CSC 191/291, Articles of Possible Interest

(Selections still somewhat uncertain, but "*", "**" indicate currently preferred and very preferred choices, and articles near the top are generally more relevant than those near the end)

Many items, often annotated, have been obtained from the City University of Hong Kong site,
especially the items in the Addendum.

As noted in the listing of online resources, William Rapaport at U. Buffalo has an excellent bibliography at,
in conjunction with his course on consciousness at
This course is more philosophically oriented than ours, as reflected in the references. (You might also enjoy the numerous cartoons.)

Current research articles on machines and consciousness can be found in the Int. J. of Machine Consciousness (initiated in 2009), and the more generic J. of Consciousness Studies.

*Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi, "Can Machines Be Conscious?", in IEEE Spectrum, Vol. 45, No. 6, pages 55-59; June 2008.

*David Balduzzi and Giulio Tononi, "Integrated Information in Discrete Dynamical Systems: Motivation and Theoretical Framework", PLoS Computational Biology, Vol. 4, No. 6; June 2008.

*Giulio Tononi, "Consciousness as Integrated Information: A Provisional Manifesto", Biological Bulletin, Vol. 215, No. 3, pages 216-242; December 2008.

**Steven Pinker, Could a computer ever be conscious? 1997

**Steven Pinker, The mystery of consciousness, Time Magazine, Jan.19/07:,8816,1580394,00.html

**Bernard Baars & Stan Franklin, "Consciousness Is Computational: The LIDA Model of Global Workspace Theory", Int. J. of Machine Consciousness 1(1), June 2009, 23–32.

**Drew McDermott, "Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness", in Zelazo, Moscovitch, & Thompson (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness, Cambridge University Press, New York, Ch.6, 2007 (pp. 117–150).

*McDermott commentaries and replies:
Varol Akman, "Reading McDermott", Artificial Intelligence 151(1–2),December 2003, 227–235.

*Peter Carruthers, "Review of McDermott 2001", Artificial Intelligence 151 (1–2), December 2003, 237–240.

*Drew McDermott, "Reply to Carruthers and Akman", Artificial Intelligence 151 (1–2), December 2003, 241–245.

**Marvin Minsky, Programs, Emotions and Common Sense, 2001.
(Well, the talk itself is no longer at that site.)
or possibly,

Marvin Minsky, Afterword to Vernor Vinge's novel, "True Names", 1984:

or possibly,

Marvin Minsky, Conscious machines, 1991:

**Marvin Minsky, The Emotion Machine, 2006, draft (ch. 1-9)

**Geoffrey Carr (Science editor), "Who do you think you are?", The Economist, Dec.23, 2006, paginated 1-12, after p. 79.
[Well-written, illustrated general overview of current brain science, concluding with the problem of consciousness.]

**Christof Teuscher, Biologically uninspired computer science, CACM 49(11), 2006, 27-29.
["Nature did not invent the wheel, and airplane wings do not flap."]

* Shapiro, Stuart C.; & Bona, Jonathan P. (2009), "The GLAIR Cognitive Architecture", in Alexei Samsonovich (ed.), Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures: Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium, Technical Report FS-09-01 (Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press).

[Unlike many articles on consciousness, this one is backed by a large body of technical work. In the "knowledge layer", "conscious reasoning, planning, and act selection is performed".]

* Articles by various authors, from a AAAI Symposium, 2007:
Consciousness and Artificial Intelligence: Theoretical foundations and current approaches

[However, on a quick scan most of the papers lack substance -- they provide various "cognitive architectures", discussions, neuronal models, equations, etc., but neither a formalism nor an artifact. Possibly the paper

Parisi D, Mirolli M, Steps Towards Artificial Consciousness: A Robot’s Knowledge of Its Own Body,, is useful.]

