Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (4-5):7-18 (2003)

This paper relates to a formal statement of the mechanisms that are thought minimally necessary to underpin consciousness. This is expressed in the form of axioms. We deem this to be useful if there is ever to be clarity in answering questions about whether this or the other organism is or is not conscious. As usual, axioms are ways of making formal statements of intuitive beliefs and looking, again formally, at the consequences of such beliefs. The use of this style of exposition does not entail a claim to provide a mathematically rigorous formal deductive system. Conventional mathematical notation is used to achieve clarity, although this is elaborated with natural language in an attempt to reduce terseness. In our view, making the approach axiomatic is synonymous with building clear usable tests for consciousness and is therefore a central feature of the paper. The extended scope of this approach is to lay down some essential properties that should be considered when designing machines that could be said to be conscious. In the broader discussion about the nature of consciousness and its neurological mechanisms, it may seem to some that axiomatisation is premature and continues to beg many questions. However, the approach is meant to be open- ended so that others can build further axiomatic clarifications that address the very large number of questions which, in the search for a formal basis for consciousness, still remain to be answered. Of course, in discussions about consciousness many will also argue that the subject is not one that may ever be formally addressed by means of axioms. The view taken in this paper is 'let's try to do it and see how far it gets'
Keywords *Artificial Intelligence  *Cognitive Processes  *Consciousness States  Decision Making  Self Perception
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,199
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Progress in Machine Consciousness.David Gamez - 2008 - Consciousness and Cognition 17 (3):887-910.
The Cognitive Development of Machine Consciousness Implementations.Raúl Arrabales, Agapito Ledezma & Araceli Sanchis - 2010 - International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (2):213-225.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sense as a 'Translation' of Mental Contents.Andrea Lavazza - 2007 - In Antonio Chella & Riccardo Manzotti (eds.), Artificial Consciousness. Imprint Academic. pp. 82-96.
The Ensemble and the Single Mind.Peter Farleigh - 2007 - In Antonio Chella & Riccardo Manzotti (eds.), Artificial Consciousness. Imprint Academic. pp. 256-276.
Consciousness, Intentionality, and Intelligence: Some Foundational Issues for Artificial Intelligence.Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere - 2000 - Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 12 (3):263-277.
An Action Selection Mechanism for "Conscious" Software Agents.Aregahegn S. Negatu & Stan Franklin - 2002 - Cognitive Science Quarterly. Special Issue 2 (3):362-384.
A Model of Agent Consciousness and its Implementation.Ivan Moura - 2006 - Neurocomputing 69 (16-18):1984-1995.
Norms in Artificial Decision Making.Magnus Boman - 1999 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 7 (1):17-35.
Towards Robot Conscious Perception.Antonio Chella - 2007 - In Antonio Chella & Riccardo Manzotti (eds.), Artificial Consciousness. Imprint Academic. pp. 124-140.


Added to PP index

Total views
79 ( #148,080 of 2,518,114 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #272,129 of 2,518,114 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes