Commonsense concepts of phenomenal consciousness: Does anyone care about functional zombies?

It would be a mistake to deny commonsense intuitions a role in developing a theory of consciousness. However, philosophers have traditionally failed to probe commonsense in a way that allows these commonsense intuitions to make a robust contribution to a theory of consciousness. In this paper, I report the results of two experiments on purportedly phenomenal states and I argue that many disputes over the philosophical notion of ‘phenomenal consciousness’ are misguided—they fail to capture the interesting connection between commonsense ascriptions of pain and emotion. With this data in hand, I argue that our capacity to distinguish between ‘mere things’ and ‘subjects of moral concern’ rests, to a significant extent, on the sorts of mental states that we take a system to have.
Keywords Folk-psychology  Consciousness  Cyborgs  Phenomenal consciousness
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11097-009-9126-6
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,938
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Adam Arico (2010). Folk Psychology, Consciousness, and Context Effects. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):371-393.
Justin Sytsma (2010). The Proper Province of Philosophy. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):427-445.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

113 ( #20,392 of 1,725,630 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #81,222 of 1,725,630 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.