David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 9 (1):61-78 (1996)
Accounting for phenomenal structure—the forms, aspects, and features of conscious experience—poses a deep challenge for the scientific study of consciousness, but rather than abandon hope I propose a way forward. Connectionism, I argue, offers a bi-directional analogy, with its oft-noted “neural inspiration” on the one hand, and its largely unnoticed capacity to illuminate our phenomenology on the other. Specifically, distributed representations in a recurrent network enable networks to superpose categorical, contextual, and temporal information on a specific input representation, much as our own experience does. Artificial neural networks also suggest analogues of four salient distinctions between sensory and nonsensoty consciousness. The paper concludes with speculative proposals for discharging the connectionist heuristics to leave a robust, detailed empirical theory of consciousness.
|Keywords||Cognition Consciousness Mind Neuroscience Science|
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Nagel (1974). What is It Like to Be a Bat? Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Jeffrey L. Elman (1990). Finding Structure in Time. Cognitive Science 14 (2):179-211.
Citations of this work BETA
Gerard O'Brien & Jonathan Opie (1997). Cognitive Science and Phenomenal Consciousness: A Dilemma, and How to Avoid It. Philosophical Psychology 10 (3):269-86.
Elizabeth Schier (2009). Identifying Phenomenal Consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):216-222.
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