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Zombies and Consciousness$
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Robert Kirk

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199285489.001.0001

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(p.77) 6 Deciders
Zombies and Consciousness

Robert Kirk

Oxford University Press

Considering humbler creatures than ourselves provides a better chance of uncovering what really matters for perceptual consciousness. This chapter discusses a series of broad classes of behaving systems, starting with ‘pure reflex systems’ and ending with ‘deciders’: systems with the ‘basic package’, capable of choosing between alternative courses of action, if only in a rudimentary sense. The idea of the basic package provides a framework for thinking about behaving systems, which advances the overall project of understanding perceptual consciousness. This framework helps to bridge the gap between descriptions in purely physical or biomechanical terms, and descriptions in psychological terms.

Keywords:   basic package, behaving systems, deciders, humble creatures, perceptual consciousness, reflex systems

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