Commonsense concepts of phenomenal consciousness: Does anyone care about functional zombies?


Authors
Bryce Huebner
Georgetown University
Abstract
It would be a mistake to deny commonsense intuitions a role in developing a theory of consciousness. However, philosophers have traditionally failed to probe commonsense in a way that allows these commonsense intuitions to make a robust contribution to a theory of consciousness. In this paper, I report the results of two experiments on purportedly phenomenal states and I argue that many disputes over the philosophical notion of ‘phenomenal consciousness’ are misguided—they fail to capture the interesting connection between commonsense ascriptions of pain and emotion. With this data in hand, I argue that our capacity to distinguish between ‘mere things’ and ‘subjects of moral concern’ rests, to a significant extent, on the sorts of mental states that we take a system to have.
Keywords Folk-psychology  Consciousness  Cyborgs  Phenomenal consciousness
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-009-9126-6
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Brainstorms.Daniel C. Dennett - 1978 - MIT Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience.Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):299-327.
Genuinely Collective Emotions.Bryce Huebner - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):89-118.
Folk Psychology, Consciousness, and Context Effects.Adam Arico - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):371-393.

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