David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (2):217-239 (2011)
I respond to Ned Block’s claim that it is ridiculous to suppose that consciousness is a cultural construction based on language and learned in childhood. Block is wrong to dismiss social constructivist theories of consciousness on account of it being ludicrous that conscious experience is anything but a biological feature of our animal heritage, characterized by sensory experience, evolved over millions of years. By defending social constructivism in terms of both Julian Jaynes’ behaviorism and J.J. Gibson’s ecological psychology, I draw a distinction between the experience or what-it-is-like of nonhuman animals engaging with the environment and the secret theater of speechless monologue that is familiar to a linguistically competent human adult. This distinction grounds the argument that consciousness proper should be seen as learned rather than innate and shared with nonhuman animals. Upon establishing this claim, I defend the Jaynesian definition of consciousness as a social–linguistic construct learned in childhood, structured in terms of lexical metaphors and narrative practice. Finally, I employ the Jaynesian distinction between cognition and consciousness to bridge the explanatory gap and deflate the supposed hard problem of consciousness
|Keywords||Julian Jaynes Social–linguistic constructivism Consciousness Narrative Behaviorism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Bernard J. Baars (1997). In the Theater of Consciousness: The Workspace of the Mind. Oxford University Press.
Bernard J. Baars (2002). The Conscious Access Hypothesis: Origins and Recent Evidence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6 (1):47-52.
A. Baddeley (2000). The Episodic Buffer: A New Component of Working Memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (11):417-423.
Taylor Carman (2003). Heidegger's Analytic: Interpretation, Discourse, and Authenticity in Being and Time. Cambridge University Press.
David J. Chalmers (1995). Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness. Consciousness and Emotion in Cognitive Science: Conceptual and Empirical Issues 2 (3):200-19.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jan Sleutels (2006). Greek Zombies. Philosophical Psychology 19 (2):177-197.
Stanley A. Mulaik (1995). The Metaphoric Origins of Objectivity, Subjectivity, and Consciousness in the Direct Perception of Reality. Philosophy of Science 62 (2):283-303.
Julian Jaynes (1982). The Problem of Consciousness. In H. Mifflin (ed.), The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Routledge. 4--12.
Robert W. Lurz (1999). Animal Consciousness. Journal of Philosophical Research 24 (January):149-168.
Julian Jaynes (1976). The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Houghton Mifflin.
Ned Block (1999). Ridiculing Social Constructivism About Phenomenal Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):199-201.
Ned Block (2009). Comparing the Major Theories of Consciousness. In Michael Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences IV. 1111-1123.
R. H. Bradshaw (1998). Consciousness in Nonhuman Animals: Adopting the Precautionary Principle. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (1):108-14.
Adam Shriver & Colin Allen (2005). Consciousness Might Matter Very Much. Philosophical Psychology 18 (1):113-22.
Jakob Hohwy (2004). Evidence, Explanation, and Experience: On the Harder Problem of Consciousness. Journal of Philosophy 101 (5):242-254.
Uriah Kriegel (2004). Consciousness and Self-Consciousness. The Monist 87 (2):182-205.
David M. Rosenthal (2002). How Many Kinds of Consciousness? Consciousness and Cognition 11 (4):653-665.
Piotr Boltuc (2012). The Engineering Thesis in Machine Consciousness. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 16 (2):187-207.
Added to index2010-11-18
Total downloads125 ( #8,381 of 1,101,974 )
Recent downloads (6 months)46 ( #2,320 of 1,101,974 )
How can I increase my downloads?