Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Evolution of Consciousness - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Evolution of Consciousness

Euan Macphail


Are non-human animals conscious? When do babies begin to feel pain? What function is served by consciousness? What evidence could resolve these issues? These questions are tackled by exploring psychologists' findings on topics as diverse as: animal cognition, unconscious learning and perception in humans, infantile amnesia, theory of mind in primates, and the nature of pleasure and pain. Experimental results are placed in theoretical context by tracing the development of concepts of consciousness in animals and humans (from Plato to Penrose). Two themes emerge: first, the capacity for language ... More

Keywords: non-human animal consciousness, human consciousness, animal cognition, unconscious learning, human perception, infantile amnesia, Plato, Penrose, language, functionalist theory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1998 Print ISBN-13: 9780198503248
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198503248.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Euan Macphail, author
University of York