Is global workspace a cartesian theater? How the neuro-astroglial interaction model solves conceptual issues

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Bellini-Leite, Samuel
Pereira Júnior, Alfredo [UNESP]

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The Global Workspace Theory (GWT) proposed by Bernard Baars (1988) along with Daniel Dennett’s (1991) Multiple Drafts Model (MDM) of consciousness are renowned cognitive theories of consciousness bearing similarities and differences. Although Dennett displays sympathy for GWT, his own MDM does not seem to be fully compatible with it. This work discusses this compatibility, by asking if GWT suffers from Daniel Dennett’s criticism of what he calls a “Cartesian Theater”. We identified in Dennett 10 requirements for avoiding the Cartesian Theater. We believe that some of these requirements are violated by GWT, but not all, hence there is partial incompatibility with MDM, and it is nonsense to answer if GWT is or is not a Cartesian Theater. However, by asking such question we conclude that the issues around this discussion involve fuzzy claims about degrees of consciousness and we show how the Neuro-Astroglial Interaction Model (NAIM) is fit for solving such conceptual issues.



Consciousness, Cartesian theater, Global workspace, Multiple drafts, Neuro-astroglial interaction model

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Journal of Cognitive Science, v. 14, p. 335-360, 2013.