Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Does Consciousness Come in Degrees?

Philosophy News image
Every living thing responds selectively to its immediate environment.  Rocks don’t.  One-celled organisms do. Viruses are a borderline case.To speak of perception is a little more demanding. Do amoebas actually perceive things in their environment? Do stylops? Do ants, for that matter? When we say perceive, we’re thinking of sense organs, inputs and information-processing, however rudimentary. Those criteria are vague and admit many borderline cases; they might even be said to come in degrees.  But when we agree that an animal does perceive, we are attributing to it a kind of consciousness, namely, perceptual consciousness of the world around it. Perception itself certainly admits degrees.  Some animals perceive more information per second than others; or they make a greater number of distinctions than others.  Likewise, if an animal has a greater variety of senses, it will enjoy a higher degree of perceptual consciousness.A creature that does perceive the external world to any signifi...

Continue reading . . .

News source: iai News RSS feed

blog comments powered by Disqus