Belief and consciousness

Philosophical Psychology 10 (1):41-55 (1997)
In this paper, I argue that we should not ascribe beliefs and desires to subjects like zombies or (present day) computers which do not have phenomenal consciousness. In order to ascribe beliefs, we must distinguish between personal and subpersonal content. There may be states in my brain which represent the array of light intensities on my retina, but these states are not beliefs, because they are merely subpersonal. I argue that we cannot distinguish between personal and subpersonal content without reference to phenomenal consciousness. I argue for this by examining two attempts to account for belief without reference to phenomenal consciousness, functionalism and Dennett's patterns of behavior theory, and showing that they both fail. In the course of the arguments that these attempts fail, I develop some positive reasons for believing that phenomenal consciousness is indeed necessary
Keywords Behavior  Belief  Consciousness  Science  Dennett, D
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DOI 10.1080/09515089708573203
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Thomas Nagel (1974). What is It Like to Be a Bat? Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.

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