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  1. added 2019-01-30
    Nietzsche on the Superficiality of Consciousness.Mattia Riccardi - 2018 - In Manuel Dries (ed.), Nietzsche on consciousness and the embodied mind. De Gruyter. pp. 93-112.
    Abstract: Nietzsche’s famously wrote that “consciousness is a surface” (EH, Why I am so clever, 9: 97). The aim of this paper is to make sense of this quite puzzling contention—Superficiality, for short. In doing this, I shall focus on two further claims—both to be found in Gay Science 354—which I take to substantiate Nietzsche’s endorsement of Superficiality. The first claim is that consciousness is superfluous—which I call the “superfluousness claim” (SC). The second claim is that consciousness is the source (...)
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  2. added 2019-01-06
    The Misunderstood Higher-Order Approach to Consciousness.Richard Brown, Hakwan Lau & Joseph LeDoux - manuscript
    Critics have often misunderstood the higher-order theory (HOT) of consciousness. Here we clarify its position on several issues, and distinguish it from other views such as the global workspace theory (GWT) and early sensory models, such as first-order local recurrency theory. The criticism that HOT over- intellectualizes conscious experience is inaccurate because in reality the theory assumes minimal cognitive functions for consciousness; in this sense it is an intermediate position between GWT and early sensory views, and plausibly accounts for shortcomings (...)
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  3. added 2018-11-22
    Responsible Brains: Neuroscience, Law, and Human Culpability.William Hirstein, Katrina L. Sifferd & Tyler Fagan - 2018 - New York, NY, USA: MIT Press.
    [This download includes the table of contents and chapter 1.] -/- When we praise, blame, punish, or reward people for their actions, we are holding them responsible for what they have done. Common sense tells us that what makes human beings responsible has to do with their minds and, in particular, the relationship between their minds and their actions. Yet the empirical connection is not necessarily obvious. The “guilty mind” is a core concept of criminal law, but if a defendant (...)
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  4. added 2018-06-23
    Animal Consciousness.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2018 - Springer: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior.
    This chapter addresses the extent to which nonhuman animals are conscious. Most important perhaps is what criteria should be used in making such a determination.
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  5. added 2018-02-25
    Anesthesia and Consciousess.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2018 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 5 (1):49-69.
    For patients under anesthesia, it is extremely important to be able to ascertain from a scientific, third person point of view to what extent consciousness is correlated with specific areas of brain activity. Errors in accurately determining when a patient is having conscious states, such as conscious perceptions or pains, can have catastrophic results. Here, I argue that the effects of (at least some kinds of) anesthesia lend support to the notion that neither basic sensory areas nor the prefrontal cortex (...)
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  6. added 2017-10-03
    Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness and What-It-is-Like-Ness.Jonathan Farrell - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2743-2761.
    Ambitious higher-order theories of consciousness aim to account for conscious states when these are understood in terms of what-it-is-like-ness. This paper considers two arguments concerning this aim, and concludes that ambitious theories fail. The misrepresentation argument against HO theories aims to show that the possibility of radical misrepresentation—there being a HO state about a state the subject is not in—leads to a contradiction. In contrast, the awareness argument aims to bolster HO theories by showing that subjects are aware of all (...)
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  7. added 2017-03-04
    Mental Ownership and Higher Order Thought.Timothy Lane & Caleb Liang - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):496-501.
    Mental ownership concerns who experiences a mental state. According to David Rosenthal (2005: 342), the proper way to characterize mental ownership is: ‘being conscious of a state as present is being conscious of it as belonging to somebody. And being conscious of a state as belonging to somebody other than oneself would plainly not make it a conscious state’. In other words, if a mental state is consciously present to a subject in virtue of a higher-order thought (HOT), then the (...)
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  8. added 2017-03-04
    Higher Order Thought and the Problem of Radical Confabulation.Timothy Lane & Caleb Liang - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):69-98.
