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But it is child’s play compared to Wnding the sort of evidence that would indicate that any such “how possibly” story reXects how some variety of consciousness actually gave an organism an adaptive advantage in a selective environment. 6 By specifying the adaptive advantage of a variety of consciousness, we give an ecological account of its relative adaptedness. But even if we can discover the adaptive advantage of some variety of consciousness, that is only one piece of an adaptationist explanation.
In contrast (i) and (ii) are claims about the actual evolutionary history of kinds of organisms, and about their actual organismic mechanisms, respectively.
But giving a plausible story that satisWes the demand for an ecological explanation of relative adaptedness is not by itself suYcient for giving an adaptation explanation. There are four other conditions that need to be satisWed. 27 28 Thomas Polger and Owen Flanagan Regarding the Wrst element, if one is going to give a story about why consciousness was favored by natural selection, one needs some evidence that selection for consciousness has occurred. This is diVerent from the demand for some evidence that the evolution of consciousness occurred.