Cogprints

William James and the Evolution of Consciousness

Nielsen, Mark and Day, R. H. (1999) William James and the Evolution of Consciousness. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:

[img]PDF
155Kb

Abstract

Despite having been relegated to the realm of superstition during the dominant years of behaviourism, the investigation and discussion of consciousness has again become scientifically defensible. However, attempts at describing animal consciousness continue to be criticised for lacking independent criteria that identify the presence or absence of the phenomenon. Over one hundred years ago William James recognised that mental traits are subject to the same evolutionary processes as are physical characteristics and must therefore be represented in differing levels of complexity throughout the animal kingdom. James's proposals with regard to animal consciousness are outlined and followed by a discussion of three classes of animal consciousness derived from empirical research. These classes are presented to defend both James's proposals and the position that a theory of animal consciousness can be scientifically supported. It is argued that by using particular behavioural expressions to index consciousness and by providing empirical tests by which to elicit these behavioural expressions a scientifically defensible theory of animal consciousness can be developed.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:consciousness; William James;
Subjects:Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
ID Code:1327
Deposited By:Nielsen, Mark
Deposited On:28 Feb 2001
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Akins, K. A. (1993). A bat without qualities? In M. Davies & G. W. Humphreys (Eds.). Consciousness: Psychological and Philosophical Essays (pp. 258-273). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Amsterdam, B. (1972). Mirror self-image reactions before age two. Developmental Psychobiology, 5, 297-305.

Anderson, J. R. (1996). Chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys: Comparative cognition. In A. E. Russon, K. A. Bard, & Parker, S. T. (Eds.). Reaching into thought: The minds of the great apes (pp. 23-56). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Baars, B. J. (1997). In the theatre of consciousness: The workspace of the mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Baenninger, R. (1990). Consciousness and comparative psychology. In M. G. Johnson & T. B. Henley (Eds.). Reflections on "The principles of psychology": William James after a century (pp. 249-269). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Bjork, D. W. (1988). William James: The center of his vision. New York: Columbia University Press.

Block, N. (1997). On a confusion about a function of consciousness. In N. Block, O. Flanagan, & G. Güzeldere (Eds.). The nature of consciousness: Philosophical debates (pp. 375-415). Cambridge: MIT Press.

Block, N., Flanagan, O., & Güzeldere, G. (Eds.). (1997). The nature of consciousness: Philosophical debates. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Blumberg, M. S., & Wasserman, E. A. (1995). Animal mind and the argument from design. American Psychologist, 50 (3), 133-144.

Boccia, M. L. (1994). Mirror behavior in macaques. In S. T. Parker, R. W. Mitchell, & M. L. Boccia (Eds.). Self-awareness in animals and humans: Developmental perspectives (pp.350-360). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bradley, E. A., & Messenger, J. B. (1977). Brightness preference in Octopus as a function of the background brightness. Marine Behaviour and Physiology, 4 (4), 243-251.

Byrne, R. W., & Russon, A. E. (1998). Learning by imitation: A hierarchical approach. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 21, 667-721.

Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (in press). A nonverbal false belief task: The performance of children and great apes. Child Development.

Campbell, N. A. (1990). Biology (2nd Ed.). Redwood City, Ca.: The Benjamin/ Cummings Publishing Company.

Carlsson, A. (1992). Trying to understand the brains chemical language. In F. Samson & G. Adelman (Eds.). The neurosciences: Paths of discovery II (pp107-122). Boston: Birkhäuser.

Chalmers, D. J. (1995, December). The puzzle of conscious experience. Scientific American, 273 (6), 62-68.

Corballis, M. C. (1991). The lopsided ape: Evolution of the generative mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Crick, F., & Koch, C. (1997). The problem of consciousness. Scientific American Mysteries of the Mind, Special Issue, 7 (1), 18-26.

