Can We Provide a Plausible Evolutionary Account of the Emergence of Phenomenal Consciousness?

Abstract

The nature of phenomenal consciousness has been the subject of much debate. It seems that the phenomenal character of certain mental states is intimately related to the functional, cognitive or intentional properties of those states. The relationship between functional, intentional and cognitive properties and phenomenal properties remains mysterious. Explaining the evolutionary development of such states may enable us to develop a better understanding of the nature of phenomenal consciousness. It is therefore my aim to evaluate the prospect of providing a plausible evolutionary explanation of phenomenal consciousness. I discuss the distinction highlighted by Block between access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness, before identifying some of the important features of phenomenal consciousness that need to be explained. I then discuss attempts to provide an evolutionary account of consciousness from Daniel Dennett and Peter Carruthers, evaluating whether they account for the emergence of phenomenal consciousness or access consciousness, as distinguished by Block. I compare these accounts and assess whether they can account for any of the important features of phenomenal consciousness. I finally evaluate the implications this might have for the prospect of a successful evolutionary account of the emergence of phenomenal consciousness.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,442

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Adaptive complexity and phenomenal consciousness.Shaun Nichols & Todd Grantham - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (4):648-670.
Phenomenal consciousness and intentionality.Dana K. Nelkin - 2001 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 7.
Phenomenal consciousness lite: No thanks!J. Kevin O'Regan & Erik Myin - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):520-521.
Theories of consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (1):58-64.
Relationalism and the problems of consciousness.William Fish - 2008 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):167-80.
Conceptualizing physical consciousness.James Tartaglia - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (6):817-838.
How many kinds of consciousness?David M. Rosenthal - 2002 - Consciousness and Cognition 11 (4):653-665.
Phenomenal Concepts.Andreas Elpidorou - 2015 - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
Addressing Higher-Order Misrepresentation with Quotational Thought.Vincent Picciuto - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (3-4):109-136.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-03-26

Downloads
29 (#405,458)

6 months
3 (#227,700)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Lisa McLellan
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references