m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

The Daily Zombie, Episode 3: Greek Zombies

In my ongoing zombie research, I came across a three-part YouTube video of Jan Sleutels expounding on Greek Zombies: not your average shambling undead, but Julian Jaynes' pre-conscious ancient Greeks. If you don’t have time for all three parts, you can get a draft of the paper at his website. Here’s the abstract:

This paper explores the possibility that the human mind underwent substantial changes in recent history. Assuming that consciousness is a substantial trait of the mind, the paper focuses on the suggestion made by Julian Jaynes that the Mycenean Greeks had a ‘bicameral’ mind instead of a conscious one. The suggestion is commonly dismissed as patently absurd, for instance by critics such as Ned Block. A closer examination of the intuitions involved, considered from different theoretical angles (social constructivism, idealism, eliminativism, realism), reveals that the idea of ‘Greek zombies’ should be taken more seriously than is commonly assumed.

I also found this zombie-light approach to the Greeks while googling some of his references, and a bicameral-light approach to Jaynes at the Julian Jaynes society.