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Summary This category covers questions as to whether self-consciousness can or cannot be incorporated into a functionalist view of the mind, and if it can, what a functionalist account of self-consciousness might look like.
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  1. Evolution as Connecting First-Person and Third-Person Perspectives of Consciousness (ASSC12 2008).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    First-person and third-person perspectives are different items of human consciousness. Feeling the taste of a fruit or being consciously part of a group eating fruits call for different perspectives of consciousness. The latter is about objective reality (third-person data). The former is about subjective experience (first-person data) and cannot be described entirely by objective reality. We propose to look at how these two perspectives could be rooted in an evolutionary origin of human consciousness, and somehow be connected. Our starting point (...)
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  2. Performances of Self-Awareness Used to Explain the Evolutionary Advantages of Consciousness (TSC 2004).Christophe R. Menant - manuscript
    The question about evolution of consciousness has been addressed so far as possible selectional advantage related to consciousness ("What evolutionary advantages, if any, being conscious might confer on an organism ? "). But evidencing an adaptative explanation of consciousness has proven to be very difficult. Reason for that being the complexity of consciousness. We take here a different approach on subject by looking at possible selectional advantages related to the performance of Self Awareness that appeared during evolution millions of years (...)
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  3. Self-Consciousness and Reductive Functionalism.Arvid Båve - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):1-21.
    It is argued that although George Bealer's influential ‘Self-Consciousness argument’ refutes standard versions of reductive functionalism (RF), it fails to generalize in the way Bealer supposes. To wit, he presupposes that any version of RF must take the content of ‘pain’ to be the property of being in pain (and so on), which is expressly rejected in independently motivated versions of conceptual role semantics (CRS). Accordingly, there are independently motivated versions of RF, incorporating CRS, which avoid Bealer's main type of (...)
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  4. The Moral Insignificance of Self‐Consciousness.Joshua Shepherd - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (4).
    In this paper, I examine the claim that self-consciousness is highly morally significant, such that the fact that an entity is self-conscious generates strong moral reasons against harming or killing that entity. This claim is apparently very intuitive, but I argue it is false. I consider two ways to defend this claim: one indirect, the other direct. The best-known arguments relevant to self-consciousness's significance take the indirect route. I examine them and argue that in various ways they depend on unwarranted (...)
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  5. Other Minds and the Origins of Consciousness.Ted Everett - 2014/2015 - Anthropology and Philosophy 11.
    Why are we conscious? What does consciousness enable us to do that cannot be done by zombies in the dark? This paper argues that introspective consciousness probably co-evolved as a "spandrel" along with our more useful ability to represent the mental states of other people. The first part of the paper defines and motivates a conception of consciousness as a kind of "double vision" – the perception of how things seem to us as well as what they are – along (...)
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  6. Das Gefühl des Lebendigseins.Eva-Maria Engelen - 2014 - In Vom Leben Zur Bedeutung: Philosophische Studien Zum Verhältnis von Gefühl, Bewusstsein Und Sprache. De Gruyter. pp. 5-42.
    Wie ist zu erklären, dass wir uns lebendig fühlen und nicht lediglich lebendig sind? Es werden Voraussetzungen dafür erörtert, was es bedarf, damit sich ein Lebewesen lebendig fühlt. Denn fühlt es sich lebendig, verfügt es über eine rudimentäre, einfache Form des Bewusstseins, die die Schwelle zwischen Leben und Erleben darstellt. Es geht um ein präreflexives Selbst-Gewahrseins des lebendigen Körpers, das die erste Stufe einer Entwicklungsreihe bezüglich des Bewusstseins darstellt. Überlegungen zu einer solchen Form des empfindenden Selbstgewahrseins erlauben es zugleich zeitgenössische (...)
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  7. On Consciousness.David Tribe - 2014 - Australian Humanist, The 114:10.
    Tribe, David In my reply to criticisms of my article 'On Death', I observed that 'the origin and nature of consciousness and self-awareness, though clearly related to brain function, are still hotly debated among scientists'. They are increasingly being joined in the fray by philosophers.
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  8. Gottfried Vosgerau, Mental Representation and Self‐Consciousness. From Basic Self‐Representation to Self‐Related Cognition, Paderborn: Mentis, 2009, 179 Pp., € 24.00, ISBN: 3897856271. [REVIEW]Cordula Brand - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (2):248-252.
