Computational Theories of Consciousness

Computational Theories of Consciousness:

Bibliography for CSE 719, Fall 2009

Last Update: Friday, 25 August 2023

Note: NEW or UPDATED material is highlighted

Pearls Before Swine


  1. Many of the readings are only available via UB computers.

  2. However, some of those are available on the Web in locations other than the given links.

  3. A username and password may be required for some online readings. Please contact Bill Rapaport.

  1. Philosophical, Psychological, & Cognitive-Neuroscientific Theories

    1. Historical Readings

      1. Descartes readings

      2. Leibniz

        1. "17. Moreover, it must be confessed that perception and that which depends upon it are inexplicable on mechanical grounds, that is to say, by means of figures and motions. And supposing there were a machine, so constructed as to think, feel, and have perception, it might be conceived as increased in size, while keeping the same proportions, so that one might go into it as into a mill. That being so, we should, on examining its interior, find only parts which work one upon another, and never anything by which to explain a perception. Thus it is in a simple substance, and not in a compound or in a machine, that perception must be sought for. Further, nothing but this (namely, perceptions and their changes) can be found in a simple substance. It is also in this alone that all the internal activities of simple substances can consist." —From The Monadology (trans. Robert Latta)

        2. Kulstad, Mark; & Carlin, Laurence (2008), "Leibniz's Philosophy of Mind", in Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

      3. Tolman, Edward Chace (1927), "A Behaviorist's Definition of Consciousness", Psychological Review 34(6) (November): 433–439.

        • "Whenever an organism at a given moment of stimulation shifts from being ready to respond in some relatively less differentiated way to being ready to respond in some relatively more differentiated way, there is consciousness."

    2. Literary Background Readings

      1. Lem, Stanislaw (1967), "The Seventh Sally, or How Trurl's Own Perfection Led to No Good", from "The Seven Sallies of Trurl and Klapaucius", The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age, trans. by Michael Kandel (New York: Seabury): 161–171.

    3. General & Introductory Background Readings

      1. Baars, Bernard J. (1988), A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press); Preface & Ch. 1: What Is to Be Explained? Some Preliminaries.

      2. Blackmore, Susan (2005), Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press)

        • See also:
          Blackmore, Susan (2004), Consciousness: An Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press)

      3. Flanagan, Owen; & Güzeldere, Güven (1997), "Consciousness: A Philosophical Tour", in in Masao Ito, Yasushi Miyashita, & Edmund T. Rolls (eds.), Cognition, Computation, and Consciousness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997): 3–16.

      4. O'Shea, Michael (2005), The Brain: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press)

      5. Searle, John R. (1997), The Mystery of Consciousness (New York: New York Review of Books)

      6. Strawson, Galen (2015), "The Consciousness Myth (Revised)", original version published in The Times Literary Supplement (5839) (27 February): 14–15
        • A history of the debates over consciousness

      7. Van Gulick, Robert (2009), "Consciousness", in Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 Edition)

    4. Major Theories (in alphabetical order)

      1. Baars's Global-Workspace Theory:

        1. Baars, Bernard J. (1988), A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press); Ch. 2: "The Basic Model: Conscious Representations Are ‘Internally Consistent’ and ‘Globally Distributed’"

            See also:
          1. Baars, Bernard J. (1997), "In the Theatre of Consciousness: Global Workspace Theory, A Rigorous Scientific Theory of Consciousness", Journal of Consciousness Studies 4(4): 292–309.

          2. Baars, Bernard J.; & McGovern, Katherine (1997), "Global Workspace: A Theory of Consciousness".

          3. Baars, Bernard J. (2003), "The Global Brainweb: An Update on Global Workspace Theory", Science and Consciousness Review (October).

        2. Dehaene, Stanislas; & Naccache, Lionel (2001), "Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness: Basic Evidence and a Workspace Framework", Cognition 79: 1–37.

        3. Background reading:

          1. McCarthy, John (1959), "Discussion on the Paper by Dr. O.G. Selfridge", immediately following Selfridge, Dr. O.G., "Pandemonium: A Paradigm for Learning", in National Physical Laboratory, Mechanisation of Thought Processes (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office): 511–531; see p.527

            • This is so good, I can't help but quote it here (Dennett 2005 also cites it):

                "I would like to speak briefly about some of the advantages of the pandemonium model as an actual model of conscious behaviour. In observing a brain, one should make a distinction between that aspect of the behaviour which is available consciously, and those behaviours, no doubt equally important, but which proceed unconsciously. If one conceives of the brain as a pandemonium—a collection of demons—perhaps what is going on within the demons can be regarded as the unconscious part of thought, and what the demons are publicly shouting for each other to hear, as the conscious part of thought."

          2. Fodor, Jerry A. (1983), The Modularity of Mind (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

          3. Fodor, Jerry A. (1985), "Précis of The Modularity of Mind", Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8(1) (March): 1–42.

