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Taking Consciousness Seriously -- as an Illusion

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I supplement Frankish's defence of illusionism by pressing a point I've made elsewhere regarding how actual computational proposals in psychology for conscious processes could be run on desktop computers that most people wouldn't regard as conscious. I distinguish the w(eak)-consciousness of such a desktop from the s(trong)-consciousness people think humans but no such machines enjoy, which gives rise to an explanatory gap, invites first scepticism, unwanted analgesia, and is not supported by Cartesian introspections or any other non-tendentious evidence. Rather, along lines suggested by Wittgenstein and Chomsky, it seems to be an illusory projection of our innate, involuntary responses to things that look and act like our conspecifics, one encouraged by a decontexualized philosophical over-reading of ordinary talk, akin to an over-reading of a term like 'the sky'. However, it also seems to be an illusory projection we can't entirely dispel.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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