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Consciousness and Moral Responsibility$
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Neil Levy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704638

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704638.001.0001

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What Does Consciousness Do?

What Does Consciousness Do?

(p.70) 4 What Does Consciousness Do?
Consciousness and Moral Responsibility

Neil Levy

Oxford University Press

On the basis of the global workspace account of consciousness developed in Chapter 3, an account of the difference that it makes to behavior is advanced. It is claimed that because consciousness integrates information from internal and external sources, it is needed for broadly flexible behavior. The behavior of agents suffering from pathologies of consciousness such as somnambulism is driven by a narrow range of the contents that make the agent the person she is, it is claimed. It is argued that the account explains the extraordinary feats of which such agents remain capable, but also the limitations of their behavior.

Keywords:   Global workspace theory, integration, behavioral flexibility, somnambulism

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