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The First Minds – Caterpillars, Karyotes, and Consciousness - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The First Minds: Caterpillars, Karyotes, and Consciousness

Arthur S. Reber


The book presents a novel theory of the origins of mind and consciousness dubbed the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC). It argues that sentience emerged with life itself. The most primitive unicellular species of bacteria are conscious, though it is a sentience of a primitive kind. They have minds, though they are tiny and limited in scope. There is nothing even close to this thesis in the current literature on consciousness. Hints that cells might be conscious can be found in the writings of a few cell biologists, but a fully developed theory has never been put forward before. Other appro ... More

Keywords: consciousness, mind, unicellular species, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, bacteria, sentience, the Hard Problem, philosophy of mind, reductionism, materialism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190854157
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190854157.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Arthur S. Reber, author
Visiting Professor, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada