Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):153-154 (1999)

Daniel C. Dennett
Tufts University
A pure vehicle theory of the contents of consciousness is not possible. While it is true that hard-wired tacit representations are insufficient as content-vehicles, not all tacit representations are hard-wired. The definition of stability offered for patterns of neural activation is not well-motivated, and too simplistic. We disagree in particular with the assumption that stability within a network is purely intrinsic to that network. Many complex forms of stability within a network are apparent only when interpreted by something external to that network. The requirement for interpretation introduces a necessary functional element into the theory of the contents of consciousness, suggesting that a pure vehicle theory of those contents will not succeed
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DOI 10.1017/S0140525X99271798
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