        4. News Flash: A counterexample to the theory, reported at

      2. Block, Ned (1995), "On a Confusion about a Function of Consciousness", Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18(2): 227–287.

      3. Chalmers's Theory:

        1. Chalmers, David J. (1995), "The Puzzle of Conscious Experience", Scientific American (December): 62–68.

          • Above PDF version is a 2002 "update" from the original.
          • HTML version of original
          • Both versions include commentary by Crick & Koch.

        2. Chalmers, David J. (1996), The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory (New York: Oxford University Press).

        3. Chalmers, David J. (1997), "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness", in Jonathan Shear (ed.), Explaining Consciousness—The ‘Hard Problem’ (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

          • Shear's book containing this précis of Chalmers 1996 is an anthology of commentaries on Chalmers's book.

        4. Searle, John R. (1997), "Consciousness and the Philosophers", New York Review of Books 44(4) (March 6).

      4. Crick & Koch's Theory:

        • Crick's "Astonishing Hypothesis":

          "...‘You’, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are i fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules."

          • Crick, Francis (1994), The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (New York: Simon & Schuster): 3.

        1. Crick, Francis; & Koch, Christof (1990), "Towards a Neurobiological Theory of Consciousness", Seminars in the Neurosciences 2: 263–275.

        2. Crick, Francis; & Koch, Christof (1998), "Consciousness and Neuroscience", Cerebral Cortex 8(2): 97–107.

        3. Koch, Christof; & Crick, Francis (2001), "The Zombie Within", Nature 411 (June 21): 893.

        4. Crick, Francis; & Koch, Christof (2003), "A Framework for Consciousness", Nature Neuroscience 6(2) (February): 119–126.

        5. Koch, Christof (2005), The Quest for Consciousness (Roberts & Co.).

        6. Koch, Christof; & Bhattacharjee, Yudhijit (ed.) (2012), "A Vision of How Mouse Vision Can Reveal Consciousness' Secrets: Newsmaker Interview", Science 335(6075) (23 March): 1426–1427.

          • Koch's answer to the interviewer's first question suggests that he really does understand the importance of "the hard question"

        7. Koch, Christof (2012), Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press)

          • Merges his views with those of Tononi.

          • Dehaene, Stanislas (2012), "The Eternal Silence of Neuronal Spaces" (review of Koch 2012), Science 336(6088) (22 June): 1507–1508.

          • Searle, John R. (2013), "Can Information Theory Explain Consciousness?" (review of Koch 2012), New York Review of Books 60(1) (10 January): 54–55, 58.

            • See follow-up letters to the editor:
              Koch, Christof; & Tonini, Giulio; reply by John R. Searle (2013), "Can a Photodiode Be Conscious?", New York Review of Books 60(4), (7 March): 43–44.

      5. Dennett's Theory:

        1. Dennett, Daniel C. (1978), "Two Approaches to Mental Images", in Brainstorms (Montgomery, VT: Bradford): 174–189.

          • on "heterophenomenology"

        2. Dennett, Daniel C. (1982), "How to Study Human Consciousness Empirically or Nothing Comes to Mind", Synthese 53(2) (November): 159–180.

          • More on "heterophenomenology".
          • This issue of Synthese is a special issue on "Matters of the Mind", and contains a critique of Dennett by Richard Rorty and an article by Douglas Hofstadter, critiqued by Guy Steele.

        3. Dennett, Daniel C. (1991), Consciousness Explained (Boston: Little, Brown).

        4. Dennett, Daniel C.; & Kinsbourne, Marcel (1992), "Time and the Observer: The Where and When of Consciousness in the Brain", Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15: 183–247.

        5. Searle, John R. (1995), "The Mystery of Consciousness: Part II", New York Review of Books 42(18) (November 16).

          • See §2.

        6. Denett, Daniel C. (2001), "Are We Explaining Consciousness Yet?", Cognition 79(1–2) (April): 221–237.

          • A discussion of other papers on consciousness in that issue of Cognition, plus Dennett's new theory of consciousness as "fame in the brai" or "cerebral celebrity".

        7. Dennett, Daniel C. (2005), Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

        8. Cohen, Michael A.; & Dennett, Daniel C. (2011), "Consciousness Cannot Be Separated from Function", Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15(8) (August): 358–364.

      6. Edelman, Gerald M. (2003), "Naturalizing Consciousness: A Theoretical Framework", P[roceedings of the ]N[ational ]A[cademy of ]S[ciences] 100(9) (April 29): 5520–5524.

        Related reading:

        1. Searle, John R. (1995), "The Mystery of Consciousness: Part II", New York Review of Books 42(18) (November 16).

          • See §1.

        2. Reeke, George N., Jr.; & Edelman, Gerald M. (1995), "A Darwinist View of the Prospects for Conscious Artifacts", in Giuseppe Trautteur (ed.), Consciousness: Distinction and Reflection (Naples, Italy: Bibliopolis): 106–130.