    Currently, one of the most influential theories of consciousness is Rosenthal's version of higher-order-thought (HOT). We argue that the HOT theory allows for two distinct interpretations: a one-component and a two-component view. We further argue that the two-component view is more consistent with his effort to promote HOT as an explanatory theory suitable for application to the empirical sciences. Unfortunately, the two-component view seems incapable of handling a group of counterexamples that we refer to as cases of radical confabulation. We (...)
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  9. added 2017-02-13
    A Higher-Order Theory of Emotional Consciousness.Richard Brown & Joseph LeDoux - 2017 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
    Emotional states of consciousness, or what are typically called emotional feelings, are traditionally viewed as being innately programed in subcortical areas of the brain, and are often treated as different from cognitive states of consciousness, such as those related to the perception of external stimuli. We argue that conscious experiences, regardless of their content, arise from one system in the brain. On this view, what differs in emotional and non-emotional states is the kind of inputs that are processed by a (...)
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  10. added 2016-11-26
    H.O.T. Theory, Concepts, and Synesthesia: A Reply to Adams and Shreve.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (4):443-448.
    In response to Fred Adams and Charlotte Shreve’s (2016) paper entitled “What Can Synesthesia Teach Us about Higher Order Theories of Consciousness?”, previously published in Symposion, I argue that H.O.T. theory does have the resources to account for synesthesia and the specific worries that they advance in their paper, such as the relationship between concepts and experience and the ability to handle instances of ‘pop-out’ experiences.
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  11. added 2016-06-03
    Some Semiotic Constraints on Metarepresentational Accounts of Consciousness.Marc Champagne - 2009 - In John N. Deely & Leonard G. Sbrocchi (eds.), Semiotics. Legas Press. pp. 557-564.
    "Representation" is one of those Janus-faced terms that seems blatantly obvious when used in a casual or pre-theoretic manner, but which reveals itself far more slippery when attentively studied. Any allusion to "metarepresentation", it would then seem, only compounds these difficulties. Taking the metarepresentationalist framework in its roughest outline as our point of departure, we thus articulate four key "structural" features that appear binding for any such theory.
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  12. added 2016-03-22
    Panpsychism and Neutral Monism: How to Make Up One's Mind.Sam Coleman - forthcoming - In Jaskolla Brüntrup (ed.), Panpsychism. Oxford University Press.
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  13. added 2015-08-29
    Presentational Character and Higher-Order Thoughts.Joseph Gottlieb - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (7-8):103-123.
    Experiences, by definition, have phenomenal character. But many experiences have a specific type of phenomenal character: presentational character. While both visual experience and conscious thought make us aware of their objects, only in visual experience do objects seem present before the mind and available for direct access. I argue that Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theories of consciousness have a particularly steep hill to climb in accommodating presentational character.
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  14. added 2015-08-15
    Representationalism, Peripheral Awareness, and the Transparency of Experience.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (1):39-56.
    It is often said that some kind of peripheral (or inattentional) conscious awareness accompanies our focal (attentional) consciousness. I agree that this is often the case, but clarity is needed on several fronts. In this paper, I lay out four distinct theses on peripheral awareness and show that three of them are true. However, I then argue that a fourth thesis, commonly associated with the so-called "self-representational approach to consciousness," is false. The claim here is that we have outer focal (...)
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  15. added 2015-08-11
    Defending HOT Theory and The Wide Intrinsicality View: A Reply to Weisberg, Van Gulick, and Seager.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (11-12):82-100.
    This is my reply to Josh Weisberg, Robert Van Gulick, and William Seager, published in JCS vol 20, 2013. This symposium grew out of an author-meets-critics session at the Central APA conference in 2013 on my 2012 book THE CONSCIOUSNESS PARADOX (MIT Press). Topics covered include higher-order thought (HOT) theory, my own "wide intrinsicality view," the problem of misrepresentation, targetless HOTs, conceptualism, introspection, and the transitivity principle.