  9. Could a Brain in a Vat Self‐Refer?Rory Madden - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (1):74-93.
    : Radical sceptical possibilities challenge the anti-realist view that truth consists in ideal rational acceptability. Putnam, as part of his defence of an anti-realist view, subjected the case of the brain in a vat to a semantic externalist treatment, which aimed to maintain the desired connection between truth and ideal rational acceptability. It is argued here that self-consciousness poses special problems for this externalist strategy. It is shown how, on a standard model of first-person reference, Putnam's brain in a vat (...)
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  10. Artificial Qualia, Intentional Systems and Machine Consciousness.Robert James M. Boyles - 2012 - In Proceedings of the DLSU Congress 2012. pp. 110a–110c.
    In the field of machine consciousness, it has been argued that in order to build human-like conscious machines, we must first have a computational model of qualia. To this end, some have proposed a framework that supports qualia in machines by implementing a model with three computational areas (i.e., the subconceptual, conceptual, and linguistic areas). These abstract mechanisms purportedly enable the assessment of artificial qualia. However, several critics of the machine consciousness project dispute this possibility. For instance, Searle, in his (...)
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  11. The Bodily Social Self: A Link Between Phenomenal and Narrative Selfhood.Harry Farmer & Manos Tsakiris - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (1):125-144.
    The Phenomenal Self (PS) is widely considered to be dependent on body representations, whereas the Narrative Self (NS) is generally thought to rely on abstract cognitive representations. The concept of the Bodily Social Self (BSS) might play an important role in explaining how the high level cognitive self-representations enabling the NS might emerge from the bodily basis of the PS. First, the phenomenal self (PS) and narrative self (NS), are briefly examined. Next, the BSS is defined and its potential for (...)
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  12. Conscious States as Objects of Awareness: On Uriah Kriegel, Subjective Consciousness: A Self-Representational Theory.Brie Gertler - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (3):447-455.
    Conscious states as objects of awareness: on Uriah Kriegel, Subjective consciousness: a self - representational theory Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9763-9 Authors Brie Gertler, Corcoran Department of Philosophy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  13. Subjective Consciousness and Self-Representation.Robert Van Gulick - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (3):457-465.
    Subjective consciousness and self-representation Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9765-7 Authors Robert Van Gulick, Department of Philosophy, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  14. The Nature of Representation and the Experience of Oneself: A Critical Notice on Gottfried Vosgerau's Mental Representation and Self-Consciousness.Glenn Carruthers - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):411 - 425.
  15. Information and Computation: Essays on Scientific and Philosophical Understanding of Foundations of Information and Computation.Gordana Dodig Crnkovic & Mark Burgin (eds.) - 2011 - World Scientific.
    Information is a basic structure of the world, while computation is a process of the dynamic change of information. This book provides a cutting-edge view of world's leading authorities in fields where information and computation play a central role. It sketches the contours of the future landscape for the development of our understanding of information and computation, their mutual relationship and the role in cognition, informatics, biology, artificial intelligence, and information technology. -/- This book is an utterly enjoyable and engaging (...)
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  16. Świadomość jako relacja w ujęciu Paula Natorpa.Tomasz Kubalica - 2011 - Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia (4):23-36.
    Przedmiotem artykułu jest krytyczna analiza teorii świadomości rozumianej jako dwuczłonowa relacja asymetryczna. Koncepcja taka została sformułowana przez Paula Natorpa w Allgemeine Psychologie nach kritischer Methode. Według tej teorii świadomość nie jest ani aktem, ani czynnością, ani stanem, lecz czystym stosunkiem podmiotu do przedmiotu. Świadomość jako relacja różnicująca jest w tym ujęciu relacją asymetryczną, to znaczy, że nie można podmiotu ująć jako przedmiotu i odwrotnie, czyli tylko przedmiot może być uświadomiony przez podmiot.
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  17. The Self-Consciousness Argument : Functionalism and the Corruption of Intentional Content.George Bealer - 2010 - In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter I argue that there is such a barrier created by self-conscious intentional states—conscious intentional states that are about one’s own conscious intentional states. As we will see, however, this result is entirely compatible with a scientific theory of mind, and, in fact, there is an elegant non-reductive framework in which just such a theory may be pursued.
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  18. Meeting Floridi's Challenge to Artificial Intelligence From the Knowledge-Game Test for Self-Consciousness.Selmer Bringsjord - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (3):292-312.
    Abstract: In the course of seeking an answer to the question "How do you know you are not a zombie?" Floridi (2005) issues an ingenious, philosophically rich challenge to artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of an extremely demanding version of the so-called knowledge game (or "wise-man puzzle," or "muddy-children puzzle")—one that purportedly ensures that those who pass it are self-conscious. In this article, on behalf of (at least the logic-based variety of) AI, I take up the challenge—which is to (...)
