This is the context:

It’s very hard to find the place where consciousness “gives out” as you move across the natural order. If one looks for a capacity without which there wouldn’t be consciousness, for example, language or reasoning or certain kinds of emotion.

source: The enigma of human consciousness.New York Academy of Sciences.

What is the meaning of "gives out" in this context? is it like showing up?

  • 2
    I think it means "ceases to be apparent". For example, as you consider humans, other mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, grubs, mites, microbes ... or trees, fungi, lichens, mould, ... or fish, etc, even rocks! At what point is there no consciousness? It's a deep philosophical question, as much as to what consciousness is as well as who has it. Dec 18, 2019 at 19:48
  • The last sentence is incomplete. Did you leave any of it out?
    – AIQ
    Dec 18, 2019 at 22:10
  • @AIQ No. It was like this. Dec 19, 2019 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


"Give out" is a phrase.

Cambridge says "if a machine or part of your body gives out, it stops working."

In your context, it is saying that it is hard to find a place where we stop being conscious of our surroundings (or something else like life or existence). I can't quite say anymore without more content from the source.

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