        3. Tononi, Giulio; & Edelman, Gerald M. (1998), "Consciousness and Complexity", Science 282 (December 4): 1846–1851.

      7. Nagel, Thomas (1974), "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?", Philosophical Review 83(4) (October): 435–450.

        • Reprint online here.

        • See also his book:
          Nagel, Thomas (1989), The View from Nowhere (New York: Oxford University Press).

        • Also see:
          Nagel, Thomas (2013), "The Core of ‘Mind and Cosmos’", New York Times "Opinionator" (18 August).

          • This is an abstract of his latest, and highly reviled (except by creationists!), book.

        Related items:

        1. What is it like…?

          1. video of a blind teenager who perceived by echolocation.

          2. What is it like to be a rock?

          3. "I wonder what it feels like to be a straw''
            —Michael Rapaport, age 5¾ (27 July 2001)

          4. Wilson, Forrest (1969), What It Feels Like to Be a Building (Washington, DC: [National Trust for Historic] Preservation Press, 1988).

          5. Foss, Jeff (1989), "On the Logic of What It Is Like to Be a Conscious Subject", Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67: 205–220.

          6. Tye, Michael (1997), "The Problem of Simple Minds: Is There Anything It Is Like to Be a Honey Bee?", Philosophical Studies 88: 289–317.

            • See also Koch 2008-2009, below.

          7. Lewis, Peter J. (2000), "What Is It Like to Be Schröinger's Cat?", Analysis 60(1) (January): 22–29.

          8. Weisberg, Josh (2008), "What's It Like to Be My Cat?", in Hales, Steven D. (ed.), What Philosophy Can Tell You about Your Cat (Chicago: Open Court): 135–145.

          9. Gopnik, Alison (2009), "What Is It Like to Be a Baby? Consciousness and Attention", in Alison Gopnik, The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us about Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life, Ch. 4, pp. 106–132.

            • Discussion continued in "Who Am I? Memory, Self, and the Babbling Stream", Ch. 5, pp. 133–163, see esp. §"Living in the Moment", pp. 152–154.

          10. What is it like to be a dog?

          11. What is it like to be yourself?

          12. What is it like to be a dolphin?

          13. Koch, Christof (2008-2009), "What Is It Like to Be a Bee?", Scientific American Mind 19(6) (December-January): 18–19.

            • See also:
              Allen-Hermanson, Sean (2008), "Insects and the Problem of Simple Minds: Are Bees Natural Zombies?", Journal of Philosophy 105(8) (August): 389–415.
            • See also Tye 1997, above.

          14. Cummins, Robert (2010), "What Is It Like to Be a Computer?", in The World in the Head (Oxford: Oxford University Press), Ch.1, pp.1–10.

          15. Birkhead, Tim (2012), Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird (Walker & Co.)

            • "He acknowledges that in the end science cannot actually say what it's like to be a bird. His subtitle was drawn from the philosopher Thomas Nagel, who wrote an essay about consciousness called ‘What Is It Like to Be a Bat?’ The scientist has no more luck than the philosopher in answering the fundamental question, and for the same reason. We have no way to know the subjective experience of bat or bird, nor neighbor or spouse, no matter how much information we have on how their senses work or on the structure of their brains. The only subjective experience we have is our own. But the attempt to get at what a bird sees, hears, feels and thinks is more than worth the effort because there are so many intriguing facts and stories that the reader learns along the way."
              — Gorman, James (2012), "The Games Crows Play, and Other Winged Tales", New York Times (12 June): D2.

          16. What is it like to be a zombie in philosophy? (humor)

          17. What is it like to be an octopus?

            • Godfrey-Smith, Peter (2013), "On Being an Octopus", Boston Review (3 June).

            • Godfrey-Smith, Peter (2016), Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux), esp. Ch. 4, "From White Noise to Consciousness".

          18. Veber, Michael (2015), "What's It Like to Be a BIV? A Dialogue", Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1(4) (Winter): 734–756, DOI:10.1017/apa.2015.20

            • What it might be like to be a Brain In a Vat, told from the point of view of brains in vats who wonder what it might be like to be a brain in a skull.

          19. Rothman, Joshua (2016), "The Metamorphosis", New Yorker (30 May): 70–74.

            • "What is it like to be an animal?" Discusses two men who tried to behave like an animal (one, a goat; the other, a fox; on humans who think they are goats (with a bit of computer science thrown in for good measure), see: Barth, John (1966), Giles Goat-Boy). Also discusses Nagel.

          20. Kolbert, Elizabeth (2016), "He Tried to Be a Badger", New York Review of Books 63(11) (23 June): 43–44.

            • Further discussion of the topics that Rothman covers, with a bit more emphasis on Nagel.

