The thinking ape: The enigma of human consciousness Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Consciousness
  • Hominidae
  • Thinking


  • What is the origin and nature of consciousness? If consciousness is common to humans and animals alike, what are the defining traits of human consciousness? Moderated by Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, Nobel laureate psychologist Daniel Kahneman, philosopher David Chalmers, expert in primate cognition Laurie Santos, and physician-scientist Nicholas Schiff discuss what it means to be conscious and examine the human capacities displayed in cognitive, aesthetic, and ethical behaviors, with a focus on the place and function of the mind within nature. The following is an edited transcript of the discussion that occurred October 10, 2012, 7:00-8:15 PM, at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City.

publication date

  • November 2013



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/nyas.12165

PubMed ID

  • 24236861

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 4

end page

  • 23; discussion 24


  • 1303


  • 1