The Analog "I" and the Regular "I"

Discussion of consciousness: what it is, what it isn't, Jaynes's ideas vs. other theorists, consciousness and language, studies of cognition in non-human species, etc.
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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".

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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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