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  19. The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity: A Brief Summary with Examples.Thomas Metzinger - 2010 - Humana Mente 4 (14):1-28.
  20. Parsing the Turing Test: Philosophical and Methodological Issues in the Quest for the Thinking Computer.Robert Epstein & G. Peters (eds.) - 2009 - Springer.
    Parsing the Turing Test is a landmark exploration of both the philosophical and methodological issues surrounding the search for true artificial intelligence. Will computers and robots ever think and communicate the way humans do? When a computer crosses the threshold into self-consciousness, will it immediately jump into the Internet and create a World Mind? Will intelligent computers someday recognize the rather doubtful intelligence of human beings? Distinguished psychologists, computer scientists, philosophers, and programmers from around the world debate these weighty issues (...)
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  21. Self-Awareness Deficits Following Loss of Inner Speech: Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s Case Study.Alain Morin - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):524-529.
    In her 2006 book ‘‘My Stroke of Insight” Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor relates her experience of suffering from a left hemispheric stroke caused by a congenital arteriovenous malformation which led to a loss of inner speech. Her phenomenological account strongly suggests that this impairment produced a global self-awareness deficit as well as more specific dysfunctions related to corporeal awareness, sense of individuality, retrieval of autobiographical memories, and self-conscious emotions. These are examined in details and corroborated by numerous excerpts from Taylor’s (...)
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  22. Metarepresentation, Self-Organization and Art.Wolfgang Wildgen & Barend van Heusden (eds.) - 2009 - Peter Lang.
    This book is about the interrelationship between nature, semiosis, metarepresentation and (self-)consciousness, and the role played by metarepresentation in ...
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  23. Sobre símbolos, experiencias intelectuales y la deconstrucción de la subjetividad moderna.Juan José Padial Benticuaga - 2008 - Studia Poliana 10:107-118.
    This paper focuses on the decryption of both a symbol and an intellectual experience. It also follows the methodology of not pulling the ladder. Symbols are always enigmatic knowledges. They canot be decrypted exhaustively and, as such, to discover or to propose a symbol, its interpretation, and finally its decryption are always dense endeavors. This paper wants to note the relationship between contemporary symbolic anthropologies with the later epistemology Polo has elaborated. This epistemological proposal of Polo concerns itself with the (...)
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  24. Anticipation and Self-Consciousness. Are These Functions of the Brain? Commentary on the Target Artcle by Martin V. Butz.H. R. Maturana - 2008 - Constructivist Foundations 4 (1).
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  25. Anticipation and Self-Consciousness. Are These Functions of the Brain?H. R. Maturana - 2008 - Constructivist Foundations 4 (1):18-20.
    Open peer commentary on the target article “How and Why the Brain Lays the Foundations for a Conscious Self” by Martin V. Butz. Excerpt: My reflections will be first, about how the brain operates in the generation of the adequate behavior of an organism in a changing medium, and second, about how self-consciousness appears in the course of the history of humanness.
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  26. The Role of the Self Process in Embodied Machine Consciousness.Owen Holland, Rob Knight & Richard Newcombe - 2007 - In Antonio Chella & Riccardo Manzotti (eds.), Artificial Consciousness. Imprint Academic. pp. 156-173.
  27. Self Models.Thomas Metzinger - 2007 - Scholarpedia.
  28. Is Self-Representation Necessary for Consciousness?William Seager - 2006 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 12.
    Brook and Raymont do not assert that self-representing representations are sufficient to generate consciousness, but they do assert that they are necessary, at least in the sense that self-representation provides the most plausible mechanism for generating conscious mental states. I argue that a first-order approach to consciousness is equally capable of accounting for the putative features of consciousness which are supposed to favor the self-representational account. If nothing is gained the simplicity of the first-order theory counts in its favor. I (...)
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  29. The Self-Representational Structure of Consciousness.Kenneth Williford - 2006 - In Uriah Kriegel & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Self-Representational Approaches to Consciousness. MIT Press.
  30. Evans and the Sense of "I".José Luis Bermúdez - 2005 - In Thought, Reference, and Experience: Themes From the Philosophy of Gareth Evans. Clarendon Press.
    This paper focuses on two enduring features of Gareth Evans’s work. The first is his rethinking of standard ways of understanding the Fregean notion of sense and the second his sustained attempt to undercut the standard opposition between Russellian and Fregean approaches to understanding thought and language.I explore the peculiar difficulties that ‘I’ poses for a Fregean theory and show how Evans’s account of the sense of the first person pronoun can be modified to meet those difficulties.