          21. What is it like to be a tree?

          22. What is it like to be a bee?

          23. What do you think it is like to be a human (if you're a dog)?

          24. List, Christian (2018), "What Is It Like to Be a Group Agent?", Noûs 52(2): 295–319

          25. What is it like to be a fish who feels pain?

          26. What is it like to be a bird?

        2. The Knowledge Argument (a.k.a. "What is it like to be Mary?")

          1. Jackson, Frank (1982), "Epiphenomenal Qualia", Philosophical Quarterly 32(127) (April): 127–136

          2. Jackson, Frank (1986), "What Mary Didn't Know", Journal of Philosophy 83(4) (April): 291–295.

          3. Lewis, David (1990), "What Experience Teaches," in William G. Lycan (ed.), Mind and Cognition: A Reader (Oxford: Blackwell): 499–519.

            • Jackson's favorite reply, but see Jackson 2003 below.

          4. Conee, Earl (1994), "Phenomenal Knowledge" Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72(2) (June): 136–150.

            • The reply I currently favor.

          5. Lodge, David (2001), Thinks... (Viking).

            • A novel about a professor of cognitive science and a professor of English composition. The latter learns about cognitive sci and has her students write cog-sci-related stories, such as what Mary might do once she sees red.

          6. Jackson, Frank (2003), "Mind and Illusion", in Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Minds and Persons (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press).

            • In which Jackson recants.

          7. Ludlow, Peter; Nagasawa, Yujin; & Stoljar, Daniel (eds.) (2004), There's Something about Mary: Essays on Phenomenal Consciousness and Frank Jackson's Knowledge Argument (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

          8. Chomsky, Noam (2009), "The Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden?", Journal of Philosophy 106(4) (April): 167–200.

            • (local copy)
            • See pp. 181–183 for Chomsky's (and Bertrand Russell's!) analysis of the knowledge argument.

        3. Mysterianism:

          1. McGinn, Colin (1989), "Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?", Mind 98(391) (July): 349–366

            • His answer: No, because we are like Snoopy's ant:


              • …or like Lucy's bug:

              • …or like Bliss's dogs:

            1. For a discussion of mysterianism in a different context, see:
              Harnad, Stevan; & Searle, John R. (2005),
              "What Is Consciousness?", New York Review of Books 52(11) (June 23).

        4. Philosophical Zombies:

            "Q. When referring to a zombie, should I use the relative pronoun who (which would refer to a person) or that (since, technically, the zombie is no longer living)? Essentially, does a zombie cease to become a ‘person’ in the grammatical sense?

            "A. Let's assume this is a serious question, in which case you, as the writer, get to decide just how much humanity (if any) and grammatical sense you wish to invest in said zombie. That will guide your choice of who or that."

          1. James, William (1908), "The Pragmatist Account of Truth and Its Misunderstanders", The Philosophical Review 17(1) (January): 1–17, esp. p. 5, n. 1, on the "automatic sweetheart".

          2. Singer, Edgar A. (1911), "Mind as an Observable Object", Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 8(7) (30 March): 180–186, esp. pp. 182ff on James's "automatic sweetheart".

          3. Kirk, Robert (1974), "Sentience and Behaviour" Mind 83(329) (January): 43–60.

          4. Kirk, Robert; & Squires, J.E.R. (1974), "Zombies v. Materialists", Aristotelian Society Supp. Vol. 48: 135–163.

          5. Harnad, Stevan (1995), "Why and How We Are Not Zombies", Journal of Consciousness Studies 1: 164–167.

          6. Kirk, Robert (2005), Zombies and Consciousness (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press).

          7. On "blindsmell":

            1. Sobel, Noam; Prabhakaran, Vivek; Hartley, Catherine A.; Desmond, John E.; Glover, Gary H.; Sullivan, Edith V.; & Gabrieli, John D.E. (1999), "Blind Smell: Brain Activation Induced by an Undetected Air-Borne Chemical", Brain 122: 209–217.

            2. Chen, Denise; & Haviland-Jones, Jeannette (2000), "Human Olfactory Communication of Emotion", Perceptual and Motor Skills 91: 771–781.

        5. Kihlstrom, John F. (1987), "The Cognitive Unconscious", Science 237(4821) (18 September): 1445–1452.

          • A good, general discussion of (un)consciousness.
          • On philosophical zombies and phenomenal-vs.-"psychological" consciousness:

            • "One thing is now clear: consciousness is not to be identified with any particular perceptual-cognitive functions such as discriminative response to stimulation, perception, memory, or the higher mental processes involved in judgment or problem-solving. All of these functions can take place outside of phenomenal awareness. Rather, consciousness is an experiential quality that may accompany any of these functions. The fact of conscious awareness may have particular consequences for psychological function—it seems necessary for voluntary control, for example, as well as for communicating one's mental states to others. But it is not necessary for complex psychological fimctioning." (p. 1450, col. 2.)

