History of consciousness

It could also be due to the fact that english is a second language to me, but i think that your reply contains some grammatical errors, and is overall quite difficult to read..

That said, i do not think that anyone argued that you percieve other people's thoughts as what they really were in their own minds. It follows logic to suggest indeed that you would understand them according to your own already formed views, since there is no way of ever thinking something without having had the ability/tendancy to think it.
Infact Plotinus already had agreed that thoughts are something entirely private as far as their whole existence is concerned (i mean by that their entire image in the brain, whatever they are being made of), nomatter that it seems impossible for anyone to be able to break one's thoughts to the smallest particles they had been made of.

No one really, practically, appears to be much interested (and with good reason imo) in examining precicely in what his own thoughts would differ from the supposedly analogous thought (by which i mean a thought that would have been expressed in seemingly the same way) of another person. It is logical to assume that everyone thinks in an individual way.
It always seems much more interesting, at least to most people, to examine if they will the differences between one thought and one distinctively contrasted to it. That does not mean though that the differences end there.
 
It could also be due to the fact that english is a second language to me, but i think that your reply contains some grammatical errors, and is overall quite difficult to read..
No. You are quite right. I have made some errors on my grammar. It is quite perplexing for me to write in the manner of expressing myself in a 2nd person narrative or addressing someone in the 2nd person narrative and telling the person about what (if) of others in the 3rd person narrative while constructing it in the 1st person narrative.:crazyeye:

[ Sorry that I did not put a comma in that ]:crazyeye:

That said, i do not think that anyone argued that you percieve other people's thoughts as what they really were in their own minds. It follows logic to suggest indeed that you would understand them according to your own already formed views, since there is no way of ever thinking something without having had the ability/tendancy to think it.
The problem of understanding other people is another thing to look at as well. Is it true that whenever a person have a certain degree of understanding another person ,who happens to have their own set of understanding another, it becomes the difference of understanding of those two people sharing the same language of understanding?

Infact Plotinus already had agreed that thoughts are something entirely private as far as their whole existence is concerned (i mean by that their entire image in the brain, whatever they are being made of)
What make you think that the image is not outside of the brain or under it or over it?;)

nomatter that it seems impossible for anyone to be able to break one's thoughts to the smallest particles they had been made of.
Thoughts having particles? Are you saying the case that, what I percieve inwardly, is merely a number of particles that i am reflecting on?

No one really, practically, appears to be much interested (and with good reason imo) in examining precicely in what his own thoughts would differ from the supposedly analogous thought (by which i mean a thought that would have been expressed in seemingly the same way) of another person.
That is the problem isn't it? That the reason why people do not appear to be interested in examining their own thoughts because of the restriction of our language that is not practical to everyone who thinks differently?

It is logical to assume that everyone thinks in an individual way.
It always seems much more interesting, at least to most people, to examine if they will the differences between one thought and one distinctively contrasted to it. That does not mean though that the differences end there.
True. And I have to say that it is my assumption to think logically that everyone do indeed think differently. It is just that we have to use our language in order to express it for everyone to understand it. There is no private language ; if there was so, then no one would understand each other at all unless we all acknowledge that we all think differently and allow each other the freedom to do express differently, whether if we, individually, can fully understand the expressions that is being omitted.
 
Hello friends! Reading Carl Jung's Man and his symbols lead me to think about human consciousness, mainly because he seems to think them as two manifestations of the same thing, not two different (though interacting) entities, and so one might think that the conscious self is build on the subconscious. While history doesn't cover the whole development of consciousness, it might give some light to most recent events of it. I came to think three examples:

1. The Dreamtime of Australian Aboriginals, which hints that they were some how closer to the unconscious parts of their mind, or maybe more open to accept it as a part of them.

2. Expert of Arab world Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila wrote somewhere that metaphors and allusions are much more important among Arabs than western people. Maybe this suggests that they have a different value for "logic" and "rationality".

3. Thought in medieval times and antiques seemed to be more "magical" than today. When "rational" thinking got the status it now has? What kind of events influenced it? I have also noticed while teaching mathematics that even modern adults are much less free from this "magical" thinking that western people like to think, and note that maths (including logic) is thought to be the heart of rationality. Or as an another example the concept of justice seems to be purely magical, and yet it is thought to be major part of societies. It seems that "rationality" is very recent part of human thought and people don't adhere it very consistently.

