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Comment: Laboratory Animal Consciousness and Feelings: Adopting the Precautionary Principle


R. Harry Bradshaw

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy states that “consciousness exists but it resists definition”, and goes on to state that “consciousness involves experience or awareness” (1). In addition, Searle has stated that “many efforts have been made to identify consciousness with some other feature such as behaviour, functional states, or neurobiological states described solely in third person neurobiological terms. All of these fail because consciousness has an irreducible subjective character which is not identical with any third feature” (2). Thus, it is not easy to define or determine the nature of consciousness.