        6. The following article has nothing whatsoever to do with philosophical zombies, but has a great title and a great illustration :-)

        7. Piccinini, Gualtiero (2015), "Access Denied to Zombies", Topoi, doi:10.1007/s11245-015-9323-6

          • "I accept that zombies are possible and ask whether that possibility is accessible from our world in the sense of ‘accessible’ used in possible world semantics. It turns out that the question whether zombie worlds are accessible from our world is equivalent to the question whether physicalism is true at our world. By assuming that zombie worlds are accessible from our world, proponents of the zombie conceivability argument beg the question against physicalism. … [I]f a proponent of the zombie conceivability argument should insist that zombie worlds are accessible from our world … [then] the same ingredients used in the zombie conceivability argument—whatever exactly they might be—can be used to construct an argument to the opposite conclusion. At that point, we reach a stalemate between physicalism and property dualism: while the possibility of zombies entails property dualism, the possibility of other creatures entails physicalism. Since these two possibilities are mutually inconsistent, either one of them is not genuine or one of them is inaccessible from the actual world."

Eat Brains Rubes:
Zombies in Oz

      8. Rosenthal, David M. (1986), "Two Concepts of Consciousness", Philosophical Studies 49(3) (May): 329–359.

        • §1 is especially good.

          See also:

        1. Rosenthal, David M. (2009), "Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness", in Brian McLaughlin & Ansgar Beckermann (eds.), Oxford Handbook on the Philosophy of Mind (Oxford: Clarendon): 239–252.

        2. Rosenthal, David; & Weisberg, Josh (2008), "Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness", Scholarpedia 3(5): 4407.

        3. Lau, Hakwan; & Rosenthal, David (2011), "Empirical Support for Higher-Order Theories of Conscious Awareness", Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15(8) (August): 365–373.

        4. A debate on HOT:

          1. Block, Ned (2011), "The Higher Order Approach to Consciousness Is Defunct", Analysis 71(3) (July): 419–431.

          2. Rosenthal, David (2011), "Exaggerated Reports: Reply to Block", Analysis 71(3) (July): 431–437.

          3. Weisberg, Josh (2011), "Abusing the Notion of What-It's-Like-Ness: A Response to Block", Analysis 71(3) (July): 438–443.

          4. Block, Ned (2011), "Response to Rosenthal and Weisberg", Analysis 71(3) (July): 443–448.

        5. Graziano, Michael (2013), "How the Light Gets Out", Aeon (21 August).

          • A neuroscientist's proposal for understanding consciousness that seems related both to Rosenthal's HOT and Dennett's theories, but that mentions neither. Based on a (forthcoming?) book, Consciousness and the Social Brain

          • Also see:
            Graziano, Michael S.A.; & Kastner, Sabine (2011), "Human Consciousness and Its Relationship to Social Neuroscience: A Novel Hypothesis", Cognitive Neuroscience 2(2) (1 January): 98–113; doi: 10.1080/17588928.2011.565121

    5. Miscellaneous (in chronological order)

      1. A critique of Roger Penrose's theory, along with a discussion of Gödel's Proof, is in:
        Searle, John R. (1995), "The Mystery of Consciousness: Part I", New York Review of Books 42(17) (November 2).

        • See §3.

      2. Hesslow, Germund (2002), "Conscious Thought as Simulation of Behaviour and Perception", Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6(6) (June): 242–247.

      3. Livingston, Paul M. (2004), Philosophical History and the Problem of Consciousness (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press).

      4. Metzinger, Thomas (2005), "Précis: Being No One", Psyche 11(5) (June).

      5. Miller, Greg (2005), "What Is the Biological Basis of Consciousness?", Science 309 (1 July): 79.

      6. DeWall, C. Nathan; Baumeister, Roy F.; & Masicampo, E.J. (2008), "Evidence that Logical Reasoning Depends on Conscious Processing", Consciousness and Cognition 17(3) (September): 628–645.

      7. Pollock, John L. (2008), "What Am I? Virtual Machines and the Mind/Body Problem", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76(2) (March): 237–309.

      8. Seth, Anil K.; Dienes, Zoltán; Cleeremans, Axel; Overgaard, Morten; & Pessoa, Luiz (2008), "Measuring Consciousness: Relating Behavioural and Neuro-physiological Approaches", Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12(8) (July): 314–321.

      9. Chomsky, Noam (2009), "The Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden?", Journal of Philosophy 106(4) (April): 167–200.

      10. Tommasini, Anthony (2009), "Evolution of Human Consciousness, with Words, Music, and Brain Imagery", New York Times (5 May): C9.

      11. Velmans, Max (2009), "How to Define Consciousness—And How Not to Define Consciousness", Journal of Consciousness Studies 16(5): 139–156.

      12. Tucker, Don M.; & Holmes, Mark D. (2011), "Fractures and Bindings of Consciousness", American Scientist 99(1) (January-February): 32–39.

        • "Observing how awareness breaks down in epileptic seizures provides clues to its normal workings in the brain."

      13. Nishimoto, Shinji; Vu, An T.; Naselaris, Thomas; Benjamini, Yuval; Yu, Bin; & Gallant, Jack L. (2011), "Reconstructing Visual Experiences from Brain Activity Evoked by Natural Movies", Current Biology, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.08.031.

