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The First MindsCaterpillars, Karyotes, and Consciousness$
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Arthur S. Reber

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190854157

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190854157.001.0001

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Why Has a Cellular Basis of Consciousness-type Model Not Been Proposed Before?

Why Has a Cellular Basis of Consciousness-type Model Not Been Proposed Before?

(p.33) 2 Why Has a Cellular Basis of Consciousness-type Model Not Been Proposed Before?
The First Minds

Arthur S. Reber

Oxford University Press

We have a chat with my caterpillar who manages to communicate that not only is he/she conscious but all living species are. I review reasons why no one has put forward this CBC-type model before, the main one being that the theory seems just crazy to most people, and follow up with a defense of anthropomorphism which others see as a confounding factor. There is a segue on fish and whether they feel pain—at least in the same manner as we feel pain as part of an interpreted, unpleasant experience with strong motivational elements. The conclusion is that of course they do—and the group of philosophers and piscine experts who take the stance that they do not are critiqued. The chapter ends with a survey of others who are or might be comfortable with the CBC model, beginning with Darwin who certainly would have embraced it.

Keywords:   conscious caterpillars, anthropomorphism, pain in fish and people, CBC-model adherents

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