The notion of consciousness, animal or otherwise, has been often discussed throughout the history of human thought. More recently it has become a topic for debate in philosophy with many competing ideas emerging. This paper is an attempt to discuss the nature of animal consciousness using a phenomenological approach. Phenomenology is a branch of philosophy with the goal of discovering and describing the true nature of phenomena beyond the human subjective experience of them. Using the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s work on perception, this paper argues for the acceptance of a form of consciousness in many animals while also seeking a better understanding of animal consciousness from a phenomenological approach. The paper concludes by discussing aspects that the phenomenological approach can add to our limited perspective of animal consciousness.
Mazur, Matt, "Is There An Animal Consciousness? A Phenomenological Approach" (2014). 2014 Honors Council of the Illinois Region Papers. 4.