The Analog "I" and the Regular "I"

Discussion of Julian Jaynes's first hypothesis - that consciousness (as he carefully defines it) is based on language, and related topics.
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Dustin
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The Analog "I" and the Regular "I"

Post by Dustin »

I don't understand the difference between Jaynes's "analog I" and the regular I.

Surely people had a regular pronoun "I" during the bicameral period. What is the difference between this and the "analog I".
Jimbean
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Re: The Analog "I" and the Regular "I"

Post by Jimbean »

How do you know that ancients used "I"?

The ability to form analogies is a conscious trait.
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Re: The Analog "I" and the Regular "I"

Post by Moderator »

You can think of the analog "I" as similar to "the mind's eye" where you to imagine yourself doing things in various places. The evidence suggests that this was absent, or very limited, prior to 1200 B.C.

Some of the most interesting evidence for this comes from the first recorded dreams, which were nearly all visitation dreams, where a god, ghost, or ancestor visits the sleeper and issues a command.

Modern, conscious dreams, where we see ourselves engaged in various activities in different places, are a good indicator of an analog "I". This is consciousness operating during sleep. For the most part we do not see these types of dreams in the ancient world, or in children before a certain age.

See Jaynes's chapter on dreams in The Julian Jaynes Collection, Dreams and Experience in Classical Antiquity (Harris), and Children's Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness (Foulkes).
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Re: The Analog "I" and the Regular "I"

Post by Moderator »

** Restored post from JBrubaker after forum was restored from a backup. JBrubaker - please feel free to copy and repost under your username.**
"The mind's eye" where you imagine yourself doing things in various places.
When I dream, daydream, or plan some future action, I don't imagine myself doing something as though from an external camera, and see my body. I see as though through my eyes, my hands doing something, the surroundings in which I am.

Do others imagine a disembodied mind that observes oneself?

Related, I have never understood on a personal level the existence of multiple persons within the mind - people say "I am so mad at myself," "I couldn't control myself," as though there were two minds involved - the controller and the controlled. I have never experienced such a thing. People will say something to the effect that their conscience told them not to do something, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Is this a vestige of bicameralism? I don't seem to have a conscience as I understand it to be; I decide consciously what is right and wrong, and have no "little voice in my head" telling me what is right or wrong. Have I evolved past this - not physically, but mentally?

Somewhere in my studies, I have perused Freudian theory of Ego, Superego, and Id, but never gave it any credence - it sounds to me as pure hogwash, basically. Was Freud trying to implant the idea of bicameralism (or even tricameralism) in the public discourse?
JBrubaker
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Re: The Analog "I" and the Regular "I"

Post by JBrubaker »

Moderator wrote: Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:00 pm "the mind's eye" where you to imagine yourself doing things in various places.
When I dream, daydream, or plan some future action, I don't imagine myself doing something as though from an external camera, and see my body. I see as though through my eyes, my hands doing something, the surroundings in which I am.

Do others imagine a disembodied mind that observes oneself?

I would really appreciate someone responding to this, I have wondered about it all my life, but have been afraid of talking about it in person with anyone lest I appear mentally problematic.

Related, I have never understood on a personal level the existence of multiple persons within the mind - people say "I am so mad at myself," "I couldn't control myself," as though there were two minds involved - the controller and the controlled. I have never experienced such a thing. People will say something to the effect that their conscience told them not to do something, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Is this a vestige of bicameralism? I don't seem to have a conscience as I understand it to be; I decide consciously what is right and wrong, and have no "little voice in my head" telling me what is right or wrong. Have I evolved past this - not physically, but mentally?

Somewhere in my studies, I have perused Freudian theory of Ego, Superego, and Id, but never gave it any credence - it sounds to me as pure hogwash, basically. Was Freud trying to implant the idea of bicameralism (or even tricameralism) in the public discourse?
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