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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" s.n.

Record type: Monograph (Project Report)

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.

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More information

Published date: 2008
Keywords: language, writing, computations, web, Turing Test, mind
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 266603
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/266603
PURE UUID: c0e42c9d-11cc-4661-a054-1a5d84c67f0f

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Aug 2008 00:08
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 07:14

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Contributors

Author: Stevan Harnad

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