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Michael Trestman [9]Michael A. Trestman [1]
  1. The Cambrian Explosion and the Origins of Embodied Cognition.Michael Trestman - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (1):80-92.
    Around 540 million years ago there was a sudden, dramatic adaptive radiation known as the Cambrian Explosion. This event marked the origin of almost all of the phyla (major lineages characterized by fundamental body plans) of animals that would ever live on earth, as well the appearance of many notable features such as rigid skeletons and other hard parts, complex jointed appendages, eyes, and brains. This radical evolutionary event has been a major puzzle for evolutionary biologists since Darwin, and while (...)
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  2. Animal consciousness.Colin Allen & Michael Trestman - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  3.  39
    Animal Consciousness.Colin Allen & Michael Trestman - 2017 - In Susan Schneider & Max Velmans (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 63–76.
    This article surveys philosophical and scientific issues arising from questions about animal consciousness. These questions include: which animals have consciousness and what (if anything) that consciousness might be like. Just what sort(s) of science can bear on these questions is a live issue, but investigations of the behavior and neurophysiology of a wide taxonomic range of animals, as well as the phylogenetic relationships among taxa are relevant. Such questions are also deeply philosophical, with epistemological, metaphysical, and phenomenological dimensions. Progress will (...)
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  4.  18
    Energy and Expectation: The Dynamics of Living Consciousness.Michael Trestman - 2023 - Biosemiotics 16 (2):269-279.
    Jablonka and Ginsburg’s target paper (2022) argues that (a) consciousness is closely tied to goal-directed behavior and an open-ended capacity for learning and adaptation driven by exploration-and-stabilization dynamics; and (b) consciousness has this essential dynamical nature due to its emergence in evolution from the spontaneous exploration-and-stabilization dynamics of animal life, which the authors term vivaciousness. In this commentary, I explore these two claims with relation to two features of experience that are of clear importance to goal-directed behavior both phenomenologically and (...)
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  5.  65
    Implicit and Explicit Goal-Directedness.Michael A. Trestman - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (2):207-236.
    In this paper, I develop and defend a theory of what I call 'implicit goal-directedness', which is a purely causal or dynamical notion, and can be separated from the notion of 'explicit goal-directedness', which implies the representation of a goal-state. I describe the problems that plagued earlier attempts at analyzing goal-directedness in causal/dynamical terms, and then present my own novel solution. I argue that implicit goal-directedness, in the sense presented, plays an important conceptual role in biology and cognitive science, and (...)
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  6.  21
    Clever Hans, Alex the Parrot, and Kanzi: What can Exceptional Animal Learning Teach us About Human Cognitive Evolution?Michael Trestman - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (1):86-99.
    The development of cognitive capacities depends on environmental conditions, including various forms of scaffolding. As a result, the evolution of cognition depends on the evolution of activities that provide scaffolding for cognitive development. Non-human animals reared and trained in environments heavily scaffolded with human social interaction can acquire non-species-typical knowledge, skills, and capacities. This can potentially shed light on some of the changes that paved the way for the evolution of distinctively human behavioral capacities such as language, advanced social cognition, (...)
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    The modal breadth of consciousness.Michael Trestman - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):843-861.
  8.  39
    The Modal Breadth of Consciousness.Michael Trestman - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology (6):1-19.
  9.  33
    Two strategies for investigating the evolution of behavior.Michael Trestman - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):871-889.
    In this paper I distinguish and characterize two strategies, both prominent in contemporary biology, for investigating the evolution of behavior. The ‘Lorenzian Strategy’ is taxon-focused, holistic, and particularistic, and relies heavily on naturalistic observation as well as careful experimental manipulation of target systems; it tends to produce detailed knowledge of concrete historical instances of the evolution of behavior in particular lineages. The ‘Analytic Strategy’ is principle-focused, generative, and taxonomically universal; it relies on the development of mathematical principles (simple analytic models) (...)
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  10.  48
    Which Comes First in Major Transitions: The Behavioral Chicken, or the Evolutionary Egg?Michael Trestman - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (1):48 - 55.
    This paper takes a close look at the role of behavior in the “major transitions” in evolution—events during which inheritance and development, and therefore the process of adaptation by natural selection, are reorganized at a new level of compositional hierarchy—and at the requirements for sufficiently explaining these important events in the history of life. I argue that behavior played a crucial role in driving at least some of the major transitions. Because behavioral interactions can become stably organized in novel ways (...)
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