First Person Singular: A review of Brian Rotman's "Becoming Beside Ourselves: Alphabet, ghosts, distributed human beings"


Harnad, Stevan (2008) First Person Singular: A review of Brian Rotman's "Becoming Beside Ourselves: Alphabet, ghosts, distributed human beings".

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Description/Abstract

Brian Rotman argues that (one) “mind” and (one) “god” are only conceivable, literally, because of (alphabetic) literacy, which allowed us to designate each of these ghosts as an incorporeal, speaker-independent “I” (or, in the case of infinity, a notional agent that goes on counting forever). I argue that to have a mind is to have the capacity to feel. No one can be sure which organisms feel, hence have minds, but it seems likely that one-celled organisms and plants do not, whereas animals do. So minds originated before humans and before language --hence, a fortiori, before writing, whether alphabetic or ideographic.

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Keywords: language, writing, computations, web, writing, Turing Test, mind
Divisions: Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science > Web & Internet Science
ePrint ID: 266603
Date :
Date Event
2008Published
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2008 00:08
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:13
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/266603

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