On the "feel" of things: The sensorimotor theory of consciousness
Interviewed by Cordelia Erickson-Davis
sensorymotor theory, action, qualia, direct perception, robots, AI
In this interview, O’Regan discusses how his sensorimotor theory of consciousness answers the “hard” problem of consciousness by reframing all perceptual experience as ways of interacting with the world. Why do things feel the way they do? Why does “red” look “red” rather than “green”. Why does “red” not sound like a bell? Because each experience involves different ways of interacting with the world; each marked by variation in the sensorimotor contingencies of the animal in relation with the environment. O’Regan and Erickson-Davis go on to discuss the implications of sensorimotor theory for thinking about the role phenomenological reflection, sensory substitution, building a robot that “feels,” the ethics of AI and “alternative” states of consciousness such as dreaming and hallucination.