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Perceptual awareness or phenomenal consciousness?A dilemma

Authors
  • Masciari, Christopher F.1
  • Carruthers, Peter1
  • 1 University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA , College Park (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biology & Philosophy
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
Mar 16, 2021
Volume
36
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10539-021-09795-1
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

We present Birch and colleagues with a dilemma. On one interpretation, they aim to chart the distribution of a sort of minimal perceptual awareness across the animal kingdom, where that awareness can be fully characterized in third-person psychological terms. On this interpretation, the project is worthy but dull, since it doesn’t touch the question that has excited most people: whether other animals are phenomenally conscious. On an alternative interpretation, in contrast, they hope to resolve this latter question, arguing that phenomenal consciousness is extremely widespread. But if this is their intention, then their argument begs the question.

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