Skip to main content

Consciousness: a natural history

Buy Article:

$27.68 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The basic question cognitivists and most analytic philosophers of mind ask is how consciousness arises in matter. This article outlines basic reasons for thinking the question spurious. It does so by examining 1) definitions of life, 2) unjustified and unjustifiable uses of diacritical markings to distinguish real cognition from metaphoric cognition, 3) evidence showing that corporeal consciousness is a biological imperative, 4) corporeal matters of fact deriving from the evolution of proprioception. Three implications of the examination are briefly noted: 1) the need to re-think the common assumption that unconsciousness historically preceded consciousness; 2) the need to delve as deeply and seriously into natural history as into brains and their computational analogues; 3) the need for a critical stance toward arm-chair judgments about consciousness and a correlative turn toward corporeal matters of fact.

Keywords: Animate form; corporeal consciousness; diacritical markings; kinesthesia; metacorporeal consciousness; proprioception; responsivity; surface recognition sensitivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, US.

Publication date: March 1, 1998


Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more