Churchland, P. M. (1988). Matter and consciousness: A contemporary introduction to the philosophy of mind. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Cohen, B. P. (1989). Developing sociological knowledge (2nd ed.). Chicago: Nelson-Hall.

Cook, D. G., & Carew, T. J. (1989a). Operant conditioning of head-waving in Aplysia. I. Identified muscles involved in the operant response. Journal of Neuroscience, 9, 3097-3106

Cook, D. G., & Carew, T. J. (1989b) Operant conditioning of head-waving in Aplysia. II. Contingent modification of electromyographic activity in identified muscles. Journal of Neuroscience, 9, 3107-3114.

Cook, D. G., & Carew, T .J. (1989c) Operant conditioning of head-waving in Aplysia. III. Cellular analysis of possible reinforcement pathways. Journal of Neuroscience, 9, 3115-3122.

Crook, J. H. (1980). The evolution of human consciousness. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Darwin, C. (1859). On the origin of species. London: Murray

Darwin, C. (1877). A biographical sketch of an infant. Mind, 2, 285-294.

Davies, M., & Humphreys, G. W. (1993). Introduction. In M. Davies & G. W. Humphreys (Eds.). Consciousness: Psychological and philosophical essays (pp.1-39). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Dawkins, R. (1986). The blind watchmaker. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

Delacour, J. (1995). An introduction to the biology of consciousness. Neuropsychologia, 33 (9), 1061-1074.

Dennett, D. C. (1991). Consciousness explained. Boston: Little, Brown.

Dennett, D. C. (1995). Darwin's dangerous idea: Evolution and the meanings of life. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

Dixon, J. C. (1957). The development of self-recognition. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 91, 251-256.

Eccles, J. C. (1989). Evolution of the brain: Creation of the self. London: Routledge

Epstein, R., Lanza, R. P., & Skinner, B. F. (1980). Self-awareness in the pigeon. Science, 212, 695-696.

Fiorito, G., & Scotto, P. (1992). Observational learning in Octopus vulgaris. Science, 256, 545-547.

Forster, K. I., & Davis, C. (1984). Repetition priming and frequency attenuation in lexical access. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 10, 680-698.

Gallup, G. G., Jr. (1970). Chimpanzees: Self-recognition. Science, 167, 341-343.

Gallup, G. G., Jr., & Povinelli, D. J. (1993). Mirror, mirror on the wall which is the most heuristic theory of them all? A response to Mitchell. New Ideas in Psychology, 11(3), 327-335.

Gaulin, S. J. C. (1995). Does evolutionary theory predict sex differences in the brain? In M. S. Gazzaniga (Ed.). The cognitive neurosciences (pp.1211-1225). Cambridge: MIT Press

Gesell, A., & Thompson, H. (1934). Infant behavior: Its genesis and growth. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Gopnik, A., & Astington, J. (1988). Children's understanding of representational change and its relation to the understanding of false belief and the appearance-reality distinction. Child Development, 59, 26-37.

Griffin, D. R. (1981). The question of animal awareness (2nd Ed.). Los Altos, Ca.: William Kaufmann.

Griffin, D. R. (1984). Animal thinking. American Scientist, 72, 456-464.

Griffin, D. R. (1985). Animal consciousness. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 9, 615-622.

Güzeldere, G. (1997). The many faces of consciousness: A field guide. In N. Block, O. Flanagan, & G. Güzeldere (Eds.). The nature of consciousness: Philosophical debates (pp. 1-67). Cambridge: MIT Press.

Hempel, C. G. (1965). Aspects of scientific explanation and other essays in the philosophy of science. New York: Free Press

Heyes, C. (1998). Theory of mind in nonhuman primates. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 21, 101-148.

Heyes, C., & Dickinson, A. (1993). The intentionality of animal action. In M. Davies & G. W. Humphreys (Eds.). Consciousness: Psychological and philosophical essays (pp.105-120). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Hilgard, E. (1980). Consciousness in contemporary psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 31, 1-26.

