Chapter

Consciousness Selected by Evolution

David Hodgson

in The Mind Matters

Published in print February 1993 | ISBN: 9780198240686
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680236 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240686.003.0007

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Consciousness Selected by Evolution

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According to the theory of evolution, human beings are the result of an evolutionary process beginning millions of years ago with a simple life form. It seems reasonable to assert that consciousness, which is presumably also the result of an evolutionary process, is similarly somehow related to the adaptation of human beings for survival and reproduction. Unless consciousness is merely a by-product of a mechanistic brain of some complexity, consciousness itself must make a difference, so that the brain is not mechanistic. This argument has previously been advanced in support of anti-materialist positions. This chapter expands this argument. It also considers what could be the advantages of consciousness which may have led to its selection by evolution.

Keywords: natural selection; consciousness; property approach; human being

Chapter.  7475 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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