“Intuitions about Consciousness: Experimental Studies” by Joshua Knobe and Jesse Prinz, University of North Carolina â€“ Chapel Hill
When people are trying to determine whether an entity is capable of having certain kinds of mental states, they can proceed either by thinking about the entity from a functional standpoint or by thinking about the entity from a physical standpoint. We conducted a series of studies to determine how each of these standpoints impact people’s mental state ascriptions.
The results point to a striking difference between two kinds of states — those that involve phenomenal consciousness and those that do not. Specifically, it appears that ascriptions of states that involve phenomenal consciousness show a special sort of sensitivity to purely physical factors.