      14. Barron, Andrew B.; & Klein, Colin (2016), "What Insects Can Tell Us about the Origins of Consciousness", PNAS 113(18) (18 April): 4900–4908.

        • "In vertebrates the capacity for subjective experience is supported by integrated structures in the midbrain that create a neural simulation of the state of the mobile animal in space. This integrated and egocentric representation of the world from the animal's perspective is sufficient for subjective experience. Structures in the insect brain perform analogous functions. Therefore, we argue the insect brain also supports a capacity for subjective experience. … [T]he origins of subjective experience can be traced to the Cambrian."

      15. Johnson, George (2016), "Consciousness: The Mind Messing With the Mind", New York Times (4 July).

        • "[C]ognitive behavioral therapy—a means of coaxing people into changing the way they think—is as effective as Prozac or Zoloft in treating major depression. In ways no one understands, talk therapy reaches down into the biological plumbing and affects the flow of neurotransmitters in the brain. … If [a conscious] computer gets depressed, what is the computational equivalent of Prozac? Or how would a therapist, human or artificial, initiate a talking cure?

    6. Other Sources (in chronological order)

      1. Block, Ned; Flanagan, Owen; & Güzeldere, Güven (eds.) (1997), The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

        • An anthology with classic and specially-written articles by just about everybody who's anybody in the field of consciousness studies.

      2. Velmans, Max; & Schneider, Susan (eds.) (2007), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness (Malden, MA: Blackwell).

        • Online!
        • An anthology of specially-written articles.

      3. Zelazo, Philip David; Moscovitch, Morris; & Thompson, Evan (eds.) (2007), The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness (New York: Cambridge University Press).

        • An anthology of specially-written articles, some of which are online; see McDermott 2007, Sun & Franklin 2007 in this bibliography.

      4. Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness

      5. Center for Consciousness Studies

  2. Theories about Computational/Artificial/Machine Consciousness

    1. General

      1. Putnam, Hilary (1964), "Robots: Machines or Artificially Created Life?", Journal of Philosophy 61(21): 668–691.

      2. Maudlin, Tim (1989), "Computation and Consciousness", Journal of Philosophy 86(8): 407–432.
        • Argues that consciousness is not computational.

      3. Dennett, Daniel C. (1994), "Consciousness in Human and Robot Minds", in Masao Ito, Yasushi Miyashita, & Edmund T. Rolls (eds.), Cognition, Computation, and Consciousness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997): 17–29.

      4. Steels, Luc (1995), "Is Artificial Consciousness Possible?", in Giuseppe Trautteur (ed.), Consciousness: Distinction and Reflection (Naples, Italy: Bibliopolis): 42–51.

      5. Weyhrauch, Richard (1995), "Building Conscious Artifacts", in Giuseppe Trautteur (ed.), Consciousness: Distinction and Reflection (Naples, Italy: Bibliopolis): 18–41.

      6. Perlis, Donald (1997), "Consciousness as Self-Function", Journal of Consciousness Studies 4(5–6) (1997): 509–525.

        • Reprinted in Jonathan Shear & Shaun Gallagher (eds.), Models of the Self (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic, 2000).

        • §2.2 seems to suggest that possibly there could be near-zombies with only 1 ur-quale

        • 2 other theories make points related to Perlis's focus on the self:

          1. Kriegel, Uriah (2009), "The Self-Representational Theory of Consciousness"

          2. Hofstadter, Douglas (2007), I Am a Strange Loop (New York: Basic Books).

      7. McDermott, Drew V. (2001), Mind and Mechanism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

          See also:
        1. Akman, Varol (2003), "Reading McDermott", Artificial Intelligence 151(1–2) (December): 227–235.

        2. Carruthers, Peter (2003), Review of McDermott 2001, Artificial Intelligence 151(1–2) (December): 237–240

        3. McDermott, Drew (2003), "Reply to Carruthers and Akman", Artificial Intelligence 151(1–2) (December): 241–245.

        4. McDermott, Drew (2007), "Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness", in Zelazo, Philip David; Moscovitch, Morris; & Thompson, Evan (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness (New York: Cambridge University Press), Ch.6 (pp. 117–150).

      8. The Baars/Franklin Global-Workspace Theory:

        1. Cognitive Computing Research Group

        2. Franklin, Stan (2003), "IDA, a Conscious Artifact?, Journal of Consciousness Studies 10: 47–66.

        3. Baars, Bernard J.; & Franklin, Stan (2007), "An Architectural Model of Conscious and Unconscious Brain Functions: Global Workspace Theory and IDA", Neural Networks 20: 955–961.

        4. Baars, Bernard J.; & Franklin, Stan (2009), "Consciousness Is Computational: The LIDA Model of Global Workspace Theory", International Journal of Machine Consciousness 1(1) (June): 23–32.

        5. Franklin, Stan; D'Mello, Sidney; Baars, Bernard J.; & Ramamurthy, Uma (2009), "Evolutionary Pressures for Perceptual Stability and Self as Guides to Machine Consciousness", International Journal of Machine Consciousness 1(1) (June): 99–110.

