David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (2):3-17 (2001)
It is suggested that the evolutionary advantage of consciousness lies in its mediating the acquisition of novel context-specific reflexes, particularly when the context has temporally varying components. Such acquisition is conjectured to require evaluation of feedback stimuli evoked by the animal's self-paced probing of its environment, or by memories of the outcome of previous such probings, and the evaluation is postulated to be predicated on attention. It is argued that such an approach automatically incorporates sensation into the phenomenon, sensation arising from an interplay between the nervous system and the skeletal musculature, and not from the nervous system alone. This theory avoids the increasingly untenable view that consciousness is part of the normal chain of events linking unprovoked stimuli in the outside world with immediate voluntary reactions to them. The theory should prove attractive to those who might otherwise feel compelled by neurophysiology to embrace epiphenomenalism. It also provides a means of bridging the explanatory gap, and of resolving the celebrated hard problem of consciousness
|Keywords||Cognition Consciousness Evolution Neurophysiology Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Colin Allen (2004). Animal Pain. Noûs 38 (4):617-43.
Colin Allen (2004). Animal Pain. Noûs 38 (4):617–643.
Similar books and articles
Frederick Toates (2006). A Model of the Hierarchy of Behaviour, Cognition, and Consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 15 (1):75-118.
David LaBerge (2006). Apical Dendrite Activity in Cognition and Consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):235-257.
Michael Thau (2002). Consciousness and Cognition. Oxford University Press.
A. Reber (1992). Evolution, Consciousness, and All That: A Reply to Baars and to Parker. Consciousness and Cognition 1 (2):143-147.
Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd (2000). Climate, Culture and the Evolution of Cognition. In Celia Heyes & Ludwig Huber (eds.), The Evolution of Cognition. MIT Press 329--45.
Jackie Andrade (2000). NMDa Receptor--Mediated Consciousness: A Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Effects of Anesthesia on Cognition? In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Neural Correlates of Consciousness. MIT Press 271--279.
Peter G. Grossenbacher (2001). Multisensory Coordination and the Evolution of Consciousness. In Finding Consciousness in the Brain: A Neurocognitive Approach. John Benjamins 277-314.
Bjorn H. Merker (2005). The Liabilities of Mobility: A Selection Pressure for the Transition to Consciousness in Animal Evolution. Consciousness and Cognition 14 (1):89-114.
Matt J. Rossano (2003). Expertise and the Evolution of Consciousness. Cognition 89 (3):207-236.
Gerhard Roth (2000). The Evolution and Ontogeny of Consciousness. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Neural Correlates of Consciousness. MIT Press
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads78 ( #54,591 of 1,906,808 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #345,620 of 1,906,808 )
How can I increase my downloads?