Reply to Shriver and Allen

Philosophical Psychology 18 (1):113-122 (2005)
Shriver and Allen (this volume, this journal; hereafter S&A) make three unconnected criticisms of my views concerning phenomenal consciousness and the question of animal consciousness. First, they claim that my dispositional higher-order thought theory of consciousness has much greater significance for ethics than I recognize. Second, they claim that, in the course of attempting to motivate that theory, I have presented inadequate criticisms of first-order theories (according to which phenomenal consciousness may well be rampant in the animal world). And third, they claim that my argument that the question of animal consciousness might not matter a great deal for comparative psychology may prove too much, showing that such consciousness is genuinely epiphenomenal in ourselves, and undermining some of my own evolutionary arguments in support of higher-order theories. I shall focus mostly on the second and third criticisms. But I begin with a few remarks about the first.
Keywords Animal  Consciousness  Epistemology  Allen, Colin  Shriver, Adam
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DOI 10.1080/09515080500115739
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Peter Carruthers (1999). Sympathy and Subjectivity. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (4):465-82.

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Colin Allen (1997). The Discovery of Animal Consciousness: An Optimistic Assessment. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 10 (3):217-225.

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