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  16. added 2015-08-10
    Disturbed Consciousness: New Essays on Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness.Rocco J. Gennaro (ed.) - 2015 - MIT Press.
    In Disturbed Consciousness, philosophers and other scholars examine various psychopathologies in light of specific philosophical theories of consciousness. The contributing authors—some of them discussing or defending their own theoretical work—consider not only how a theory of consciousness can account for a specific psychopathological condition but also how the characteristics of a psychopathology might challenge such a theory. Thus one essay defends the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness against the charge that it cannot account for somatoparaphrenia (a delusion in which (...)
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  17. added 2015-08-10
    The 'Of' of Intentionality and the 'Of' of Acquaintance.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2015 - In S. Miguens, G. Preyer & C. Morando (eds.), Pre-Reflective Consciousness: Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. pp. 317-341.
    I first provide some background on Sartre’s theory of consciousness and prereflective self-awareness, especially with respect to how it might be favorably compared to my own version of HOT theory. I then critically examine a few initial attempts to understand the ‘acquaintance’ relation and to link it with Sartre’s notion of prereflective self-awareness. I then briefly address a related problem often raised against HOT theory, namely, the problem of misrepresentation. I also critique several further attempts to explain the acquaintance relation (...)
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  18. added 2015-07-27
    Misrepresentation, Empty HOTs, and Intrinsic HOTs: A Reply to Pereplyotchik.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (3):449-451.
    Misrepresentation, empty HOTs, and intrinsic HOTs: A reply to Pereplyotchik.
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  19. added 2015-03-04
    Alternatives to HOT Theories of Consciousness.Brent Silby - manuscript
    Higher-order thought theories (or HOT theories) state that a mental state is conscious only when it is accompanied by a higher-order thought (HOT). -/- The thought that makes a state conscious is not conscious in itself, but having that thought is what make the state of which it is about conscious. If there is no HOT about a mental state, then that state is not a conscious state. On this view, a state can only be a conscious state if we (...)
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  20. added 2014-08-25
    Self, Belonging, and Conscious Experience: A Critique of Subjectivity Theories of Consciousness.Timothy Lane - 2015 - In Rocco Gennaro (ed.), Disturbed consciousness: New essays on psychopathology and theories of consciousness. MIT Press. pp. 103-140.
    Subjectivity theories of consciousness take self-reference, somehow construed, as essential to having conscious experience. These theories differ with respect to how many levels they posit and to whether self-reference is conscious or not. But all treat self-referencing as a process that transpires at the personal level, rather than at the subpersonal level, the level of mechanism. -/- Working with conceptual resources afforded by pre-existing theories of consciousness that take self-reference to be essential, several attempts have been made to explain seemingly (...)
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  21. added 2014-03-24
    Jean-Paul Sartre and the HOT Theory of Consciousness.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):293-330.
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  22. added 2013-10-30
    Not a HOT Dream.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2013 - In Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience. Springer Studies in Brain and Mind.
    Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theories of consciousness maintain that the kind of awareness necessary for phenomenal consciousness depends on the cognitive accessibility that underlies reporting. -/- There is empirical evidence strongly suggesting that the cognitive accessibility that underlies the ability to report visual experiences depends on the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). This area, however, is highly deactivated during the conscious experiences we have during sleep: dreams. HOT theories are jeopardized, as I will argue. I will briefly present HOT (...)
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  23. added 2013-10-30
    I Cannot Tell You (Everything) About My Dreams: Reply to Ivanowich and Weisberg.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2013 - In Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience. Springer Studies in Brain and Mind.
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  24. added 2013-09-03
    The HOROR Theory of Phenomenal Consciousness.Richard Brown - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1783-1794.
