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By Wittekind, W.D

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8 The man who made that the fundamental unit of an evolutionary explanation of behavior was Herbert Spencer. In the 1885 edition of the Principles ofPsychology, Spencer introduced the idea of automatism, when he described as "purely automatic" the behavior sequence of an organism when it takes the form of reciprocal, immediate and univocally defined coordination of single adaptive actions. We shall see in the next chapter that behind this idea lies the picture of nervous current as a flux along paths connecting the sensory or afferent system with the motor or efferent system.

Such behavior suggests no "reasoning by analogy" to support the attribution to animals of consciousness as a subjective experience. In other words, we cannot tell if the internal physiological states of adaptation and learning of non human animals are accompanied by conscious states like those we are willing to attribute to human beings. 5. Machines and functional organization According to Jennings' conclusions, 'intelligence' becomes synonymous with adaptive and self-regulatory behavior, albeit with extremely different degrees of efficacy, and this behavior can be observed through experimental study of the different action systems along the entire scale of the biological and physico-chemical worlds alike.

The presence of action systems outside the world ofliving organisms would be one possible way of showing its truly mechanical character. Actually Jennings observes, first of all, that the mechanisms of individual selection are no different than those of natural selection. In this regard he goes back to an idea of Baldwin's, that of organic selection. Just as the individual chooses and then (through the law of readier resolution) fixes the tendentially best adaptive move in his action system, so nature chooses and then (through a mechanism that is similar in principle) retains the most adaptive variations.

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