The evolution of consciousness

In Peter Carruthers & A. Chamberlain (eds.), Evolution and the Human Mind: Modularity, Language and Meta-Cognition. Cambridge University Press. pp. 254 (2000)
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Abstract

How might consciousness have evolved? Unfortunately for the prospects of providing a convincing answer to this question, there is no agreed account of what consciousness is. So any attempt at an answer will have to fragment along a number of different lines of enquiry. More fortunately, perhaps, there is general agreement that a number of distinct notions of consciousness need to be distinguished from one another; and there is also broad agreement as to which of these is particularly problematic - namely phenomenal consciousness, or the kind of conscious mental state which it is like something to have, which has a distinctive subjective feel or phenomenology (henceforward referred to as p-consciousness). I shall survey the prospects for an evolutionary explanation of p-consciousness, on a variety of competing accounts of its nature. My goal is to use evolutionary considerations to adjudicate between some of those accounts

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Peter Carruthers
University of Maryland, College Park

Citations of this work

The functional role of consciousness: A phenomenological approach.Uriah Kriegel - 2004 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (2):171-93.
Rethinking the evolution of consciousness.Thomas Polger - 2007 - In Susan Schneider & Max Velmans (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. pp. 72--87.
Modules and mindreaders.Matteo Mameli - 2001 - Biology and Philosophy 16 (3):377-93.

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