Philosopher Keith Frankish melds linguist Daniel Dor’s ideas with philosopher Daniel Dennett’s to come up with a revealingly circular theory of the jump from animal to human by wholly natural means:
How did the hearers [of someone pretending to be yesterday’s wolf] “imagine” anything? And “language”? Where did they get language, which is full of abstractions? In fact, to talk to oneself, as Frankish suggests, following Dennett, one constantly makes use of abstractions.
Abstractions are a critical part of the very mental endowment whose origin we are trying to explain. So this origin of consciousness story turns out to be hopelessly circular.
Of course, if we already have consciousness, we can always generate more of it. But we can’t generate a credible account of the origin of consciousness that way.
This problem is pervasive. Earlier, Frankish explained that Dennett accounts for consciousness as “a temporary level of organisation—a ‘virtual system’—that we create for ourselves through certain learned habits of self-stimulation.” But what are the concepts “we,” “ourselves,” and “self-” even doing in this discussion? If consciousness is an illusion, these concepts are illusions that cannot create anything.Denyse O’Leary, “Did the human mind originate in telling ourselves stories?” at Mind Matters News
It’ll get crazier now that we are in the world of 2 + 2 = systemic oppression.
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Has science shown that consciousness is only an illusion? Using clever analogies, Philosopher Daniel Dennett argues that consciousness is all smoke and mirrors (Denyse O’Leary)
Neuroscientist Michael Graziano should meet the p-zombie. To understand consciousness, we need to establish what it is not before we create any more new theories. (Michael Egnor)