The interaction of intense social interaction with evolving language was like rocket fuel to human consciousness. Out of this mix evolved culture. Dennett gets into the notion of memes, which he thinks of as tiny units of cultural information. The notions of memes has many critics, but I think this is actually incidental to Dennett’s main points. You don’t need to call them memes, or even to have a concept of a cultural unit. You can think of culture as a mish-mash of ideas and behaviors with no distinguishable units, and Dennett’s main point would still hold.
Essentially you have a positive feedback loop with language, culture, social interaction, and intellectual sophistication. The result was that our proto-human ancestors dramatically increased the size of their brains in a few million years. The evolutionary pressures for greater intelligence were apparently massive, once those factors all came into play.
The result was a creature that could think in words, that could think about what other creatures felt and thought, and that could contemplate, therefore, its own feelings and thoughts.
That’s consciousness. More.
Of course. Consciousness happened to cockroaches too, and for just the same reasons: “Evolutionary pressures.”
One real benefit Darwinism offers to science is its ability to settle these issues so simply.
See also: Split brain does NOT lead to split consciousness? What? After all the naturalist pop psych lectures we paid good money for at the U? Well, suckers r’ us.
Does the ability to “split” our brains help us understand consciousness? (Apparently not.)
Researcher: Never mind the “hard problem of consciousness”: The real one is… “Our experiences of being and having a body are ‘controlled hallucinations’ of a very distinctive kind”
Searle on Consciousness “Emerging” from a Computer: “Miracles are always possible.”
Psychology Today: Latest new theory of consciousness A different one from the above.
Evolution bred a sense of reality out of us
Claim: Science is afraid of animal consciousness. Why? Won’t crackpot theories work as well as they do for human consciousness?
So then: Question: Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?
Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away
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