Is it considered possible to be consciously aware of an object or thought without experiencing feelings, or is "feelings" just another word for conscious awareness?. If this question can't be dismissed, which philosophers have explored it?

In cases of blindsight subjects show behavioural sensitivity to visual informatioon about an object that they seem not to be consciously aware of - e.g. they can point it it, but if you ask them whether they can see it, they say 'no'. I am not sure if that is relevant to the question. Talk in terms of unconscious thoughts and feelings is central to psychoanalysis and its many modern offshoots. Just google and you'll find stacks of stuff on it. The expressions 'conscious awareness' and 'feelings' have many different uses and under specific technical interpretations they may be interdefined.

There are some strong arguments that if a computer appears to possess intelligence similar to a human's, that we must assume it too has self-awareness. Additionally, one could make a strong case that lesser animals have self-awareness, because they have the same type of brain as humans (just in a less sophisticated form.) My question is this: if we assume that a) computers of seemingly human intelligence are self-aware, and b) that animals of lesser brains are self-aware, must we logically conclude that computers of lesser "intelligence" are also self-aware? In other words, are all computers self aware? Is my toaster self-aware?

If a computer appears to possess intelligence, then we need to consider why it appears so. One reason might be that it is intelligent. Another might be that has been constructed to appear intelligent and is a good fake. There are in fact a lot of programs that seem to be like that: good fakes - in particular, ELIZA, designed by Joseph Weizenbaum in the 1960s, and others inspired by it. These are basically tin-pot little boxes of tricks that are very effective at giving answers that appear to be intelligent. Lesser animals have brains that resemble ours in some ways, but not others. We don't yet know which aspects of our neurology give us self awareness. So we are not in a position to tell whether lesser animals are self-aware by comparing their brains to ours. Do you think that it is programming or neurology that gives rise to self-awareness? If it's the former, then do you think that a very very very simple program would give rise to self awareness? If its the latter, then do you think...

Are animals self aware?

It is true that a number of psychologists treat intelligent use of mirrors as evidence of self awareness. But I am not convinced. Animals can gather information about their own bodies via various forms of perception, including, of course, vision. Some can also use a mirror - extending the range of their vision - to get information about their own bodies. But I don't see how that implies that they have any concept of self. My guess is that lots of animals do have something that we might reasonably call 'self awareness'. But I don't know of any serious evidence for this.