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Consciousness and matter, what did we get consciousness?

Updated: May 29, 2022

This article is also available in English.

By studying "Study of Consciousness", I would like to think about my method and the coaching theory, such as unconscious rewriting.


This series of blog posts is my study note.

This article is the first article on consciousness.

Here, you can find articles about the unconscious (41 tables of contents).

Some of these articles have been translated into English, but I will translate them into English one by one.

 

There were two ways of thinking regarding the causal relationship between matter and consciousness, and there was controversy.

Epiphenomenalism

  • "Consciousness is only a phenomenon that accompanies the physical state of matter and has no causal effect on matter."

Interaction theory

  • "There is always a corresponding material reaction in the reaction that occurs in the world of consciousness." (In all the material reactions that occur in this world, there is some  consciousness in the place. It does not have the opposite meaning of  whether or not. )

It's a stern expression, but it's a debate about whether consciousness and matter are related.


Why has consciousness evolved?

Is there an operation that a conscious mind can only perform?


The focus of the debate was whether it makes sense to claim that each organ was designed and evolved "for" a particular function.



In the pre-Darwin era, teleology was a norm because the hand of God was considered the designer / hidden designer of all things.



French anatomist Georges Cuvier always wondered what it was for when interpreting the function of the body's organs.

  • The crab's key is "to" catch the prey

  • The lungs are "for" breathing

  • The idea is that it is a prerequisite for the existence of living things.


Darwin changed this view dramatically by focusing on natural selection rather than design.

His view of nature does not require the intent of a divine being.


Evolved organs are not designed "for" their function,

It only gives the owner a breeding advantage.


On the other hand, anti-evolutionists opposed Darwin's allegations by giving clear examples of unfavourable designs.


Why do peacocks have a large, unwieldy tail that is bright to the eye?

Why did Ireland's extinct elk, Megaloceros, have three and a half meters of vast and bulky horns that could be considered the cause of species extinction?

Darwin takes on these challenges.

The development of peacock feathers, elks, and large weapons of Irish elk

He argued that in a competition that attracted the attention of females, it would give the males with it an advantage.


It can be seen that biological tissue was not initially designed for a particular function.


In the 20th century, teleology was further dismantled by the comprehensive theory of evolution.


The latest views on evolution and development explain the concept of "design", which was not intentionally designed.


Spontaneous pattern generation

  • He explained that chemical reactions cause zebra stripes and organized features such as melon veins.

  • There is a sophisticated pattern of pigmentation beneath the opaque layer in some cone snails, which is a derivative of a chemical reaction.


Relative growth relationship

  • The unusual horn size of Irish elk is thought to be caused by the relative growth relationship of that species.

  • Increasing the size of an organism can cause a proportional change in the size of the organism's organs.

  • Even if the growth of the body brings about advantage, it does not mean that the accompanying increase of organs brings about an advantage.


Spandrel (biology)

  • Male nipples are an inevitable result of the architectural design of organisms (Bauplan) to build breasts that function favourably in females.

  • The term spandrel refers to a feature that arises as a by-product of the structure of an organism. And it is later thought to have been extracted for another role.

  • It is unlikely that humans' biological and psychological features, including consciousness, have always played a positive role in the prosperity of the human species on Earth.


Next time, I will think about consciousness from a cognitive science standpoint, from the story that people had declared that "consciousness is useless".

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