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Author: Stevens, Nicholas Stamer
Abstract: Proving whether animals are either capable or incapable of feeling (i.e. core consciousness) is a problem that is difficult to address because mental states cannot be directly observed. Many animals exhibit behavior similar to our own, and consequently it is easy to attribute to them corresponding mental states. The assumptions underlying these attributions, however, are subject to error; there is no absolute rule by which mental states correlate with behavior, and we have no means of verification through verbal reports. A different approach must therefore be taken. Revealing the presence in animals of the neural structures responsible for producing core consciousness in humans would essentially prove that such animals too are capable of feeling. Unfortunately, at present little is known about the biology responsible for producing core consciousness in humans. At best general regions containing the necessary structures are slowly being located. Based upon similarity of structures, evidence suggests that at least mammals are core conscious and perhaps all other vertebrates as well.
Description: 46 p. A THESIS Presented to the Department of Biology and the Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon in partial fulfillment of the requirements for degree of Bachelor of Arts, June 2006.A print copy of this title is available through the UO Libraries under the call number: SCA Archiv Storage Stevens 2006
Date: 2006-06

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