On 2/10/2019 3:34 PM, Philip Thrift wrote:
Two recent books:
The First Minds: Caterpillars, Karyotes, and Consciousness
Arthur S. Reber
Brain-Mind: From Neurons to Consciousness and Creativity
When Did Consciousness Begin?
Thagard's 10 hypotheses:
1. Consciousness has always existed, because God is conscious and eternal.
2. Consciousness began when the universe formed, around 13.7 billion
3. Consciousness began with single-celled life, around 3.7 billion
years ago (Reber).
4. Consciousness began with multicellular plants, around 850 million
5. Consciousness began when animals such as jellyfish got thousands of
neurons, around 580 million years ago.
6. Consciousness began when insects and fish developed larger brains
with about a million neurons (honeybees) or 10 million neurons
(zebrafish) around 560 million years ago.
7. Consciousness began when animals such as birds and mammals
developed much larger brains with hundreds of millions neurons, around
200 million years ago. [Thagard]
8. Consciousness began with humans, homo sapiens, around 200,000 years
9. Consciousness began when human culture became advanced, around 3000
years ago (Julian Jaynes).
10. Consciousness does not exist, as it is just a scientific mistake
(behaviorism} or a “user illusion” (Daniel Dennett).
A good exposition, but I wish he had taken some time to consider what is
consciousness. I think he recognizes that there are different kinds and
levels of consciousness, but he doesn't make it clear what they are; how
are they related to memory and communication and planning. It seems
clear to me that different kinds and levels of consciousness appeared at
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