Consciousness, Representation, and Flexibility

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Languedoc, William




Determining whether another being is conscious first involves determining what consciousness is. In Chapter 1, I argue against the view that consciousness is unlike the rest of cognition, and in favor of a view that sees consciousness as a cognitive function like any other. In Chapter 2, I argue that most cognitivist accounts of consciousness fail in one of two ways: they are narrowly circular, or they change the subject. I suggest that one way to avoid these common routes to failure is to adopt what I refer to as the Minimal Claim - that consciousness has a representational base. In Chapter 3, I apply the work done in the two previous chapters to the issue of ascribing consciousness to beings other than ourselves, suggesting that behavioral flexibility may play an important role.




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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