Hirst, W. (1995). Cognitive aspects of consciousness. In M. S. Gazzaniga (Ed.). The cognitive neurosciences (pp.1307-1319). Cambridge: MIT Press.

Humphreys, N. (1992). A history of the mind. London: Chatto & Windus

James, W. (1912/1976). Essays in radical empiricism. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

James, W. (1890/1981). The principles of psychology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

James, W. (1988a). Manuscript lectures. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

James, W. (1988b). Manuscript essays and notes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

Jaynes, J. (1976). The origins of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Keunzi, F. M., & Carew, T .J. (1991). Identification of neuronal pathways mediating phototactic modulation of head-waving in Aplysia californica. Behavioral and Neural Biology, 55 (3), 338-355.

Levine, M. W., & Shefner, J. M. (1991). Fundamentals of sensation and perception (2nd Ed.). Pacific Grove, Ca.: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.

Lewis, M., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1979). Social cognition and the acquisition of self. New York: Plenum Press.

Marcel, A. (1983a). Conscious and unconscious perception: Experiments on visual masking and word recognition. Cognitive Psychology, 15, 197-237.

Marcel, A. (1983b). Conscious and unconscious perception: An approach to the relations between phenomenal experience and perceptual processes. Cognitive Psychology, 15, 238-300.

Marino, L., Reiss, D., & Gallup, G. G. (1994). Mirror self-recognition in bottlenose dolphins: Implications for comparative study of highly dissimilar species. In S. T. Parker, R. W. Mitchell, & M. L. Boccia (Eds.). Self awareness in animals and humans: Developmental perspectives (pp 380-391). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Marten, K., & Psarakos, S. (1994). Evidence of self-awareness in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). In S. T. Parker, R. W. Mitchell, & M. L. Boccia (Eds.). Self-awareness in animals and humans: Developmental perspectives (pp 361-379). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Marten, K., & Psarakos, S. (1995). Using self-view television to distinguish between self-examination and social behavior in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Consciousness and Cognition, 4, 205-224.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1964). The child's relations with others (William Cobb, Trans.). In M. Merleau-Ponty, The primacy of perception. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Mitchell, R. W. (1987). A comparative developmental approach to understanding imitation. In

P. P. G. Bateson & P. H. Klopfer (Eds.), Perspectives in ethology (Vol. 7, pp.183-215). New York: Plenum Press.

Mitchell, R. W. (1992). Developing concepts in infancy: Animals, self-perception, and two theories of mirror self-recognition. Psychological Inquiry, 3(2), 127-130.

Mitchell, R. W. (1993a) Mental models of mirror self-recognition: Two theories. New Ideas in Psychology, 11, 295-325.

Mitchell, R. W.(1993b). Recognizing one's self in a mirror? A reply to Gallup and Povinelli, de Lannoy, Anderson, and Byrne. New Ideas in Psychology,11(3), 351-377.

Mitchell, R. W. (1997a). A comparison of the self-awareness and kinesthetic-visual matching theories of self-recognition: Autistic children and others. In J. G. Snodgrass, & R. L. Thompson (Eds.), The self across psychology: Self-recognition, self-awareness, and the self concept. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 818 (pp. 39-62). New York,: New York Academy of Sciences.

Mitchell, R. W. (1997b). Kinesthetic-visual matching and the self-concept as explanations of mirror-self-recognition. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 27(1), 17-39.

Moses, L. J. (1994). Forward. In S. T. Parker, R. W. Mitchell, & M. L. Boccia (Eds.). Self awareness in animals and humans: Developmental perspectives (pp x-xvi). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nagel, T. (1974). What is it like to be a bat? Philosophical Review, 83, 435-450.

O'Leary, D. D. M. (1993). Do cortical areas emerge from a protocortex? In M. H. Johnson (Ed.). Brain development and cognition: A reader (pp.323-337). Oxford: Blackwell.

