Dennett, consciousness, and the sorrows of functionalism

Consciousness and Cognition 2 (1):1-17 (1993)
Little is gained, and much lost, by casting an empirical theory of consciousness in a "functionalist" philosophical mold. Consciousness Explained is an instructive failure. It resurrects various behaviorist dogmas; it denies consciousness any distinct cognitive ontology; it obliquely adopts many long-standing research positions relating parallel and sequential processing to consciousness, yet denies the core assumption which produced this research; it takes parallel processing to be incompatible with educated common-sense views of consciousness , while in fact parallel processing is compatible with some Cartesian Theater views. Contrary to Dennett, the Cartesian Theater does not necessarily imply that contents must fully "arrive" in consciousness at a single, specifiable instant; criticism of the Cartesian Theater based on this attribution is thus without force. And if consciousness is a distinct information-bearing medium, functionalist attempts to "explain" consciousness are inherently inadequate
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DOI 10.1006/ccog.1993.1001
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Elizabeth Schier (2009). Identifying Phenomenal Consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):216-222.

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