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Consciousness Lost and FoundA Neuropsychological Exploration$
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Lawrence Weiskrantz

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524588

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524588.001.0001

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Animal consciousness—the problem of ‘Whether?’

Animal consciousness—the problem of ‘Whether?’

(p.77) 4 Animal consciousness—the problem of ‘Whether?’
Consciousness Lost and Found

Lawrence Weiskrantz

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question of awareness by animals, the possible homologous role of commentaries for them, and how the question might be addressed in practical terms. The chapter stipulates here that the difference between ‘reflex’ pretence and ‘thoughtful’ pretence, even if it could be drawn sharply, is a distinction between modes of thinking and its absence, and it might be considered that thought necessarily entails consciousness. In addition, the position that the chapter reaches is that ongoing behaviour, no matter how rich in detail, does not necessarily involve awareness of the events controlling the behaviour. A person or an animal can show excellent capacities without awareness. Finally, it is argued that, in principle, animals as well as humans may possess the same ability to indicate whether or not they were aware of the stimulus to which they have responded.

Keywords:   awareness, animals, modes of thinking, consciousness, behaviour, commentary-type response, sensory awareness

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