          • Franklin et al. occasionally refer to Douglas Hofstader's notion of a "slipnet". Hofstadter & Melanie Mitchell's description of slipnets can be found here (Google books site) or here (PDF)

    2. Surveys

      1. Sun, Ron (1999), "Computational Models of Consciousness: An Evaluation", Journal of Intelligent Systems 9: 507–562.

      2. Morbini, Fabrizio; & Schubert, Lenhart K. (2005), "Conscious Agents", Technical Report 879 (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Department of Computer Science).

      3. Sun, Ron; & Franklin, Stan (2007), "Computational Models of Consciousness: A Taxonomy and Some Examples", in Zelazo, Philip David; Moscovitch, Morris; & Thompson, Evan (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness (New York: Cambridge University Press), Ch.7 (pp. 151–174).

      4. Gamez, David (2008), "Progress in Machine Consciousness", Consciousness and Cognition 17(3) (September): 887–910.

      5. Clowes, Robert W.; & Seth, Anil K. (2008), "Axioms, Properties and Criteria: Roles for Synthesis in the Science of Consciousness", Artificial Intelligence in Medicine 44(2) (October): 91–104.


      6. Butlin, Patrick; et al. (2013), "Consciousness in Artificial Intelligence: Insights from the Science of Consciousness"

        • Surveys several theories of consciousness and explores whether any current or future AI systems could be considered to be "conscious" according to any of them. (Spoiler: Their answer for current systems is "no"; their answer for future systems is "yes".)


    3. Anthologies

      1. Aleksander, Igor; & Lahnstein, Mercedes (organizers) (2003), "Machine Consciousness: Complexity Aspects"

        • Contains or cites papers or slides by:

          • Aleksander
          • Baars
          • Chrisley
          • Cotterill
          • Franklin
          • Haikonen
          • Holland
          • Kirilyuk
          • Sanz
          • Taylor
          • Torrance
          • Trautteur

      2. Holland, Owen (ed.) (2003), Machine Consciousness (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic).

      3. Dautenhahn, Kerstin (ed.) (2005), Proceedings of the Symposium on Next Generation Approaches to Machine Consciousness: Imagination, Development, Intersubjectivity and Embodiment, held at AISB'05, 12–15 April, University of Hertfordshire.

        • Contains papers by:

          • Aleksander
          • Bosse, Jonker, & Treur
          • Calverley
          • Chella, Frixione, & Gaglio
          • Chrisley, Clowes, & Torrance
          • Dautenhahn
          • Gamez
          • Haikonen
          • Ikegami
          • Nomura, Takaishi, & Hashido
          • Shanahan
          • Stuart
          • Ziemke

      4. Torrance, Steve; Clowes, Robert; & Chrisley, Ron (guest eds.) (2007), Machine Consciousness: Embodiment and Imagination, Journal of Consciousness Studies 14(7) (July).

      5. Chella, Antonio; & Manzotti, Riccardo (eds.) (2007a), Artificial Consciousness (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic).

      6. Chella, Antonio; & Manzotti, Riccardo (eds.) (2007b), AI and Consciousness: Theoretical Foundations and Current Approaches; Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium, Technical Report FS-07-01 (Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press).

        • Contains papers (many online) by:

          • Aleksander
          • Boltuc
          • Chella
          • Chrisley
          • Dubois, Poirier, & Nkambou
          • Franklin
          • Haikonen
          • Harnad
          • Hesslow
          • Kuipers
          • Manzotti
          • Marcarelli & McKinsry
          • McCauley
          • Menant
          • Parisi
          • Pirri
          • Rzepka & Araki
          • Samsonovich
          • Sanz, López, & Hernández
          • Shanahan
          • Sloman
          • Stuart
          • Tagliasco
          • Tononi

      7. Boltuc, Peter (ed.) (2008), Papers on Robot Consciousness, A[merican ]P[hilosophical ]A[ssociation] Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 8(2) (Fall).

        • Containing papers by:

          • Baars
          • Chella
          • Franklin
          • Harman
          • Wheeler

      8. Buttazzo, Giorgio; & Manzotti, Riccardo (guest eds.) (2008), Special Issue on Artificial Consciousness, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine 44(2) (October): 77–170.

        • Contains online articles by:

          • Buttazzo
          • Chella, Frixione, & Gaglio
          • Clowes & Seth
          • Chrisley
          • Harnad
          • Kuipers
          • Manzotti
          • Tagliasco

      9. International Journal of Machine Consciousness

    4. Tests of Consciousness (Artificial or Otherwise)

      1. Moor, James H. (1988), "Testing Robots for Qualia", in Herbert R. Otto & James A. Tuedio (eds.), Perspectives on Mind (Dordrecht, Netherlands: D. Reidel): 107–116.

        • Editorial comments on pp. 116–118.

