David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The question about evolution of consciousness has been addressed so far as possible selectional advantage related to consciousness ("What evolutionary advantages, if any, being conscious might confer on an organism ? "). But evidencing an adaptative explanation of consciousness has proven to be very difficult. Reason for that being the complexity of consciousness. We take here a different approach on subject by looking at possible selectional advantages related to the performance of Self Awareness that appeared during evolution millions of years before consciousness as we know it for humans. The interest of such an approach is that the analysis of selectional advantage is done at an evolution step sigificantly simpler that the step of Human Consciousness. We analyse how evolutionary advantages have resulted from this specific Self Awareness step. This is done by taking into consideration the possibility for a subject to identify with a conspecific at this level of evolution. We use the results made available by Mirror Neuron researchs where intersubjectivity and some level of identification with conspecifics have been evidenced for non human primates. Selectional advantages related to Self Awareness are analysed two ways: - Reformulating the performances of imitation and of development of language. - Showing that Self Awareness within group life can naturaly produce an important increase in fear/anxiety for a subject, and that the means implemented by the subject to overcome this fear/anxiety can act as significant evolution advantages opening the road to Human Consciousness. Such approach brings new elements supporting the view that consciousness is grounded in emotions. It also proposes some more evolutionist explanations to the widely dicussed subject of Empathy (S. Preston & F. de Waal) in terms of specific behaviour implemented to limit fear/anxiety increase. This approach also provides some explanation for limited anxiety within dolphins and introduces a basis for a possible phylogenesis of emotions.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mario Vaneechoutte (2000). Experience, Awareness, and Consciousness: Suggestions for Definitions as Offered by an Evolutionary Approach. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 5 (4):429-456.
Christophe Menant, Evolution of Representations. From Basic Life to Self-Representation and Self-Consciousness (2006).
Christophe Menant (2010). Proposal for a Shared Evolutionary Nature of Language and Consciousness. Dissertation, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Saint Petersburg
Christophe Menant, Evolution of Representations and Intersubjectivity as Sources of the Self. An Introduction to the Nature of Self-Consciousness.
Christophe Menant, Evolution and Mirror Neurons. An Introduction to the Nature of Self-Consciousness (2005).
Christophe Menant, Evolutionary Advantages of Inter-Subjectivity and Self-Consciousness Through Improvements of Action Programs (2010).
Robert Arp (2007). Consciousness and Awareness - Switched-on Rheostats: A Response to de Quincey. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (3):101-106.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #355,154 of 1,102,989 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #297,509 of 1,102,989 )
How can I increase my downloads?