Subjectivity: A Case of Biological Individuation and an Adaptive Response to Informational Overflow

Frontiers in Psychology 7 (2016)
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Abstract

The article presents a perspective on the scientific explanation of the subjectivity of conscious experience. It proposes plausible answers for two empirically valid questions: the ‘how’ question concerning the developmental mechanisms of subjectivity, and the ‘why’ question concerning its function. Biological individuation, which is acquired in several different stages, serves as a provisional description of how subjective perspectives may have evolved. To the extent that an individuated informational space seems the most efficient way for a given organism to select biologically valuable information, subjectivity is deemed to constitute an adaptive response to informational overflow. One of the possible consequences of this view is that subjectivity might be (at least functionally) dissociated from consciousness, insofar as the former primarily facilitates selection, the latter action.

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