Flanagan Evolutionary Theory

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Do dreams have an evolutionary function? In this essay I will discuss Flanagan’s reasons for believing consciousness is an adaptation, I also will discuss why sleep is an adaptation and his stance on dreams being spandrels. And I will end with my opinion on why dreams may or may not be significant based on Flanagan’s theory and the treat simulation theory. I will also discuss the reasons why or why not dreams may have an evolutionary function. As well as Freud’s view on what a dreams function could be. Lastly I will discuss how dreams sooth the soul before death. Flanagan’s reason for believing that consciousness is an adaptation stems from various questions in his book he starts my saying “what functions does consciousness serve” (Flanagan,…show more content…
Flanagan says yes “sleep is an adaptation but dreams do not have a proper evolutionary functions, and are not adaptations.” (Flanagan pg. 113) According to Flanagan sleep is an adaptation that helps restore, conserve and build. He also says that sleep can resolve many issues like oxygenating our eyes. He explains that some animals are very vulnerable when they sleep and it is instinctual that they sleep in caves or burrows to keep them safe while they rest and regenerate and it is the same for humans we usually return home and when night comes we rest in our safe environment. He also says that sleep was naturally selected and maintained by selective pressure. (Flanagan…show more content…
Dream-production mechanism tends to simulate stressful and threatening situations. By already experiencing a threat in a dream, we are at an advantage to perceive and avoid with threats in real life. (Trippitt slide, 14) “Treats encountered in recurrent dreams would be particularly dangerous; most of the time the treat was sufficiently severe to jeopardize the subjects life or physical wellbeing” (Antonio Zadra, Sophie Desjardins, Eric Marcotte, 10) in the readings it says that six of eight predictions were reported by subjects to test the treat simulation theory. Each subject kept a journal of their dreams, most of the dreams found that there was an escape route to be found. I found that when I am unable to escape a situation in my dream I just wake up, for example when I had a dream I was kidnapped I couldn’t get out so the dream ended with me waking up, I never figured out how to free myself, which is why I could remember vividly how the room was set up, I could have been observing my surroundings trying to figure out how to escape. And that’s what the treat simulation theory does, it helps us prepare for the worst. Although I didn’t get to escape that dream, I woke up and was able to remember and while remembering the dream I wondered why I couldn’t
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