CMSC 491M/691M - Spring 2003
Discussion Questions for Class #16, March 19
Reading: Consciousness papers: Bechtel, Dennett
- What's the difference between consciousness and
attention (if there is one)?
- If you could design an agent that exhibited all of Churchland's
functional features of consciousness, would you actually have a
conscious system? Why or why not?
- If it's true that consciousness is biologically localized in the
intraluminar nucleus, does that mean we need one of those in our
agents in order to have consciousness?
- What is meant by qualia or qualitative experience?
According to Nagel et al. (p. 6), "the qualitative character of mental
events is not due to either the functional or physical character of
cognitive systems but is in some way beyond the physical and
functional dimension." Aren't we just back to Searle's magical,
- ...and if we are, what is "intentionality?"
- Summarize the four arguments presented by Dennett that argue against
computational models of consciousness (dualism, organic essence,
origin chauvinism, and complexity).
- Dennett then goes on to say, "Hey, let's build a robot and not
worry about consciousness!" Do you think that the Cog project will
have anything useful to say about consciousness? About cognition?
And if not, why do you suppose this paper claims to be about
consciousness but is really all about Cog?