11. What is it like to be a brain?

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The touchstone of the evolution of mammals from primitive reptiles has been the development of an increased level of activity … The skull has been affected primarily by the great enlargement of the brain needed in an active animal …. In the evolution through reptiles to mammals, numerous changes occur in the nervous system which are related in large measure to the increased activity and flexibility of response of mammals. A major change in the brain is the evolution of a neopallium, or neocortex, in the cerebral hemispheres to which sensory impulses are projected and where many motor impulses originate …. Another important change is the great enlargement of the cerebellum. This is correlated with the increased complexity of muscular movement … Warren F. Walker (1975:75, 214) The feeling of an unbridgeable gulf between consciousness and brain-process … This idea of a difference in kind is accompanied by slight giddiness … When does this feeling occur in the present case? It is when I, for example, turn my attention in a particular way on to my own consciousness, and, astonished, say to myself: THIS is supposed to be produced by a process in the brain! — as it were clutching my forehead.Ludwig Wittgenstein (1963:124)


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