The Cognitive Phenomenology Argument for Disembodied AI Consciousness

In Steven S. Gouveia (ed.), The Age of Artificial Intelligence: An Exploration. Vernon Press. pp. 111-132 (2020)
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In this chapter I offer two novel arguments for what I call strong primitivism about cognitive phenomenology, the thesis that there exists a phenomenology of cognition that is neither reducible to, nor dependent upon, sensory phenomenology. I then contend that strong primitivism implies that phenomenal consciousness does not require sensory processing. This latter contention has implications for the philosophy of artificial intelligence. For if sensory processing is not a necessary condition for phenomenal consciousness, then it plausibly follows that AI consciousness (assuming that it is possible) does not require embodiment. The overarching goal of this paper is to show how different topics in the analytic philosophy of mind can be brought to bear on an important issue in the philosophy of artificial intelligence.



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Cody Turner
University of Notre Dame

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References found in this work

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.
Minds, brains, and programs.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.

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