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Frontiers of ConsciousnessChichele Lectures$
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Lawrence Weiskrantz and Martin Davies

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199233151

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233151.001.0001

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Beast machines? Questions of animal consciousness

Beast machines? Questions of animal consciousness

(p.259) Chapter 9 Beast machines? Questions of animal consciousness
Frontiers of Consciousness

Cecilia Heyes

Oxford University Press

The term ‘beast machines’ denies that non-human animals have souls, minds, or, in contemporary language, ‘consciousness’. This view fuelled a debate, which is often said to relate to ‘the question of animal consciousness’, but naturally it comprises many questions. For example: What, in this context, is meant by ‘consciousness’? Why is the question of animal consciousness a focus of such broad interest? Can it be addressed through scientific studies of animal behaviour? What has been shown by scientific studies that appear to address the question of animal consciousness? This chapter examines these questions, focusing on the claim that animal consciousness is subject to scientific investigation.

Keywords:   beast machines, animals, animal consciousness, consciousness, animal behaviour

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