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What is Consciousness For?

Pierson, Dr. Lee and Trout, Monroe (2005) What is Consciousness For? [Preprint]

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Abstract

What is Consciousness For? Lee Pierson and Monroe Trout Copyright © 2005 Abstract: The answer to the title question is, in a word, volition. Our hypothesis is that the ultimate adaptive function of consciousness is to make volitional movement possible. All conscious processes exist to subserve that ultimate function. Thus, we believe that all conscious organisms possess at least some volitional capability. Consciousness makes volitional attention possible; volitional attention, in turn, makes volitional movement possible. There is, as far as we know, no valid theoretical argument that consciousness is needed for any function other than volitional movement and no convincing empirical evidence that consciousness performs any other ultimate function. Consciousness, via volitional action, increases the likelihood that an organism will direct its attention, and ultimately its movements, to whatever is most important for its survival and reproduction.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:consciousness, function of consciousness, mental causation, evolution, volition, free will, automatization, pleasure/pain
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
ID Code:4482
Deposited By:Pierson, Dr. Lee M.
Deposited On:24 Jul 2005
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

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