The Emergence of Consciousness: A top-down, social phenomenon?
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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In How the Mind Uses the Brain Ralph Ellis and Natika Newton develop a novel embodied, enactive theory of consciousness, according to which consciousness has its basis in neural systems that prepare the system to perform actions of emotional significance to the organism. Consciousness emerges out of self-organising processes which function in such a way as to contribute to, and maintain, the organism’s overall wellbeing. I’ll begin this review by reconstructing Ellis and Newton’s view of consciousness as a self-organising process, and then go on to compare and contrast the enactive theory with the model of consciousness Chris Frith has outlined in his lectures.


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