* Michael T. Cox, "Perpetual self-aware cognitive agents", AI Magazine 28(1), pp. 32-45, 2007.
[Describes a simple Prodigy-based agent, INTRO, in a 2-by-4-cell Wumpus world. The goal is for INTRO to use a meta-module (called Meta-AQUA) in acquiring new goals or new explanations from unexpected eventualities (such as the Wumpus screaming, explainable by its being hungry).]

*Farrell, B. A. 1970. The design of a conscious device. Mind 79:321-46.
[From cuhk website: An outline of the design requirements for a conscious machine: reactivity, negative feedback, categorization, associative learning. Compares this machine's abilities to those of a child.]

*Schooler, J. 2004. Experience, meta-consciousness, and the paradox of introspection. Journal of Consciousness Studies 11(7-8):17-39.

Michie, D. 1994. Consciousness as an engineering issue (Parts 1 and 2). Journal of Consciousness Studies 1:192-95, 2:52-66.

**John McCarthy, Making robots conscious of their mental states, in Machine Intelligence 15, 3-17, 1995.

**Steven Vere and Timothy Bickmore, A basic agent, Computational Intelligence 6(1), February 1990, 41 - 60.

**Michael T. Cox, Metacognition in computation: A selected history, 2005 AAAI Spring Symposium on Metacognition in Computation, AAAI Tech. Rep. SS-05-04, Stanford Univ., March 21-23, 2005.

*Stuart C. Shapiro, William J. Rapaport, Michael Kandefer, Frances L. Johnson, and Albert Goldfain, Metacognition in SNePS, AI Magazine 28, 1 (Spring 2007), in press.

**S. C. Shapiro. Embodied Cassie. In Cognitive Robotics: Papers from the 1998 AAAI Fall Symposium, Technical Report FS-98-02, 136–143. AAAI Press, Menlo Park, California, October 1998.

*F. Morbini & L.K. Schubert, ``Conscious agents", Tech. Rep. TR879, Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0226, Sept. 2005.

**F. Morbini & L.K. Schubert, ``Towards realistic autocognitive inference", Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning, AAAI Spring Symposium, March 26-28, Stanford, 2007.

**L.K. Schubert, ``Some knowledge representation and reasoning requirements for self-awareness", 2005 AAAI Spring Symposium on Metacognition in Computation, AAAI Tech. Rep. SS-05-04, Stanford Univ., March 21-23, 2005, 106-113.

**Garson, J. 2002. Evolution, consciousness, and the language of thought. In (J. Fetzer, ed) Consciousness Evolving. John Benjamins.

**James F. Allen, Natural Language Understanding, Benjamin/Cummings, 1995, Ch. 13 (Knowledge Representation and Reasoning) and App. A (Intro. to to logic and formal semantics).

*Michael Tye, A representational theory of pains and their phenomenal character. In Ned Block, Owen Flanagan, and Guven Guzeldere (eds.), The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates, Bradford, MIT Press, 1997, ch. 17 (329-340).

*Yves Lesperance and Hector Levesque, Indexical knowledge and robot action -- a logical account, Artificial Intelligence, 73(1-2), 69-115, 1995. ----------------------------------------------------------------------

**Arbib, M. A. 2001. Co-evolution of human consciousness and language. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 929:195-220.

*Donald Perlis, Consciousness as self-function, J. of Consciousness Studies 4(5/6), 1997, 508-525.

**Morin, A. & Everett, J. 1990. Inner speech as a mediator of self-awareness, self-consciousness, and self-knowledge: An hypothesis. New Ideas in Psychology 8:337-56.
[See more recent brief article at]

*Gunderson, K. 1990. Consciousness and intentionality: Robots with and without the right stuff. In C.A. Anderson & J. Owens (eds.), Attitudes: The Role of Content in Language, Logic, and Mind. CSLI.

*Wilks, Y. 1984. Machines and consciousness. In (C. Hookway, ed) Minds, Machines and Evolution. Cambridge University Press.

