Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
O'Brien & Opie: Connectionism and phenomenal experience

Brute association is not identity

Bram van Heuveln a1 and Eric Dietrich a1
a1 Program in Philosophy, Computers, and Cognitive Science, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000


O'Brien & Opie run into conceptual problems trying to equate stable patterns of neural activation with phenomenal experiences. They also seem to make a logical mistake in thinking that the brute association between stable neural patterns and phenomenal experiences implies that they are identical. In general, the authors do not provide us with a story as to why stable neural patterns constitute phenomenal experience.