I n the debate on whether or not robots might be intelligent, philosophers, psychologists and, in particular, cognitive scientists have taken an interest in questions such as “What do we actually mean by in-

telligence?”, “Can machines think?” and “Can machines have consciousness?” These questions take on more importance as humankind moves towards a greater acceptability of the concept of intelligence in robots, and it is therefore appropriate for us to examine the meaning and significance of consciousness, not only for a better understanding of the attribute for its own sake but also because it is a foundation stone of thought and intelligence.