*Ramachandran, V. S. & Hirstein, W. 1998. Three laws of qualia: What neurology tells us about the biological functions of consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 4:429-57.

*Crick, F. & Koch, C. 2003. A framework for consciousness. Nature Neuroscience 6:119-26.

Crick, F. & Koch, C. 1995. Are we aware of neural activity in primary visual cortex? Nature 375:121-23.

Timothy Goldsmith, 2006. What Birds See, Scientific American, July.
[Comment by Ben Van Durme: contains a great discussion on how/why humans see color.]

Ginsburg, C. 2005. First-person experiments. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12:22-42.

Robbins, P. 2004. Knowing me, knowing you: Theory of mind and the machinery of introspection. Journal of Consciousness Studies 11(7-8):129-43.

Antonio Damasio, How the brain creates the mind, Scientific American, 112-117, December 1999.

Dennett, D.C. 1978. Why you can't make a computer that feels pain. Synthese 38. Reprinted in _Brainstorms (MIT Press, 1978).
[From cuhk website: Discussion of the concept of pain, flowcharts, reportability, etc. In 1988, he wrote "Quining qualia", where he argues against the existence of ineffable, intrinsic, private, directly accessible properties. LKS: I would agree, but maintain there are "effable", private properties!]

Daniel Dennett, Cog: Steps towards consciousness in robots, In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience, Imprint Academic, Schoningh, Paderborn, UK USA: Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas), 1995, 471-478.

Velmans, M. 1998. Goodbye to reductionism: Complementary first and third-person approaches to consciousness. In (S. Hameroff, A. Kaszniak, & A. Scott, eds) Toward a Science of Consciousness II. MIT Press.

Stamenov, M. I. 2001. Language structure and the structure of consciousness: Can one find a 'common denominator' between them? In (P. Pylkkanen & T. Vaden, eds) Dimensions of Conscious Experience. John Benjamins.

Ramachandran, V. 2001. Synaesthesia: A window into perception, thought and language. Journal of Consciousness Studies 8:3-34.

Haggard, P. , Catledge, P. , Dafydd, M. & Oakley, D. A. 2004. Anomalous control: When "free will" is not conscious. Consciousness and Cognition 13:646-654.

Faw, B. 2004. Cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: A review article. Journal of Consciousness Studies 11:69-72.

Baars, B. 2003. How brain reveals mind: Neural studies support the fundamental role of conscious experience. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10(9-10):100-114.

Baars, B. 2003. Working memory requires conscious processes, not vice versa: A global workspace account. In (N. Osaka, ed) Neural Basis of Consciousness. John Benjamins.

Rosenthal, D. M. 1998. Consciousness and metacognition. In (D. Sperber, ed) Metarepresentation. Oxford University Press.

Northoff, G. 2003. Qualia and the ventral prefrontal cortical function 'neurophenomenological' hypothesis. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10(8):14-48.

Baars, B. J. 1997. In the theatre of consciousness: Global workspace theory, a rigorous scientific theory of consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 4:292-309.

O'Brien, G. & Opie, J. 1998. A connectionist theory of phenomenal experience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Aydede, M. & Price, D. 2005. The experimental use of introspection in the scientific study of pain and its integration with third-person methodologies: The experiential-phenomenological approach. In (M. Aydede, ed) Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. MIT Press.

Aaron Sloman, The evolution of what?, 1998 Draft version available online

ADDENDUM: Some philosophical "classics" and responses

Lewis, D. 1965. An argument for the identity theory. Journal of Philosophy 63:17-25. Reprinted in _Philosophical Papers, Vol. 1_ (Oxford University Press, 1980).

[From cuhk website: Mental states are defined by their causal roles. So, by the completeness of physics, they must be physical states.]

Munsat, S. 1969. Could sensations be processes? Mind.
[From cuhk website: Sensations and processes have different logical type, so it is a priori impossible that they should be identical.]

