Distributed Nervous System, Disunified Consciousness?
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What is it like to be an octopus, one of those eight-armed, infinitely flexible sea creatures with a nervous system distributed over head, eyes and arms? Carls-Diamante (2017) argued that octopuses, because of their distributed nervous systems, are likely to possess disunified consciousness. I will argue that the structure of the nervous system by itself does not directly inform us about the structure of consciousness. Rather, we need an organism-level mechanism, which I believe a sensorimotor integrationist account can provide. On this account, the structure of an organism’s consciousness is explained partly by what the external world is like, and partly by how the organism’s body, senses and nervous system enable it to interact with the external world.
Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen