Explicitness and nonconnectionist vehicle theories of consciousness

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (2):302-303 (2004)
O'Brien & Opie's connectionist vehicle theory of consciousness is heavily dependent on their notion of explicitness as (1) structural and (2) necessary and sufficient for consciousness. These assumptions unnecessarily constrain their position: the authors are forced to find an intrinsic property of patterns that accounts for the distinction between conscious and unconscious states. Their candidate property, stability, does not capture this distinction. Yet, I show that we can drop assumptions (1) and (2) and still develop a vehicle theory of consciousness. This alternative is better served by models that incorporate both connectionist and symbolic representations.
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