Agency is on a continuum of evolutionary outcomes.
Agency is not a distinct category separated from the category of mechanistic processes. Levin and Dennett illustrate this point using the biology of cells. Any cell with an information-processing capability, and they all have one, has some degree of agency. All this needs to mean is that cells have goals. That sounds like anthropomorphism. But it’s not really. It is just a matter of explaining what the cell does in accessible language. Does a cell understand what it is doing? Is it aware of what it is doing? No, of course not. That is another matter. Or is it? That is the big question. Is consciousness on the same continuum? The authors duck that question in this essay, although Dennett has addressed it head-on elsewhere.
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