Bruce Bridgeman (1992) Consciousness: What's the Use? . Psycoloquy: 3(35) Consciousness (17)
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Psycoloquy 3(35): Consciousness: What's the Use?

Reply to Velmans on Bridgeman on Consciousness

Bruce Bridgeman
Dept. of Psychology
Kerr Hall UCSC
Santa Cruz, Ca. 95064
(408) 459-4005


Velmans (1992) questions the necessity of consciousness for mental functions, considering consciousness to be a state rather than a process i.e. a result rather than a cause. If the introspection of consciousness is the result of an episodic memory system that engages plans, the question of function loses much of its meaning. Only plan execution has a function, not its concomitant consciousness. If this conception of consciousness is a form of epiphenomenalism, so be it. Unlike the epiphenomenalism of traditional philosophy of mind, this epiphenomenalism echoes a real system with a real function. It is this epiphenomenon that defines our mental life.


consciousness, language, plans, motivation, evolution, motor system