The Evolution of Consciousness (Paperback)
  • The Evolution of Consciousness (Paperback)
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The Evolution of Consciousness (Paperback)

(author)
£58.00
Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 15/10/1998
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Are nonhuman animals conscious? When do babies begin to feel pain? What function is served by consciousness? What evidence could resolve these issues? These questions are tackled by exploring psychologists' findings on topics as diverse as: animal cognition, unconscious learning and perception in humans, infantile amnesia, theory of mind in primates, and the nature of pleasure and pain. Experimental results are placed in theoretical context by tracing the development of concepts of consciousness in animals and humans (from Plato to Penrose). Two themes emerge: first, the capacity for language marks a fundamental difference between humans and nonhumans; second, there is neither proof that any nonhuman species is conscious, nor any convincing function to be found for consciousness. Finally, a sketch is offered of a novel functionalist theory according to which the developing capacity for language allows the creation by infants of a 'self', which may be a precondition for consciousness.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198503248
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 413 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"...the best scientific monograph that I have read in a long time...This is an extremely clear and well-written, well-argued volume. This book deals with some of the big mysteries in biology, psychology and philosophy. Anyone interested in these issues should rush to the bookshop and get a copy."Trends in Cognitive Sciences - Vol. 3, No. 11, November 1999
"...accessible discussion of the subject." THES, 15/10/99
'the author has done an admirable job of providing a truly interdisciplinary perspective' Swiss Journal of Psychology

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