Den sovjetiske filosofen Feliks Mikhailovs bok "The riddle of the Self" från 1976 försöker ur ett marxistiskt perspektiv lösa medvetandets gåta. Svaret är tänkvärt. Några citat:
"Now we see primitive man not as a geometrician, not as a philosopher thoughtfully contemplating the repetitive features of things, but as an ignorant savage whose hands, when necessary, are cleverer than his head. These hands perform a task without which there would be no language, no thought, and not even the most brilliant philosophical or mathematical brain. The “language of real life”, in whose dynamic system each member of the tribe was involved, carried the meaning of words that was “carved out of flint” by the hands of preceding generations. So man could contemplate nature only through the prism of all the social work-skills that had been accumulated by his predecessors. People could see the sun as round only because they rounded clay with their hands. With their hands they shaped stone, sharpened its borders, gave it facets. So the meaning of the words “border”, “facet”, “line” does not come from abstracting the general external features of things in the process of contemplation."
"Consciousness is not the processing, storing and emission of information. Consciousness is only real when a person sees in the world that which does not exist and will never exist there without strenuous human activity, but which can be created in the world and according to its laws (knowledge!)."
"Man-creating labour includes among its own initial definitions purposefulness! And at the same time the actual ability to direct one’s actions to the achievement of a goal appears and develops in activity, in labour. At this point rationalist thought breaks down. For rationalism this is an “insoluble” contradiction: labour creates a person capable of setting goals, but labour is only labour when it is purposeful, goal-oriented activity. But what for rationalist thought becomes an insoluble logical antinomy unfolds historically into a situation whose internal contradiction is solved in real events and actions which change that situation."
"Thought is not contemplation but creativity. And to give ourselves a better idea of what that means let us try to imagine a substance capable of generating thought."