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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 24, 1999

Robert W. Lurz
Pages 149-168

Animal Consciousness

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.

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