Kripke, S.A. 1972. _Naming and Necessity_. Harvard University Press.
[From cuhk website: Both "pain" and "C-fibres firing" are rigid designators, so if they are identical, this must be necessary. But their co-occurrence is contingent, and this can't be explained away epistemically, so the identity theory fails.]

Nagel, T. 1974. What is it like to be a bat? Philosophical Review 4:435-50. Reprinted in (N. Block, ed) _Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology_ (MIT Press, 1980).
[From cuhk website: Physicalist explanations leave out consciousness, i.e. what it is like to be an organism. Objective accounts omit points of view (could there be an objective phenomenology?). Physicalism may be true, but we can't see how.]

Gunderson, K. 1970. Asymmetries and mind-body perplexities. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4:273-309.
[From cuhk website: The core of the mind-body problem is the first/third-person asymmetry. It's like a periscope trying to place itself between its crosshairs.]

Kirk, R. 1979. From physical explicability to full-blooded materialism. Philosophical Quarterly 29:229-37.
[From cuhk website: If every physical events has a physical explanation, and the mental is causally efficacious, then mental facts are strictly implied by physical facts. Nice argument.]

Nagel, T. 1979. Subjective and objective. In _Mortal Questions_. Cambridge University Press.
[From cuhk website: Subjective and objective views clash, e.g. on meaning of life, free will, personal identity, mind-body problem, ethics. How to reconcile: reduction, elimination, annexation? Maybe just let multiple viewpoints coexist.]

Nagel, T. 1986. _The View From Nowhere_. Oxford University Press.
[From cuhk website: Seeing philosophy as a clash between the subjective and objective views of various phenomena (mental states, self, knowledge, freedom, value, ethics). Eliminating the subjective is impossible.]

White, S. 1987. What is it like to be a homunculus? Pac Philosophical Quarterly 68:148-74.
[From cuhk website: Weird examples of homunculi that are conscious but not self-conscious. Self-consciousness, not consciousness, is what really counts.]

Dennett, D.C. 1978. Toward a cognitive theory of consciousness. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 9. Reprinted in _Brainstorms (MIT Press, 1978).
[From cuhk website: Conscious contents are contents of a buffer memory to which a public report module has access. We only have conscious access to propositional judgments, not to underlying processes. With a cute functional diagram. LKS: Though in some respects similar to Baars, sounds thoroughly annoying!]

Dennett, D.C. 1982. How to study human consciousness empirically, or, nothing comes to mind. Synthese 53:159-80.

[From cuhk website: We can study consciousness by the method of heterophenomenology: studying the things we say about conscious states, which we can interpret as we interpret texts. Autophenomenology gives nothing extra. With comments by Rorty. LKS: It gives nothing "extra" but it gives a different perspective, with a different set of primitives -- qualia.]

Lockwood, M. 1993. Dennett's mind. Inquiry.
[From cuhk website: Argues for a suitably sophisticated Cartesian Theatre, and against the identification of phenomenology with judgments.]

Toribio, J. 1993. Why there still has to be a theory of consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 2:28-47.
[From cuhk website: Criticizes behavioral, localist, and "intransitive" approaches to consciousness, and recommends a "transitive" metacognitive approach. But criticizes Dennett for not explaining subjective experience.]

Revonsuo, A. 1993. Is there a ghost in the cognitive machinery? Philosophical Psychology 6:387-405.
[From cuhk website: On the place of consciousness in cognitive science. Argues against eliminativism and against Dennett's "multiple drafts" model, appealing to scientific work about consciousness.]

Horgan, T. 1987. Supervenient qualia. Philosophical Review 96:491-520.
[From cuhk website: Arguing from the causal efficacy of qualia and the closedness of physical causation to the conclusion that qualia conceptually supervene on the physical. A very thorough paper.]