        • Replies (each with editorial comments):

          1. Van Gulick, Robert (1988), "Qualia, Functional Equivalence, and Computation", in Herbert R. Otto & James A. Tuedio (eds.), Perspectives on Mind (Dordrecht, Netherlands: D. Reidel): 119–126.

          2. Johnstone, Henry W., Jr. (1988), "Animals, Qualia, and Robots", in Herbert R. Otto & James A. Tuedio (eds.), Perspectives on Mind (Dordrecht, Netherlands: D. Reidel): 127–136.

      2. Anderson, John R.; & Lebiere, Christian (2003), "The Newell Test for a Theory of Cognition", Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26: 587–637.

      3. Floridi, Luciano (2005), "Consciousness, Agents and the Knowledge Game", Minds and Machines 15(3–4) (November): 415–444.

        1. Bringsjord, Selmer (2010), "Meeting Floridi's Challenge to Artificial Intelligence from the Knowledge-Game Test for Self-Consciousness", Metaphilosophy 41(3) (April): 292–312.
        2. Floridi, Luciano (2010), "The Philosophy of Information: Ten Years Later", Metaphilosophy 41(3) (April): 402–491; response to Bringsjord on pp. 404–406.

      4. Koch, Christof; & Tononi, Giulio (2008), "Can Machines Be Conscious?", IEEE Spectrum (June 2008): 55–59.

        • See also: Tononi & Edelman 1998

        • Koch, Christof; & Tononi, Giulio (2011), "A Test for Consciousness", Scientific American 304(6) (June): 44–47.

          • "How will we know when we've built a sentient computer? By making it solve a simple puzzle."

    5. Miscellaneous (in chronological order)

      1. Marcel, A.J.; & Bisiach, E. (eds.) (1988), Consciousness in Contemporary Science (Oxford: Clarendon)


        1. Shallice, Tim, "Information-Processing Models of Consciousness"

        2. Johnson-Laird, Philip N., "A Computational Analysis of Consciousness"

      2. Gazzaniga, Michael S. (1999), "The Interpreter Within: The Glue of Conscious Experience", Cerebrum: The Dana Forum on Brain Science 1(1) (Spring):68–78.

        • A theory about the nature of consciousness as an "interpreter" of the brain's modular activities, by one of the pioneers of split-brain research.

      3. Buttazzo, Giorgio (2001), "Artificial Consciousness: Utopia or Real Possibility?" IEEE Computer 34(7) (July): 24–30.

      4. Haikonen, Pentti O. (2003), The Cognitive Approach to Conscious Machines (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic).

      5. Harnad Stevan (2003), "Can a Machine Be Conscious? How?".

      6. Adami, Christoph (2006), "What Do Robots Dream Of?", Science 314 (17 November): 1093–1094.

      7. Granger, Richard (2006), "Essential Circuits of Cognition: The Brain's Basic Operations, Architecture, and Representations"

      8. Granger, Richard (2006), "Engines of the Brain: The Computational Instruction Set of Human Cognition", AI Magazine 27(2) (Summer):15–32.

      9. Kiverstein, Julian (2007), "Could a Robot Have a Subjective Point of View?", Journal of Consciousness Studies 14(7): 127–139.

      10. Aleksander, Igor (2008), "Machine Consciousness", Scholarpedia 3(2): 4162

      11. Horgan, John (2008), "The Consciousess Conundrum", IEEE Spectrum 45(6) (June):36–41.

      12. Shapiro, Stuart C.; & Bona, Jonathan P. (2009), "The GLAIR Cognitive Architecture", in Alexei Samsonovich (ed.), Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures: Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium, Technical Report FS-09-01 (Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press).

      13. O'Regan, J. Kevin (2011), Why Red Doesn't Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

        • Wonderful title, computationally sympathetic, but ultimately disappointing. Has a terrific chapter (Ch. 8) on the "hard" problem of qualia, which is well worth reading and pinpoints exactly why the problem is hard. But his solution, though offered as a counterpoint to Dennett's view, is ultimately not much better than Dennett's, though offering more detail. One problem is that he analyzes qualia in terms of interaction, but how would he explain mental imagery or memories of qualia, which don't involve interaction? And one of his principal claims…

            If we take experiencing a raw feel to be an activity of interacting with the world, then by this very definition, there must be something it's like for this interaction to be happening: Interactions always have some quality or other. (Ch. 14, p. 165.)

          …simply begs the question. (After all, what is it that explains why and how the interactions have quality?)

        • For a shorter version of his book, see:
          O'Regan, J. Kevin (2012), "How to Build a Robot that Is Conscious and Feels", Minds and Machines 22(2) (Summer): 117–136.

          1. video
          2. transcript

    6. Websites

      1. Conscious Robots

      2. Machine Consciousness

      3. "DARPA Workshop on Self-Aware Computer Systems 2004"

        • Includes position statements by Baars, Franklin, Holland, McCarthy, McDermott, Perlis, Schubert, Shapiro, Sloman, inter alia.


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