Barking up the Evolutionary Tree

Jul 9, 2021Philosophy/Ethics, Tech0 comments

Throughout nature almost every part of each living being has probably served, in a slightly modified condition, for diverse purposes, and has acted in the living machinery of many ancient and distinct specific forms.

Darwin 1862, 348

Julia and John are talking about the following article:
A New Theory Explains How Consciousness Evolved

In this post the images comes from:

  1. Misha Voguel from Pexels
  2.  Chris Helgren / Reuters
  3. liggraphy from Pixabay

In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters

John

OK, I got your draft, read it through, and I have some suggestions

Today 17:05

John

First of all: it is too long and too detailed, I suggest we split it up 😉

Today 17:06

Julia

So I can elaborate and explain?                                                              

Today 17:06

John

Indeed. But I did like the setup of the argument a lot! 😊

Today 17:07   

Julia

Nice! I noticed there were so many early breakthroughs thanks to experiments on the brain 🧠

Today 17:07

John

that this became the dominant paradigm and we kinda forgot about consciousness

Today 17:08   

Julia

Exactly! And then there is the bit at the end about the alternatives

Today 17:08

John

OK, you should work those out in a separate article, and you have to explain about Darwin first

Today 17:09   

Julia

“The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind”                    (Darwin 1871, 106)

Today 17:09

Julia

This basically allowed us to translate what happens in animal brains to human brains

Today 17:10

Julia

and since for the longest time animals were seen as barely more than machines …

Today 17:11

John

… basically we’re back to Descartes, who thought our bodies were biological robots. 🤖

Today 17:12   

Julia

It basically enabled the whole paradigm: to understand the mind, we investigate the brain, humans are sufficiently like animals, so …

Today 17:14

John

we can learn about humans by studying animals, and reduce the whole shebang to biological mechanisms. Clever.

Today 17:15  

Julia

And then I introduce some alternative approaches and critiques    

Today 17:15

Julia

William James said that despite all the biological explanations it is still a complete mystery “how a motion became a feeling”.

Today 17:16

John

You do need to explain that a bit more though …

Today 17:17   

Julia

Basically by reducing the mind to the brain we try to explain consciousness by matter in motion …

Today 17:18

John

… basically we’re back to Descartes. Sorry, I’m repeating myself 😄

Today 17:18   

Julia

Well, Descartes thought that this couldn’t be done at all, that we needed something other than matter to explain the mind

Today 17:20

… Continue to read the conversation between John and Julia 
on Saturday 17th July…

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