Computation, reduction, and teleology of consciousness

Cognitive Systems Research 1 (1):241-249 (2001)
This paper aims to explore mechanistic and teleological explanations of consciousness. In terms of mechanistic explanations, it critiques various existing views, especially those embodied by existing computational cognitive models. In this regard, the paper argues in favor of the explanation based on the distinction between localist (symbolic) representation and distributed representation (as formulated in the connectionist literature), which reduces the phenomenological difference to a mechanistic difference. Furthermore, to establish a teleological explanation of consciousness, the paper discusses the issue of the functional role of consciousness on the basis of the aforementioned mechanistic explanation. A proposal based on synergistic interaction between the conscious and the unconscious is advanced that encompasses various existing views concerning the functional role of consciousness. This two-step deepening explanation has some empirical support, in the form of a cognitive model and various cognitive data that it captures. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved
Keywords *Cognitive Processes  *Consciousness States  *Mind  *Models  *Theories  Neural Networks
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Ben Goertzel (2011). Hyperset Models of Self, Will and Reflective Consciousness. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 3 (01):19-53.

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