As you might have already noticed I'm no expert in history or psychology and my understanding of those examples is probably very shallow and wrong. That is the reason I'm asking your thoughts about them and the subject. Also I'm not saying that some cultures were better or more developed (in terms odf consciousness) than another, and even if they were, I don't think it should have any political implications. The reason words like "rationality" &c are in quotations is their vagueness, not that I would have some contempt towards the concepts. And yeah, please note that validity of Jung's thoughts isn't so important, I mentioned him just as a background story.

After all this blabbering: How do you think human consciousness has developed during the known history? Is there any evidence (hopefully from historcal era) speaking for different kind of conciousness than modern western? What events do you think are the most important in the development of consciousness?
If you define consciousness as the ability to process information, the the history of consciousness is the history of life's organisms ability to process information. The greater the ability, the more advanced the consciousness. Consciousness becomes a trait worth having and improving through evolution. All the philosophical silliness goes away. Can humans process more or different information now than they could 60,000 years ago? Probably not. Our capacity may not have changed, but what we process has. Of couse, under this model, all life has consciousness in varying degrees.
 
No. You are quite right. I have made some errors on my grammar. It is quite perplexing for me to write in the manner of expressing myself in a 2nd person narrative or addressing someone in the 2nd person narrative and telling the person about what (if) of others in the 3rd person narrative while constructing it in the 1st person narrative.:crazyeye:

Rather than trying to construct a "narrative", I wish you would just write naturally in the same way that you would speak (as the Plato quote in your sig would recommend), since I simply cannot understand a thing you said in your previous post.

Birdjaguar said:
If you define consciousness as the ability to process information...

That seems a poor definition, though. My computer processes information, but it doesn't follow from that that it's conscious. Surely consciousness must involve at least the ability to process information in a particular way. What that way is, however, is hard to pin down.
 
That seems a poor definition, though. My computer processes information, but it doesn't follow from that that it's conscious. Surely consciousness must involve at least the ability to process information in a particular way. What that way is, however, is hard to pin down.
Well that's easy.

The ability of one's brain to create frame of reference of oneself with what relate all important information received to and eventually identify oneself with particular bits of that information provided.

Computer cannot create frame of reference of oneself or identify itself with anything. It might require the understanding of it's enviroment and also the ability to identify things that are different and similar to this frame of reference.
 
Rather than trying to construct a "narrative", I wish you would just write naturally in the same way that you would speak
What make you think, that what I have I written, is not a true representation of how I speak?

(as the Plato quote in your sig would recommend),
Totally irrelevant to the subject of this thread. That brief excerpt of mine is something of the "origin of writing," not about consciousness.

since I simply cannot understand a thing you said in your previous post.
What is it, of what I have said, that you don't understand?:confused:
 
That seems a poor definition, though. My computer processes information, but it doesn't follow from that that it's conscious. Surely consciousness must involve at least the ability to process information in a particular way. What that way is, however, is hard to pin down.
Is consciousness active or passive? Does it do anything or is it just awareness of circumstances?

Let me, for the moment, ignore non living things (including computers). If consciousness is the ability to process information then it appears to be a property of life. It is in essence: part A of an organism communicating/cooperating with part B of the same organism. The communication results in an organism better able to adapt. Evolution would favor more complex processing (brains).

An amoeba has consciousness, as does a sunflower, cat, chimp and human. Albeit, they each have different levels of consciousness, but none-the-less, all do have some awareness. As life evolved into more and more complex creatures, the consciousness of individual cells has been, to some degree, subjugated to the more complex consciousness (information processing power) of a brain. Many smaller organism are needed, working for/against and in concert, etc. with other organisms, to create a larger more complicated organism.

This leads to the question of what is an organism. A huge percentage of the cells in our bodies are not us. They are independent organisms living within us. In many cases we need them. With others, if they get too expansive, we get sick. How do those cells fit in with our "humanness"?

Is an ant colony or bee hive an organism? is New York City an organism?

The information processing aspect of life (in fact all activity of all things at every level) is carried out at an atomic and sub atomic level. The inclusion of cybenetic processing as part of human information processing is not so far fetched. It is merely an external enhancement to what we already do internally and would imply that there might be a larger, more complex "organism" of which we are a part.


For the record: I am working with ideas presented by Robert Wright in Nonzero and trying to integrate them into my own thinking so all this is evolving as it goes along.
 
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