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Two Conceptions of Machine Phenomenality

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Abstract:

Current approaches to machine consciousness (MC) tend to offer a range of characteristic responses to critics of the enterprise. Many of these responses seem to marginalize phenomenal consciousness, by presupposing a 'thin' conception of phenomenality. This conception is, we will argue, largely shared by anti- computationalist critics of MC. On the thin conception, physiological or neural or functional or organizational features are secondary accompaniments to consciousness rather than primary components of consciousness itself. We outline an alternative, 'thick' conception of phenomenality. This shows some signposts in the direction of a more adequate approach to MC.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Research in Cognitive Science, Department of Informatics, University of Sussex, Falmer, Sussex BN1 9QH, Email: stevet@sussex.ac.uk

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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