David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 67 (4):648-670 (2000)
Arguments about the evolutionary function of phenomenal consciousness are beset by the problem of epiphenomenalism. For if it is not clear whether phenomenal consciousness has a causal role, then it is difficult to begin an argument for the evolutionary role of phenomenal consciousness. We argue that complexity arguments offer a way around this problem. According to evolutionary biology, the structural complexity of a given organ can provide evidence that the organ is an adaptation, even if nothing is known about the causal role of the organ. Evidence from cognitive neuropsychology suggests that phenomenal consciousness is structurally complex in the relevant way, and this provides prima facie evidence that phenomenal consciousness is an adaptation. Furthermore, we argue that the complexity of phenomenal consciousness might also provide clues about the causal role of phenomenal consciousness
|Keywords||Adaptation Biology Complexity Consciousness Evolution 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
Brian Earl (2014). The Biological Function of Consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology 5.
Zack Robinson, Corey J. Maley & Gualtiero Piccinini (2015). Is Consciousness a Spandrel? Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):365--383.
Similar books and articles
Craig DeLancey (2013). The Modal Arguments and the Complexity of Consciousness. Ratio 26 (1):35-50.
Uriah Kriegel (2007). Consciousness: Phenomenal Consciousness, Access Consciousness, and Scientific Practice. In Paul R. Thagard (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier
Max Velmans (2002). Could Phenomenal Consciousness Function as a Cognitive Unconscious? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3):357-358.
Mark Pharoah, 'Thing-in-Itself' - Exploring the Relationship Between Phenomenal Experience and the Phenomenon of Consciousness.
William Fish (2008). Relationalism and the Problems of Consciousness. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):167-80.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2007). The Ontology of Creature Consciousness: A Challenge for Philosophy. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (1):103-104.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2007). The Ontology of Creature Consciousness: A Challenge for Philosophy. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (1).
Austen Clark (2001). Phenomenal Consciousness so-Called. In Werner Backhaus (ed.), Neuronal Coding of Perceptual Systems. World Scientific
Chuck Stieg (2009). Is Phenomenal Consciousness a Complex Structure? Cogprints 51 (4):152-61.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads88 ( #50,263 of 1,934,839 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #113,514 of 1,934,839 )
How can I increase my downloads?