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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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Entailments of the Cellular Basis of Consciousness Stance

Entailments of the Cellular Basis of Consciousness Stance

(p.162) 5 Entailments of the Cellular Basis of Consciousness Stance
The First Minds

Arthur S. Reber

Oxford University Press

The CBC model has a number of implications for evolutionary biology, the cognitive neurosciences, consciousness science, micro- and cell-biology, and philosophy, particularly the philosophy of mind. A section covers the hierarchical nature of evolutionary mechanisms emphasizing why basic, early evolved functions (like awareness) become fixed and stable and are present in all later-evolved species. Special sections cover other, related topics such as reductionism (where a pragmatic form is recommended), the need to avoid an uncomfortable mysterianism that has crept into philosophy, whether plants are also conscious (probably not but I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise), ethical considerations of universal sentience, and the possibility of altruism in bacteria. A cluster of specific problems that emerge from the CBC also are discussed, such as how multicellular species emerged, how the sentience of single-celled organisms morphed into the focal awareness of the collective.

Keywords:   philosophy of mind, reductionism, mysterianism, evolution, cognitive neurosciences, sentient plants, ethics, altruism, multicellular species

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