An excellent essay ultimately about consciousness and what neuroscience may reveal about it by Adam Zeman and Oliver Davies is here from the UK magazine, Standpoint.
Recent research, and the thinking that it has inspired, does not point to any simple reductive identity of mind and brain. An influential, and representative, theory of consciousness, Giulio Tononi’s theory of “integrated information”, suggests that all of nature has a – sometimes – hidden potential for mentality. The Canadian philosopher Evan Thompson has underlined the way in which the precursors of minds like ours can be glimpsed in even the simplest of organisms. Other contemporary philosophers, including Edinburgh’s Andy Clark, have emphasised that human minds are sustained by culture and community. The role of action and the body in forming and mediating consciousness has been a key theme in the work of the American neurologist Antonio Damasio, the Parisian psychologist Kevin O’Regan, the Berkeley philosopher Alva Noë and the Brighton-based psychiatrist Hugo Critchley. In the work of these thinkers, mind is understood to be “extended, embodied and embedded” – extended in its interactions with space and time, embodied through its dialogue with both the body and the brain, and embedded in human culture and society.
Read it all. Very worthwhile.