1) They are focusing on “sentience” / primary consciousness / phenomenal and NOT self-consciousness. This is good because that is also my area of interest.

Good start:
1) They are focusing on “sentience” / primary consciousness / phenomenal and NOT self-consciousness. This is good because that is also my area of interest.

“Both we and the proponents of plant consciousness focus on the most basic type, called phenomenal or primary consciousness (Block 1995; Edelman et al. 2011; Feinberg and Mallatt 2016a, b; Calvo 2017; Mallatt and Feinberg 2020). Primary consciousness means having any type of experiences or feelings, no matter how faint or fleeting (Revonsuo 2006: p. 37). Such a basal type of consciousness was most succinctly characterized by Thomas Nagel (1974) as “something it is like to be” when he asked, “What is it like to be a bat?” It means having a subjective or first-person point of view, and what is sometimes called sentience (from Latin sententia, “feeling”). This primary form of consciousness does not involve the ability to reflect on the experiences, the self-awareness that one is conscious, self-recognition in a mirror, episodic memory (the recollection of past personal experiences that occurred at a particular time and place), dreaming, or higher cognitive thought, all of which are higher types of consciousness (Feinberg and Mallatt 2018: p. 131). All conscious organisms have primary consciousness, but only some of them have evolved higher consciousness on that base”


Uh oh
A) I’m not on board with point #1: I will acknowledge but give less weight to arguments that rely upon representation as a requirement for consciousness.

“There is more to the definition of primary consciousness than indicated thus far. First, the raw experience of primary consciousness is divided into two types or aspects (Feinberg and Mallatt 2016a):

1. Experiencing a mental image or representation of the sensed world.

2. Experiencing affective feelings. Affective essentially means emotional consciousness, which in its simplest form is feelings of good or bad.

Second, primary consciousness is also “understood as the capacities to be aware of the environment and to integrate sensory information for purposeful organismal behavior.” This statement came from a plant-consciousness paper (Trewavas et al. 2020) and it is a proper characterization (Feinberg and Mallatt 2018), but only if (1) “aware” has its true, dictionary definition as a felt sensory experience and is not misconstrued as mere sensory reception; and (2) “purposeful” means “volitional,” rather than merely “adaptive” in the evolutionary sense of being programmed by natural selection.”

Untestable but I agree with Reber (the creator of CBC that they are challenge) that this is possible

“Arthur Reber addressed the thorny problem of how the separate consciousnesses of our trillions of cells could fit with our single, unified, brain-based consciousness. He proposed that the body’s many cells, through extensive intercellular communication, “turned over” (some of?) their consciousness to the nervous system when the latter evolved, while still retaining their individual cellular consciousnesses (Reber 2019, pp. 195-196; Reber and Baluška 2020, p. 3). It is probably untestable, however, and Reber admitted his was a “speculative framework” without supporting evidence.”


(Note: this paper was cited in an argument against cellular consciousness yet looks worthy on its own)

Seeing around corners: Cells solve mazes and respond at a distance using attractant breakdown., Luke Tweedy et al 2020

“Cells navigate through complex environments and solve mazes by creating their own chemotactic gradients. ”

During development and metastasis, cells migrate large distances through complex environments. Migration is often guided by chemotaxis, but simple chemoattractant gradients between a source and sink cannot direct cells over such ranges. We describe how self-generated gradients, created by cells locally degrading attractant, allow single cells to navigate long, 20 tortuous paths and make accurate choices between live channels and dead ends. This allows cells to solve complex mazes efficiently. Cells’ accuracy at finding live channels was determined by attractant diffusivity, cell speed, and path complexity. Manipulating these parameters directed cells in mathematically predictable ways; specific combinations can even actively misdirect them. We propose that the length and complexity of many long-range migratory processes, 25 including inflammation and germ cell migration, means self-generated gradients are needed for successful navigation.”




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