Leeds, S. 1993. Qualia, awareness, Sellars. Nous 27:303-330.
[From cuhk website: A discussion of in what sense we are aware of qualia, and how we can have beliefs about them, with reference to Sellars. Ends up reducing qualia to phenomenal beliefs in a language of thought. A rich and subtle paper.]

Rey, G. 1993. Sensational sentences. In (M. Davies & G. Humphreys, eds) _Consciousness: Philosophical and Psychological Essays_. Blackwell.
[From cuhk website: Explicating sensory experience in terms of an appropriate computational relation to a sentence in the language of thought. Argues that this handles many features of qualia (privacy, ineffability, grainlessness, unity, etc).]

Goldman, A. 1992. The psychology of folk psychology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
[From cuhk website: On the psychology of self-ascription of mental states. Functionalism has serious problems, as we don't have direct access to causal roles. Defends a qualia-based account, even for propositional attitudes.]

Goldman, A. 2000. Can science know when you're conscious? Epistemological foundations of consciousness research. Journal Of Consciousness Studies 7:3-22

Papineau, D. 2003. Could there be a science of consciousness? Philosophical Issues 13:205-20.

Blackmore, S. 2003. Consciousness: An Introduction. Oxford University Press. Blackmore, S. 2002. Crossing the chasm of consciousness. Trends in Cognitive Science 6:276-277.

Akins, K. 1993. What is it like to be boring and myopic? In B. Dahlbom, (ed.), _Dennett and his Critics_. Blackwell.
[From cuhk website: Gives a detailed account of perceptual processing in bats, and suggests that we can know what bat-experience is like: it's like nerd experience. But then is there an unexplained residue?]

Flanagan, O.J. 1985. Consciousness, naturalism and Nagel. Journal of Mind and Behavior 6:373-90.
[From cuhk website: Naturalism can do autophenomenology just fine.]

Flanagan, O.J. 1992. Consciousness Reconsidered. MIT Press.
[From cuhk website: Argues that consciousness can be accounted for in a naturalistic framework. With arguments against eliminativism and epiphenomenalism, evidence from neuroscience and psychology, and discussions of the stream and the self.]

Haksar, V. 1981. Nagel on subjective and objective. Inquiry 24:105-21.
[From cuhk website: The objective and subjective don't conflict, but complement each other. LKS: personally I don't think the relation is reciprocal in any strong sense (one needing the other) -- they are just alternative perspectives, each valid and useful in its own way.]

Jackson, F. 1982. Epiphenomenal qualia. Philosophical Quarterly 32:127-136. Reprinted in (W. Lycan, ed) _Mind and Cognition_ (Blackwell, 1990).
[From cuhk website: Knowing a completed neuroscience does not imply knowing about qualia. Mary, the colorblind neuroscientist, gains color vision and learns about red. LKS: I think Mary gains subjective knowledge -- what it's like to experience red, how this compares to experiencing gray, etc. She does not gain objective knowledge -- even though her objective knowledge allowed her to predict all objectively observable manifestations of her subjective knowledge gain. The two are simply parallel accounts, each allowing inference of the other (to some extent). But while we can translate the representational system of subjective experience into the representational system of objective (third person) description, the converse is not possible: an objective description can predict my observable reactions associated with an experience, but in order to express the prediction in terms of the subjective system, it would have to provide the experience!]

Lewis, D. 1990. What experience teaches. In (W. Lycan, ed) _Mind and Cognition_. Blackwell.
[From cuhk website: Against the hypothesis that phenomenology carries information. If it does, and if parapsychology isn't true, qualia are epiphenomenal. Better to analyze the "new information" as acquiring an ability instead. Entertaining.]

Thompson, E, 1992. Novel colours. Philosophical Studies 68:321-49.
[From cuhk website: Interesting remarks on what it would be for someone to see colors that we cannot, combining philosophical considerations with empirical findings about color space. Argues that science could tell us what such colors are like.]

