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Consciousness Is (Probably) Still Only in the Brain, Even Though Cognition Is Not

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There is increasing theoretical justification and empirical sup- port for non-brain-centric approaches to cognition. The body, non- biological tools, and environment are understood as playing causally signi_cant roles in or are constitutive of many instances of cognition. Although not without critics, such non-brain-centric approaches are doing so well that some argue that not only is cognition situated, embodied, extended, and distributed (cognitionSEED) but so too is consciousness (consciousnessSEED). Here'cognition' refers to an organism's abilities to engage with its world, which includes perceiving and acting skillfully, as well as capacities such as decision-making, planning, and reasoning.'Consciousness' refers to states of a system with subjective phenomenal character. Some defend ConsciousnessSEED by appealing to affordances and com- plex systems theory. I argue that these do not support the claim that cognitionSEED entails consciousnessSEED. I then present phe- nomenological and neurophysiological considerations to think that consciousness is (probably) still only in the brain, even though cog nition is not.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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