What is consciousness and has it evolved?

World Futures 61 (3):199 – 227 (2005)
Research into consciousness has now become respectable, and much has been written about it. Is consciousness the exclusive property of human beings, or can it be found also in animals? Can machines become conscious? Is consciousness an illusion, and are all mental states ultimately reducible to the movement of molecules? If consciousness is other than matter, what connection does it have with matter? These and others like them are now serious scientific questions in the West. This article discusses consciousness within the frame of the following assertions: Consciousness has evolved from earlier states of awareness to be found in lower forms of life. The current scientific method is too restrictive for the study of conscience and its evolution. In particular classical logic leads scientists to ignore or reject consciousness as a legitimate field of study. Mind and matter, generalized as knowing and being, have equal status.
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