Shoemaker, S. 1975. Functionalism and qualia. Philosophical Studies 27:291-315. Reprinted in _Identity, Cause, and Mind_ (Cambridge University Press, 1984).
[From cuhk website: Absent qualia possible => qualia make no causal difference => no knowledge of qualia, therefore absent qualia are impossible. If qualia are introspectively accessible, they must be functional. An important argument. LKS: Read "AQ as "zombies". I agree absent qualia are impossible; and of course they're functional -- from a subjective perspective.]

Shoemaker, S. 1990. Qualities and qualia: What's in the mind? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Supplement 50:109-131.
[From cuhk website: Qualia can't be reduced to standard intentional properties (due to certain IS cases). Projectivist and sense-reference accounts don't work either. Perhaps qualia are necessarily-illusory intentional properties.]

Block, N. 1980. Troubles with functionalism. In N. Block, (ed.), in the Philosophy of Psychology, Vol 1. Harvard University Press.
[From cuhk website: All kinds of absent qualia cases: homunculi-headed robots, the population of China, and so on. There is a prima facie doubt that such cases lack qualia, so there is a prima facie case against functionalism. LKS: I don't think the population of China collectively has qualia -- it doesn't have an integrated neural network resembling the brain.]

Chalmers, D.J. 1995. Absent qualia, fading qualia, dancing qualia. In a Theory of Consciousness. MIT Press.
[From cuhk website: Argues that absent qualia and inverted qualia are empirically impossible (though logically possible), using neural-replacement thought-experiments. So functional organization fully determines conscious experience.]

Moor, J.H. 1988. Testing robots for qualia. In H. Otto & J. Tuedio (eds.), on Mind. Kluwer.
[From cuhk website: Behavioral evidence for qualia is always indirect. And you can't check by replacing own neurons by chips, as you'll still believe you have qualia if you're functionally identical. Posit robot qualia as explanatory construct? LKS: We may well do that -- but we can't do so confidently till we have a *general* theory of consciousness, covering sentient agents of all sorts.]

Seager, W.E. 1983. Functionalism, qualia and causation. Mind 92:174-88.
[From cuhk website: Functionalism can't explain the causal role of qualia by identifying them with functional states (circularity) or physical realizations (chauvinism). Which leaves property dualism, epiphenomenalism, or eliminativism for qualia.]

Bisiach, E. 1988. The (haunted) brain and consciousness. In A. Marcel & E. Bisiach (eds.), in Contemporary Science. Oxford University Press.
[From cuhk website: Distinguishes C1 (phenomenal experience) from C2 (access of parts of a system to other parts). C2 is can be scientifically studied, and has a graspable, if fragmented, causal role. C1 is mysterious and perhaps beyond science.]

Block, N. 1990. Inverted earth. Philosophical Perspectives 4:53-79.
[From cuhk website: Uses Inverted Earth case, colors and lenses inverted, to argue vs Harman that qualitative states aren't intentional states. Also, less convincingly, to argue that qualitative states aren't functional states.]

Clark, A. 1985. Spectrum inversion and the color solid. Southern Journal of Philosophy 23:431-43.
[From cuhk website: Argues that there could be inverted spectra even without a symmetrical color space. Qualia must be distinguished from their place in color space.]

Tye, M. 1993. Qualia, content, and the inverted spectrum. Nous.
[From cuhk website: Argues that qualia are intentional properties, along the lines of "looks F to P". Handles inverted earth and related cases by taking the narrow intentional content. With remarks on the semantics of color terms.]

Berger, G. 1987. On the structure of visual sentience. Synthese 71:355-70.

Clark, A. 1985. Qualia and the psychophysical explanation of color perception. Synthese 65:377-405.
[From cuhk website: One can give an information-theoretic explanation of color perception, which leaves nothing out. Rebuts various qualia objections, e.g. from the possibility of inversion. Qualia are codes for external properties.]

Last Change: 26 January 2017 /