[percy-l] Re:Seminal events of consciousness

James Piat piat1 at bellsouth.net
Tue Dec 31 22:54:56 EST 2002

Mike Frentz wrote:

>>(Deacon comes out strongly on the side of much of the animal "language" research (whether cetacean or primate) as being quixotic, at least in retrospect).>>

Dear Mike, Folks--

True enough, but Deacon also concludes on page 454:

"As we have seen, the symbolic threshold is not intrinsic to the human-nonhuman difference.  It is probably crossable to some extent in many different ways by many species.  This means that we are not the only species that could possess such a "pilgrim soul," to use William Butler Yeats's elegantly descriptive phrase.  It was  a Darwinian accident, or miracle, of nature that this ability arose once and persisted for so long; but it has provided each of us with the opportunity to participate in bringing new "souls" into the world, not by procreation, but by allowing our own symbolic selves to be shared by other human beings, and perhaps by other animals, or perhaps eventually even by artifacts of our own creation".

Best wishes and Happy New Year too!

Jim Piat

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