Nicholas Maxwell
University College London
In this article I give a Darwinian account of how sentience, consciousness and language may have evolved. It is argued that sentience and consciousness emerge as brains control purposive actions in new ways. A key feature of this account is that Darwinian theory is interpreted so as to do justice to the purposive character of living things. According to this interpretation, as evolution proceeds, purposive actions play an increasingly important role in the mechanisms of evolution until, with evolution by cultural means, Darwinian evolution takes on a Lamarckian character. According to this view, as evolution proceeds, the mechanisms of Darwinian evolution themselves evolve.
Keywords Evolution  Consciousness  Sentience  Language  Darwinism  Purposive action  Explanation
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