Analogy as the core of consciousness



Livins, Katherine Anne

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University of Guelph


This thesis is an investigation of how analogy research can be applied to the problem of phenomenal consciousness. The central argument is that Douglas Hofstadter's research on analogy and can be mobilized in order demonstrate that phenomenal consciousness is simply the amalgamation of several cognitive functions and, furthermore, that it is the human ability to engage in analogy-making that causes conscious experience to be subjective and unique. A model of consciousness is ultimately offered based on this argument; it is titled the Analogical View of Consciousness (or, the AVC). This project has four steps: First, the problem of consciousness is described and the dominant positions on the problem are discussed. Secondly, the state of analogy research is outlined. Third, Hofstadter's work on analogy is applied to the problem, producing the AVC. And fourth, the AVC is defended and future routes of research are investigated.



analogy research, phenomenal consciousness, Douglas Hofstadter, cognitive functions, analogy-making, Analogical View of Consciousness