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Compose a 2750 words assignment on questions and problems related to the study of consciousness. Needs to be plagiarism free!
Compose a 2750 words assignment on questions and problems related to the study of consciousness. Needs to be plagiarism free! Yet it is hard to accept that so many—some reputedly great—minds have ruminated on the subject “in vain.” Does the study of consciousness present a fundamental evolutionary challenge for the human race? Is the task of unraveling the mystery of consciousness the final obstacle to a definitive understanding of the meaning of life? Or is it merely a waste of time? This essay attempts to review key developments in the study of consciousness, understand past and current theories, and identify directions for further investigations and projects.
According to Jaynes (1986), a record of conscious reflection first emerged around 600 B.C. with Solon, the Greek philosopher who coined the maxim: “Know thyself,” (also attributed to the Oracle of Delphi). Prior to that, Jaynes postulates that human populations, whose consciousness developed concomitantly with the evolution of language, typically showed evidence of what he calls the bicameral mind. Jaynes’s theory will be discussed in greater detail later, but it presents a tantalizing theoretical starting point for the history of the study of consciousness. Was consciousness never studied before around 1000 B.C. because it did not exist in its present form until then?
Witelson (1986) cites Howard Jones (1974) who “suggests that the Greek word phronesis representing inwardly conscious awareness was coined by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus in the 6th century B.C.” Similar developments in China have been studied by Michael Carr (Carr 1983, cited in Jaynes 1986) in a collection of ancient texts, the Shijing, where the internalization of certain words leads to the concept of mind or consciousness.
In the late seventeenth century, John Locke initiated the modern debate on consciousness, postulating in accordance with the principles of empiricism, that the mind is comparable to a blank page, a space with free-floating ideas, and copies of experiences (Jaynes 1986). Locke introduced the idea of personal identity with consciousness, “the perception of what passes in a Man’s own mind”, as a criterion, and opened the way for the first series of exchanges between scholars on consciousness between 1695 and 1740 (Fox cited by Holt 1999).