Tag Archives: Evolution

Unlimited associative learning

This is part of a series on Simona Ginsburg and Eva Jablonka’s book: The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul, a book focused on the evolution of minimal consciousness.  This particular post is on the capabilities Ginsburg and Jablonka (G&J) see … Continue reading

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The seven attributes of minimal consciousness

I’m still working my way through Simona Ginsburg and Eva Jablonka’s tome: The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul.  This is the second post of a series on their book.  I’m actually on the last chapter, but that last chapter is … Continue reading

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Viruses and the definition of “life”

One of the things we often debate here is the definition of “consciousness,” but consciousness is far from the only concept that is difficult to define.  Others include religion, democracy, free will, and biological life. Life has a number of … Continue reading

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The sensitive soul and the rational soul

I think examining the evolution of consciousness in animals helps shed light on it in humans.  Admittedly, there are difficulties.  Animals can’t self report using language, which limits just how much of their experience can be garnered from experiments.  Still, … Continue reading

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For animal consciousness, is there a fact of the matter?

Peter Carruthers has been blogging this week on the thesis of his new book, Human and Animal Minds: The Consciousness Question Laid to Rest.  I mentioned Carruthers’ book in my post on global workspace theory (GWT), but didn’t get into … Continue reading

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A correction: LeDoux’s actual views on instrumental learning in vertebrates

I have to make a correction.  In my post on LeDoux’s views on consciousness and emotions, I made the following statement: Anyway, LeDoux states that there is “no convincing” evidence for instrumental behavior in pre-mammalian vertebrates, or in invertebrates.  In … Continue reading

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Layers of consciousness, September 2019 edition

A couple of years ago, when writing about panpsychism, I introduced a five layer conception of consciousness.  The idea back then was to show a couple of things. One was that very simple conceptions of consciousness, such as interactions with … Continue reading

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Joseph LeDoux’s theories on consciousness and emotions

In the last post, I mentioned that I was reading Joseph LeDoux’s new book, The Deep History of Ourselves: The Four-Billion-Year Story of How We Got Conscious Brains.  There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this book.  As its title … Continue reading

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Machine learning and the need for innate foundations

This interesting Nature article by Anthony M. Zador came up in my Twitter feed: A critique of pure learning and what artificial neural networks can learn from animal brains: Artificial neural networks (ANNs) have undergone a revolution, catalyzed by better … Continue reading

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The reflex and the feeling

Stephen T. Asma and Rami Gabriel have an interesting article at Aeon on emotions.  Their main thesis is that many emotions are biological, universal, and rooted in evolution.  And that they arise through “the strata of consciousness”: the physiological, the … Continue reading

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