What is pain?
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Consciousness is everything you experience - taste, pain, love, feeling. Where these experiences come from is a mystery.
Many modern analytic philosophers of mind either deny the existence of consciousness, or they argue that they can never be meaningfully studied by science.
What is it about brain matter that gives rise to consciousness? In particular, the neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC) - the minimal neuronal mechanisms jointly sufficient for any conscious experience.
Consider this question: What must happen in your brain for you to experience a toothache?
The whole brain can be considered an NCC because it generates experience continually.
Consciousness emerges from brain function, and we often experience consciousness to be located in the brain, but bodily feedback clearly contributes to a wide variety of subjective feelings. Brain and body jointly generate our inner mental world from various inputs.
Emotion-related inputs from the body to the brain could have generated the first traces of consciousness in our early ancestors. Being able to feel pain gives a survival advantage to animals, as they could have withdrawn from dangers and rested to promote recovery when injured or ill.
The development of awareness of body-related harms might have ultimately paved the road for the emergence of more advanced forms of conscious thought and processes, such as language, thinking, and reasoning.
Our bodies signal our internal states to us, but it also often externalizes them too. And being able to track others’ inner states and goals might be one of the more advantageous capabilities.
Humans and many animals are adept at reading each other’s intentions, feelings, and goals from their behavior such as facial and bodily expressions. This promotes social cohesion by exchanging emotions and other mental states and presents evolutionary advantages a purely private consciousness wouldn’t have.