Parker, S. T., & Mitchell, R. W. (1994). Evolving self-awareness. In S. T. Parker, R. W. Mitchell, and M. L. Boccia (Eds.). Self-awareness in animals and humans: Developmental perspectives (pp.413-428). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Parker, S. T., Mitchell, R. W., & Boccia, M. L.(Eds.). (1994). Self awareness in animals and humans: Developmental perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pepperberg, I. M., Garcia, S. E., Jackson, E. C., & Marconi, S. (1995). Mirror use by African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 109 (2), 189-195.

Popper, K. R. (1959). The logic of scientific discovery. New York: Basic Books.

Povinelli, D. J. (1989). Failure to find self-recognition in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in contrast to their use of mirror cues to discover hidden food. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 103, 122-131.

Povinelli, D. J. (1993). Reconstructing the evolution of mind. American Psychologist, 8 (5), 493-509.

Povinelli, D. J. (1995). The unduplicated self. In P. Rochat (Ed.). The self in infancy: Theory and research (pp. 161-192). Amsterdam: North-Holland/Elsevier Science Publishers.

Preyer, W. (1893). Mind of the child. Vol. II. Development of the intellect. New York: Appleton.

Radner, D., & Radner, M. (1989). Animal consciousness. Buffalo: Prometheus Books.

Richards, R. J. (1987). Darwin and the emergence of evolutionary theories of mind and behavior. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Ridley, M. (1985). The problems of evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Robinson, D. N. (1982). Toward a science of human nature: Essays on the psychologies of Mill, Hegel, Wundt, and James. New York: Columbia University Press

Rodríguez, T. R. F., & González, J. C. S. (1990). James: La seleccion natural y el functionalismo. Revista de Historia de la Psicologia, 11(3-4), 41-52.

Russon, A. E., Mitchell, R. W., Lefebvre, L., & Abravanel, E. (1998). The comparative evolution of imitation In J. Langer & M. Killen (Eds.), Piaget, evolution, and development (pp. 103-143). London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Sanders, G. D. (1975). The Cephalopods. In W. C. Corning, J. A. Dyal, & A. O. D. Willows (Eds.). Invertebrate learning (Vol. 3). Cephalopods and echinoderms (pp.1-101). New York: Plenum Press.

Santayana, G. (1980/1905). Reason in common sense. New York: Dover Publications

Searle, J. R. (1992). The rediscovery of the mind. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Singer, P. (1975). Animal liberation: A new ethics for our treatment of animals. New York: New York Review

Smith, C. U. M. (1993). Evolutionary biology and psychology. British Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 149-153.

Sorabji. R. (1993). Animal minds and human morals: The origins of the Western debate. New York: Cornell University Press

Suddendorf, T. (in press). The rise of metamind: Beyond the immediately present. In M. C. Corballis & S. Lea (Eds.). Evolution of the hominid mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Suddendorf, T. (1998). Simpler for evolution: Secondary representation in apes, children, and ancestors. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 21 (1), 131.

Taylor, E. (1996). William James on consciousness beyond the margin. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Toribio, J. (1993). Why there still has to be a theory of consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition, 2, 28-47.

Weiskrantz, L. (1995a). Blindsight - Not an island unto itself. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4 (5), 146-151.

Weiskrantz, L. (1995b). The origins of consciousness. In J. Changeux and J. Chavaillon (Eds.). Origins of the human brain (pp. 239-248). Oxford: Clarendon Press

Whiten, A., & Byrne, R. W. (1987 ). Tactical deception in primates. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 11, 231-73.

Willows, A. O. D. (1973). Learning in gastropod molluscs. In W. C. Corning, J. A. Dyal, &

A. O. D. Willows (Eds.). Invertebrate learning (Vol. 2). Arthropods and gastropod molluscs (pp.187-274). New York: Plenum Press.

Wimmer, H., & Perner, J. (1983). Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children's understanding of deception. Cognition, 13, 103-128.

Metadata

Repository Staff Only: item control page