Journal of Advanced Neuroscience Research  (Volume 4 Issue 1)
 Phylogenesis and the nature of mind janrhomeimage
Pages 1-8

Antonio Giuditta


Published: 28 April 2017

We have examined the presence of mind in phylogenetic primitive and evolved species using as criteria the objective presence of a nervous system that in man is strictly associated with mental capacities, and the likewise objective presence of sensory receptors that are strictly involved in the generation of mental images or qualia. The former criterion has indicated that mental capacities of progressively simpler nature are present in all vertebrate and invertebrate species, while the second criterion has further extended the mental domain to plants, protists and prokaryotes. Having reached the biological divide, the primitive mental capacities of prokaryotes appeared emerging from their mindless progenitors. This radical shifting was nonetheless analogous to that of systems which display different properties from their constituent subunits, as it occurs in molecules compared to their atoms. For instance, the different properties of water with regard to the constituent atoms are plainly due to the newly acquired configuration of electrons and nuclei. Accordingly, the primitive mental capacities of prokaryotes were attributed to the different ‘configuration’ acquired by the primordial mental aspects of their progenitors.

When the same reasoning was applied to progressively more elementary components (atoms, nuclei, quarks) the ultimate source of mental capacities appeared to reside in the elementary particles. Since they are likely to be the first entities of the universe and the ultimate constituents of all bodies, mind should be considered the only substance of the universe. Indeed, elementary particles and quantum entities are fields of energy and information that lack the res extensa qualities that have supported its role of additional material substance.

Evolution, mind, consciousness, matter, qualia, res extensa.