A Case for Conservatism about Animal Consciousness

Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (9-10):163-185 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

*Please email me for a copy of the paper if you are interested! Liberal theories of animal consciousness maintain that we should attribute consciousness widely across various species. Conservative theories of animal consciousness maintain that we should not attribute consciousness widely. This paper makes a case for a conservative theory of animal consciousness. The case depends on two defensive moves and one offensive move. The defensive moves indicate that the indistinguishable causal profiles of conscious and non-conscious mental states are not a problem for conservative theories and that intuitions about animal consciousness should not play a role in theory selection. Offensively, I argue that liberal theories of animal consciousness are less parsimonious than conservative theories. The upshot is that liberal theories of animal consciousness are not obviously rationally preferable to conservative theories.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,139

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Reply to Shriver and Allen.Peter Carruthers - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (1):113-122.
William James and the evolution of consciousness.Mark Nielsen & R. H. Day - 1999 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 19 (1):90-113.
Is cortex necessary?Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2016 - Animal Sentience 1 (3).
Animal expertise, conscious or not.William S. Helton - 2005 - Animal Cognition 8 (2):67-74.
Animals, consciousness, and I-thoughts.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2009 - In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 184--200.
Raven consciousness.Bernd Heinrich - 2002 - In Marc Bekoff, Colin Allen & Gordon M. Burghardt (eds.), The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition. MIT Press. pp. 47-52.
Animal Minds: Beyond Cognition to Consciousness. [REVIEW]L. Kemmerer - 2001 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 22 (4):475-478.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-10-28

Downloads
78 (#204,912)

6 months
13 (#158,624)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Samuel Murray
Providence College

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references