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J. H. van Hateren
University of Groningen
  1.  60
    A Mechanism That Realizes Strong Emergence.J. H. van Hateren - forthcoming - Synthese.
    The causal efficacy of a material system is usually thought to be produced by the law-like actions and interactions of its constituents. Here, a specific system is constructed and explained that produces a cause that cannot be understood in this way, but instead has novel and autonomous efficacy. The construction establishes a proof-of-feasibility of strong emergence. The system works by utilizing randomness in a targeted and cyclical way, and by relying on sustained evolution by natural selection. It is not vulnerable (...)
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  2. Constructing a Naturalistic Theory of Intentionality.J. H. van Hateren - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (1):473-493.
    A naturalistic theory of intentionality is proposed that differs from previous evolutionary and tracking theories. Full-blown intentionality is constructed through a series of evolvable refinements. A first, minimal version of intentionality originates from a conjectured internal process that estimates an organism’s own fitness and that continually modifies the organism. This process produces the directedness of intentionality. The internal estimator can be parsed into intentional components that point to components of the process that produces fitness. It is argued that such intentional (...)
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  3. A Unifying Theory of Biological Function.J. H. van Hateren - 2017 - Biological Theory 12 (2):112-126.
    A new theory that naturalizes biological function is explained and compared with earlier etiological and causal role theories. Etiological theories explain functions from how they are caused over their evolutionary history. Causal role theories analyze how functional mechanisms serve the current capacities of their containing system. The new proposal unifies the key notions of both kinds of theories, but goes beyond them by explaining how functions in an organism can exist as factors with autonomous causal efficacy. The goal-directedness and normativity (...)
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  4. Consciousness Results When Communication Modifies the Form of Self-Estimated Fitness.J. H. van Hateren - manuscript
    The origin and development of consciousness is poorly understood. Although it is clearly a naturalistic phenomenon evolved through Darwinian evolution, explaining it in terms of physicochemical, neural, or symbolic mechanisms remains elusive. Here I propose that two steps had to be taken in its evolution. First, living systems evolved an intrinsic goal-directedness by internalizing Darwinian fitness as a self-estimated fitness. The self-estimated fitness participates in a feedback loop that effectively produces intrinsic meaning in the organism. Second, animals with advanced nervous (...)
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  5. Solutions to Some Philosophical Problems of Consciousness.J. H. Van Hateren - manuscript
    A recently developed computational and neurobiological theory of phenomenal consciousness is applied to a series of persistent philosophical problems of consciousness (in recent formulations by Tye, Searle, and Chalmers). Each problem has a clear solution according to this theory, as is briefly explained here.
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  6. The Evolved Self has Agency, Purpose, and Unity.J. H. van Hateren - manuscript
    Recently developed extensions of evolutionary theory are used to explain the human self as an evolved, unitary, and purposeful phenomenon. A basic mechanism that can generate life's agency and goal-directedness is combined with mechanisms that can account for awareness by and of the self, and for the social characteristics of humans. The new theory is largely consistent with major existing theories of the self, in particular theories centred on self-esteem, self-determination theory, and terror management theory. It can therefore be regarded (...)
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