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Putting Content into a Vehicle Theory of Consciousness

By Gerard O'Brien and Jon Opie

Abstract

The connectionist vehicle theory of phenomenal experience in the target article identifies consciousness with the brain’s explicit representation of information in the form of stable patterns of neural activity. Commentators raise concerns about both the conceptual and empirical adequacy of this proposal. On the former front they worry about our reliance on vehicles, on representation, on stable patterns of activity, and on our identity claim. On the latter front their concerns range from the general plausibility of a vehicle theory to our specific attempts to deal with the dissociation studies. We address these concerns, and then finish by considering whether the vehicle theory we have defended has a coherent story to tell about the active, unified subject to whom conscious experiences belong

Topics: Computational Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, Behavioral & Brain Sciences
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 1999
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:1466

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