Volume 24, 1999
Robert W. Lurz
The question of the possibility of conscious experience in animals has had a rebirth recentIy in both philosophy and psychology. I argue that there is an account of consciousness that is perfectly consistent with many animals enjoying conscious experiences. In defending my thesis, I examine a recent account of consciousness by Peter Carruthers which denies animals conscious experiences. I argue that Carruthers’ account should be rejected on the grounds that it is unnecessarily complex, and that it fails to provide either a sufficient or a necessary condition for conscious experience. A better account of consciousness, I maintain, is an Armstrongian account. I defend this account against a number of objections, and go on to show how it is consistent with a wide range of animals enjoying conscious experiences.