Semester of Graduation
First Major Professor
Dr. Vlastislav Bracha
Master of Science (MS)
Consciousness research in neuroscience focuses on the awareness of internal and external existence. Scientists and philosophers have spent centuries analyzing what consciousness really is. Yet, the subject of consciousness remains controversial. This is because consciousness has a subjective aspect, and as such, it is difficult to test empirically. These problems are further amplified when examining whether animals are conscious. This paper addresses the philosophic and scientific views of consciousness and outlines why consciousness remains to be a hard problem in science. We will then examine arguments offered by the Francis Creek Memorial, and the advent of the Cambridge declaration which took place in 2012, to see if it resolved the question of animal consciousness. We will show that the current research, which is based on materialistic physicalist position, provides a possible pathway toward examining animal consciousness by assuming that it is being produced by brain substrates that are similar to those thought to be responsible for consciousness in humans.
Dada, Samuel, "Ghost in the machine; do animals have consciousness?" (2020). Creative Components. 487.