Contents

Refereed Papers

Jun Tani    abstract
The Dynamical Systems Accounts for Phenomenology of Immanent Time: An Interpretation by Revisiting a Robotics Synthetic Study
Zoltán Dienes    abstract
Assumptions of Subjective Measures of Unconscious Mental States: Higher Order Thoughts and Bias

Continuing Debate

William A. Adams    abstract
Machine Consciousness: Plausible Idea or Semantic Distortion?
Frederick Toates    abstract
Skinner’s Double Life As Both Perpetrator and Innocent Victim: A Reply to Baars
Richard Gray    abstract
What Synaesthesia Really Tells Us About Functionalism

Conference Report

Adam Zeman    full text
ASSC8 — Antwerp June 25–28, 2004

Review Articles

Douglas F. Watt    full text
Consciousness, Emotional Self-Regulation and the Brain
Burton Voorhees    full text
Embodied Mathematics

Book Reviews    full text

Gary Fuhrman
Paul Bloom, Descartes’ Baby
Chris Nunn
John Cornwell (ed.), Explanations
Bill Faw
Melvin A. Goodale & David Milner, Sight Unseen
Martha J. Farah, Visual Agnosia
Craig DeLancey
Simon Moore & Mike Oaksford (ed.), Emotional Cognition
Tuomo Jamsa
Johannes Roessler & Naomi Elian (ed.), Agency & Self-Awareness

TEN YEAR CUMULATIVE INDEX

Ten Year Index of Authors
Ten Year Index of Titles

ABSTRACTS

Zoltán Dienes

Assumptions of Subjective Measures of Unconscious Mental States: Higher Order Thoughts and Bias

Abstract: This paper considers two subjective measures of the existence of unconscious mental states — the guessing criterion, and the zero correlation criterion — and considers the assumptions underlying their application in experimental paradigms. Using higher order thought theory (Rosenthal, e.g. 1986; 1995) the impact of different types of biases on the zero correlation and guessing criteria are considered. It is argued that subjective measures of consciousness can be biased in various specified ways, some of which involve the relation between first order states and second order thoughts, and hence are not errors in measurement of the conscious status of mental states; but other sorts of biases are measurement errors, involving the relation between higher order thoughts and their expression. Nonetheless, it is argued this type of bias does not preclude subjective measures — both the guessing criterion and the zero correlation criterion — as being amongst the most appropriate and useful tools for measuring the conscious status of mental states.

Correspondence: Zoltán Dienes, Department of Psychology, Sussex University, Brighton, BN1 9QG, UK. E-mail: dienes@sussex.ac.uk


Jun Tani

The Dynamical Systems Accounts for Phenomenology of Immanent Time: An Interpretation by Revisiting a Robotics Synthetic Study

Abstract: This paper discusses possible correspondences between the dynamical systems characteristics observed in our previously proposed cognitive model and phenomenological accounts of immanent time considered by Edmund Husserl. Our simulation experiments in the anticiparatory learning of a robot showed that encountering sensory-motor flow can be learned as segmented into chunks of reusable primitives with accompanying dynamic shifting between coherences and incoherences in local modules. It is considered that the sense of objective time might appear when the continuous sensory-motor flow input to the robot is reconstructed into compositional memory structures through the articulation processes described.

Correspondence: Jun Tani, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama, 351-0198 Japan. Email: tani@brain.riken.go.jp


William A. Adams

Machine Consciousness: Plausible Idea or Semantic Distortion?

I found the JCS issue on Machine Consciousness, Volume 10, No. 4–5 (2003), frustrating and alienating. There seems to be a consensus building that consciousness is accessible to scientific scrutiny, so much so that it is already understood well enough to be modeled and even synthesized. I’m not so sure. It could be instead that the vocabulary of consciousness is being subtly redefined to be amenable to scientific investigation and explicit modeling. Such semantic revisionism is confusing and often misleading.

Whatever else consciousness is, it is at least a certain quality of life apparent from personal reflection. Introspection is, after all, the only way we know that consciousness even exists. Scientific and technical redefinitions that fail to account for its phenomenal quality are at best incomplete. In my view, all but one of the ten articles in the JCS volume on Machine Consciousness commit various degrees of Protean distortion.

Correspondence: Email: bill.adams@bainbridge.net


Richard Gray

What Synaesthesia Really Tells Us About Functionalism

Abstract: J.A. Gray et al. (2002) have recently argued that synaesthesia can be used as a counterexample to functionalism. They provide empirical evidence which they hold supports two anti-functionalist claims: disparate functions share the same types of qualia and the effects of synaesthetic qualia are, contrary to what one would expect from evolutionary considerations, adverse to those functions with which those types of qualia are normally linked. I argue that the empirical evidence they cite does not rule out functionalism, rather the reverse. The fact that the effects of synaesthesia are adverse shows that understanding synaesthetic experiences requires a concept of dysfunction, which in turn presupposes a functionalist account. Such an account, moreover, shows how tokens of the same types of qualia can be associated with different causal histories, thus disarming their first objection.

Correspondence: Richard Gray, Philosophy Section Humanities Building, Cardiff University, Colum Drive, PO Box 94, Cardiff, CF10 3XB, UK. Email: GrayR@Cardiff.ac.uk


Frederick Toates

Skinner’s Double Life As Both Perpetrator and Innocent Victim: A Reply to Baars

Abstract: In response to Baars’ (2003a) contribution, it is argued that crucial elements of Skinner’s perspective need to be integrated within a broader context of psychology including consciousness studies. The behaviourists championed processes that are an integral part of our psychological composition. The history of psychology is one of pointless fragmentation, with particular processes being adopted by charismatic advocates and turned into an all-embracing philosophy. Skinner was not alone in doing this. Skinner’s double life, it is argued, as an instance of a duality of existence, is a feature that applies to most if not all people.

Correspondence: Frederick Toates, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK. Email: F.Toates@Open.ac.uk


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