on this planet, but might also redefine itself in
> > ways we literally cannot conceive of now, any more than his "bicameral"
> > human of ancient times could conceive of what we regard as
> consciousness now.
> While I'm not sure it is relevant to the conversation, if William Calvin
> is right about the evolution of viewing oneself as an actor in "imagined"
> actions as being important in the rehersal (and perfection) of hunting
> tasks (e.g. throwing), then it seems likely that "consciousness" evolved
> much earlier than Jayne's "bicameral" mind.
> I'm strongly suspicious that there may be a "continuum" of consciousness.
> There would be an evolutionary advantage to any preditor (lions, tigers,
> etc.) being able to mentally reherse its strategies for bringing down
> prey. In contrast, grazing animals don't gain much by rehersing which
> plants to eat. The trick that humans may have accomplished is being
> able to bring the rehersal up to the level of self-observation which
> may be associated with our ability to recognize ourselves in the mirror
> experiment.

Of note to that thought: the experiment involving cats in which the part of
the brain that stops voluntary muscle control while sleeping was disabled.
The cats then behaved and ran around as though chasing things while asleep,
seeming to indicating that dreaming was used in the rehearsal role above.


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