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p. 1178. The evolution of consciousnesslocked

  • Susan Blackmore

Abstract

‘The evolution of consciousness’ begins with two questions. First, which living creatures are conscious and in what way? Secondly, when and how did consciousness evolve? Consciousness could be an all-or-nothing phenomenon, with some creatures having it and others not. Or it might be a continuous variable, with some having more than others. Different theories of evolution of consciousness are considered alongside the function of consciousness. Why are we conscious at all? Is consciousness an adaptation or a useless by-product of some other adaptation? It concludes with the suggestion that consciousness is an enticing and compelling illusion that lures us into believing that our minds are separate from our bodies.

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