Authors
Jonathan Opie
University of Adelaide
Abstract
One of the principal tasks Dennett sets himself in Consciousness Explained is to demolish the Cartesian theater model of phenomenal consciousness, which in its contemporary garb takes the form of Cartesian materialism: the idea that conscious experience is a process of presentation realized in the physical materials of the brain. The now standard response to Dennett is that, in focusing on Cartesian materialism, he attacks an impossibly naive account of consciousness held by no one currently working in cognitive science or the philosophy of mind. Our response is quite different. We believe that, once properly formulated, Cartesian materialism is no straw man. Rather, it is an attractive hypothesis about the relationship between the computational architecture of the brain and phenomenal consciousness, and hence one that is worthy of further exploration. Consequently, our primary aim in this paper is to defend Cartesian materialism from Dennett's assault. We do this by showing that Dennett's argument against this position is founded on an implicit assumption, which while valid in the context of classical cognitive science, is not forced on connectionism.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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Reprint years 2000, 2006
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.2307/2653563
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Putting Content Into a Vehicle Theory of Consciousness.Gerard O'Brien & Jonathan Opie - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):175-196.
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