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  31. Interior Grounding, Reflection, and Self-Consciousness.Marvin L. Minsky - 2005
    Some computer programs are expert at some games. Other programs can recognize some words. Yet other programs are highly competent at solving certain technical problems. However, each of those programs is specialized, and no existing program today shows the common sense or resourcefulness of a typical two-year-old child—and certainly, no program can yet understand a typical sentence from a child’s first-grade storybook. Nor can any program today can look around a room and then identify the things that meet its eyes.
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  32. The Conscious Self: Ontology, Epistemology and the Mirror Quest.Alexei V. Samsonovich & Giorgio A. Ascoli - 2005 - Cortex. Special Issue 41 (5):621-636.
  33. Consciousness, Emotional Self-Regulation and the Brain.Mario Beauregard (ed.) - 2004 - John Benjamins.
  34. The Volitional Influence of the Mind on the Brain, with Special Reference to Emotional Self-Regulation. Consciousness, Emotional Self-Regulation and the Brain.J. Schwartz, Henry P. Stapp & Mario Beauregard - 2004 - In Mario Beauregard (ed.), Consciousness, Emotional Self-Regulation and the Brain. John Benjamins.
  35. Beyond the Justification Hypothesis: A Broader Theory of the Evolution of Self-Consciousness.Simine Vazire & Richard W. Robins - 2004 - Journal of Clinical Psychology. Special Issue 1 (12):1271-1273.
  36. Language, Tradition, and the Self in the Generation of Meaning.R. M. Burns - 2002 - History of European Ideas 28 (1-2):51-75.
    An analysis of Mark Bevir's account of the role of language and tradition on the one hand, and the individual on the other in the generation of ideas, and proposal of an alternative account It endorses Bevir's project of finding a middle way between individualism and collectivism, but finds that Bevir exaggerates the role of the individual. It argues that human selves always remains dependent on language even to articulate their own intentions to themselves. Whilst they have a capacity to (...)
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  37. The Self-Consciousness Argument: Why Tooley's Criticisms Fail.George Bealer - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 105 (3):281-307.
    Ontological functionalism's defining tenet is that mental properties can be defined wholly in terms of the general pattern of interaction of ontologically prior realizations. Ideological functionalism's defining tenet is that mental properties can only be defined nonreductively, in terms of the general pattern of their interaction with one another. My Self-consciousness Argument establishes: ontological functionalism is mistaken because its proposed definitions wrongly admit realizations into the contents of self-consciousness; ideological functionalism is the only viable alternative for functionalists. Michael Tooley's critique (...)
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  38. Realization and Mental Causation.Sydney Shoemaker - 2001 - In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 23-33.
    A common conception of what it is for one property to “realize” another suggests that it is the realizer property that does the causal work, and that the realized property is epiphenomenal. The same conception underlies George Bealer’s argument that functionalism leads to the absurd conclusion that what we take to be self-ascriptions of a mental state are really self-ascriptions of “first-order” properties that realize that state. This paper argues for a different concept of realization. A property realizes another if (...)
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  39. Functional Concepts, Referentially Opaque Contexts, Causal Relations, and the Definition of Theoretical Terms.Michael Tooley - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 105 (3):251-279.
    In his recent article, "Self-Consciousness", George Bealer has set out a novel and interesting argument against functionalism in the philosophy of mind. I shall attempt to show, however, that Bealer's argument cannot be sustained. In arguing for this conclusion, I shall be defending three main theses. The first is connected with the problem of defining theoretical predicates that occur in theories where the following two features are present: first, the theoretical predicate in question occurs within both extensional and non-extensional contexts; (...)
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  40. Fregean Equivocation and Ramsification on Sparse Theories: Response to McCullagh.George Bealer - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (5):500-510.
    This paper begins with a brief summary of the Self-consciousness Argument, developed in the author’s paper “Self-consciousness.” (This argument is designed to refute the extant versions of functionalism -- American functionalism, Australian functionalism, and language-of-thought functionalism.) After this summary is given, two thesis are defended. The first is that the Self-consciousness Argument is not guilty of a Fregean equivocation regarding embedded occurrences of mental predicates, as has been suggested by many commentators, including Mark McCullagh. The second thesis is that the (...)
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  41. Did Consciousness Evolve From Self-Paced Probing of the Environment, and Not From Reflexes?Rodney M. J. Cotterill - 2000 - Brain and Mind 1 (2):283-298.
