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  1. Review of Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Metazoa: Animal Minds and the Birth of Consciousness - Peter Godfrey-Smith, Metazoa: Animal Minds and the Birth of Consciousness. Glasgow: William Collins (2020), 288 pp., $24.99 (hardcover; also available in paperback, nook, and audiobook formats). [REVIEW]Walter Veit - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (3):658-660.
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  • Towards a Comparative Study of Animal Consciousness.Walter Veit - 2022 - Biological Theory 17 (4):292-303.
    In order to develop a true biological science of consciousness, we have to remove humans from the center of reference and develop a bottom-up comparative study of animal minds, as Donald Griffin intended with his call for a “cognitive ethology.” In this article, I make use of the pathological complexity thesis (Veit 2022a, b, c ) to show that we can firmly ground a comparative study of animal consciousness by drawing on the resources of state-based behavioral life history theory. By (...)
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  • Consciousness, complexity, and evolution.Walter Veit - 2022 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45.
    The idea that consciousness and complexity are closely related has been a major driver of the popularity of integrated information theory of consciousness, despite its major formal, phenomenological, and neuroscientific shortcomings. Here, I argue that we can recover this intuition by replacing its biologically neutral notion of complexity with an evolutionary one that I shall dub “pathological complexity.”.
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  • Agential thinking.Walter Veit - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5):13393-13419.
    In his 2009 monograph, Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection, Peter Godfrey-Smith accuses biologists of demonstrating ‘Darwinian Paranoia’ when they engage in what he dubs ‘agential thinking’. But as Daniel Dennett points out, he offers neither an illuminating set of examples nor an extended argument for this assertion, deeming it to be a brilliant propaganda stroke against what is actually a useful way of thinking. Compared to the dangers of teleological thinking in biology, the dangers of agential thinking have unfortunately rarely (...)
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  • The Measurement Problem of Consciousness.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (1):85-108.
    This paper addresses what we consider to be the most pressing challenge for the emerging science of consciousness: the measurement problem of consciousness. That is, by what methods can we determine the presence of and properties of consciousness? Most methods are currently developed through evaluation of the presence of consciousness in humans and here we argue that there are particular problems in application of these methods to nonhuman cases—what we call the indicator validity problem and the extrapolation problem. The first (...)
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