    It is suggested that the anatomical structures whichmediate consciousness evolved as decisiveembellishments to a (non-conscious) design strategypresent even in the simplest monocellular organisms.Consciousness is thus not the pinnacle of ahierarchy whose base is the primitive reflex, becausereflexes require a nervous system, which the monocelldoes not possess. By postulating that consciousness isintimately connected to self-paced probing of theenvironment, also prominent in prokaryotic behavior,one can make mammalian neuroanatomy amenable todramatically simple rationalization.
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  42. Functionalism and Self-Consciousness.Mark McCullagh - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (5):481-499.
    I offer a philosophically well-motivated solution to a problem that George Bealer has identified, which he claims is fatal to functionalism. The problem is that there seems to be no way to generate a satisfactory Ramsey sentence of a psychological theory in which mental-state predicates occur within the scopes of mental-state predicates. My central claim is that the functional roles in terms of which a creature capable of self-consciousness identifies her own mental states must be roles that items could play (...)
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  43. Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, and Metacognition.Thomas O. Nelson - 2000 - Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2):220-223.
  44. Subjekt Und Selbstmodell. Die Perspektivität Phänomenalen Bewußtseins Vor Dem Hintergrund Einer Naturalistischen Theorie Mentaler Repräsentation.Thomas K. Metzinger - 1999 - In 自我隧道 自我的新哲学 从神经科学到意识伦理学.
    This book contains a representationalist theory of self-consciousness and of the phenomenal first-person perspective. It draws on empirical data from the cognitive and neurosciences.
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  45. The First-Person Perspective: A Test for Naturalism.Lynne Rudder Baker - 1998 - American Philosophical Quarterly 35 (4):327-348.
    Self-consciousness, many philosophers agree, is essential to being a person. There is not so much agreement, however, about how to understand what self-consciousness is. Philosophers in the field of cognitive science tend to write off self-consciousness as unproblematic. According to such philosophers, the real difficulty for the cognitive scientist is phenomenal consciousness--the fact that we have states that feel a certain way. If we had a grip on phenomenal consciousness, they think, self-consciousness could be easily handled by functionalist models. For (...)
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  46. Self-Consciousness.George Bealer - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (1):69-117.
    Self-consciousness constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to functionalism. Either the standard functional definitions of mental relations wrongly require the contents of self-consciousness to be propositions involving “realizations” rather than mental properties and relations themselves. Or else these definitions are circular. The only way to save functional definitions is to expunge the standard functionalist requirement that mental properties be second-order and to accept that they are first-order. But even the resulting “ideological” functionalism, which aims only at conceptual clarification, fails unless it incorporates (...)
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  47. Consciousness as Self-Function.Donald R. Perlis - 1997 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (5-6):509-25.
    I argue that consciousness is an aspect of an agent's intelligence, hence of its ability to deal adaptively with the world. In particular, it allows for the possibility of noting and correcting the agent's errors, as actions performed by itself. This in turn requires a robust self-concept as part of the agent's world model; the appropriate notion of self here is a special one, allowing for a very strong kind of self-reference. It also requires the capability to come to see (...)
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  48. Sense, Validity and Context.Timothy Williamson - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (3):649 - 654.
    How does Frege's distinction between sense and reference apply to terms whose reference depends on context? The stakes are high; a good account of the sense of 'I' might constitute an analysis of self-consciousness. Frege's own remarks on this matter are notoriously unsatisfactory. In "Past, Space, and Self", John Campbell does better. The depth and freshness of his investigations are outstanding. He uncovers a wide variety of evidence, both logical and psychological, to which any account must do justice.
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  49. Against a Functionalist Reading of Apperception.Andrew Kelley - 1995 - Idealistic Studies 25 (3):231-240.
    In her book, Kant’s Transcendental Psychology, Patricia Kitcher interprets Kant’s doctrine of apperception as an attempt to save some measure of “personal identity” in the wake of Hume’s arguments against personal identity. Bucking tradition, she argues that Kant’s notion of “the unity of apperception” means neither a type of self-consciousness, nor the ability for the self-ascription of cognitive states. On her view, the unity of apperception “refers to the fact that cognitive states are connected to each other through syntheses required (...)
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  50. Why Isn't My Pocket Calculator a Thinking Thing?Larry Hauser - 1993 - Minds and Machines 3 (1):3-10.
    My pocket calculator (Cal) has certain arithmetical abilities: it seems Cal calculates. That calculating is thinking seems equally untendentious. Yet these two claims together provide premises for a seemingly valid syllogism whose conclusion -- Cal thinks -- most would deny. I consider several ways to avoid this conclusion, and find them mostly wanting. Either we ourselves can't be said to think or calculate if our calculation-like performances are judged by the standards proposed to rule out Cal; or the standards -- (...)
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