    One popular approach to theorizing about phenomenal consciousness has been to connect it to representations of a certain kind. Representational theories of consciousness can be further sub-divided into first-order and higher-order theories. Higher-order theories are often interpreted as invoking a special relation between the first-order state and the higher-order state. However there is another way to interpret higher-order theories that rejects this relational requirement. On this alternative view phenomenal consciousness consists in having suitable higher-order representations. I call this ‘HOROR’ (‘Higher-Order (...)
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  25. added 2013-03-24
    Prefrontal Lesion Evidence Against Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Benjamin Kozuch - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):721-746.
    According to higher-order theories of consciousness, a mental state is conscious only when represented by another mental state. Higher-order theories must predict there to be some brain areas (or networks of areas) such that, because they produce (the right kind of) higher-order states, the disabling of them brings about deficits in consciousness. It is commonly thought that the prefrontal cortex produces these kinds of higher-order states. In this paper, I first argue that this is likely correct, meaning that, if some (...)
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  26. added 2013-02-02
    On Whether the Higher-Order Thought Theory of Consciousness Entails Cognitive Phenomenology, Or: What is It Like to Think That One Thinks That P?Richard Brown & Pete Mandik - 2012 - Philosophical Topics 40 (2):1-12.
    Among our conscious states are conscious thoughts. The question at the center of the recent growing literature on cognitive phenomenology is this: In consciously thinking P, is there thereby any phenomenology—is there something it’s like? One way of clarifying the question is to say that it concerns whether there is any proprietary phenomenology associated with conscious thought. Is there any phenomenology due to thinking, as opposed to phenomenology that is due to some co-occurring sensation or mental image? In this paper (...)
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  27. added 2013-01-14
    Higher-Order Awareness, Misrepresentation, and Function.David Rosenthal - 2012 - Higher-Order Awareness, Misrepresentation and Function 367 (1594):1424-1438.
    Conscious mental states are states we are in some way aware of. I compare higher-order theories of consciousness, which explain consciousness by appeal to such higher-order awareness (HOA), and first-order theories, which do not, and I argue that higher-order theories have substantial explanatory advantages. The higher-order nature of our awareness of our conscious states suggests an analogy with the metacognition that figures in the regulation of psychological processes and behaviour. I argue that, although both consciousness and metacognition involve higher-order psychological (...)
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  28. added 2012-06-11
    Why Block Can't Stand the HOT.Joshua Shepherd - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (3-4):183-195.
    Ned Block has recently pressed a new criticism of the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness. HOT proponents have responded in turn. The exchange affords a chance to find some clarity concerning the essential commitments of HOT, as well as a chance to find clarity on the issues that divide Block and HOT proponents. In this paper I discuss the recent exchange, and I draw some lessons. First, I side with HOT proponents in arguing that new criticism presents no new (...)
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  29. added 2012-02-10
    The Brain and its States.Richard Brown - 2012 - In Shimon Edelman, Tomer Fekete & Neta Zach (eds.), Being in Time: Dynamical Models of Phenomenal Experience. John Benjamins. pp. 211-238.
    In recent times we have seen an explosion in the amount of attention paid to the conscious brain from scientists and philosophers alike. One message that has emerged loud and clear from scientific work is that the brain is a dynamical system whose operations unfold in time. Any theory of consciousness that is going to be physically realistic must take account of the intrinsic nature of neurons and brain activity. At the same time a long discussion on consciousness among philosophers (...)
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  30. added 2011-10-28
    The Emperor's New Phenomenology? The Empirical Case for Conscious Experience Without First-Order Representations.Hakwan Lau & Richard Brown - 2019 - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block's Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness. MIT Press.
    We discuss cases where subjects seem to enjoy conscious experience when the relevant first-order perceptual representations are either missing or too weak to account for the experience. Though these cases are originally considered to be theoretical possibilities that may be problematical for the higher-order view of consciousness, careful considerations of actual empirical examples suggest that this strategy may backfire; these cases may cause more trouble for first-order theories instead. Specifically, these cases suggest that (I) recurrent feedback loops to V1 are (...)
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  31. added 2011-10-01
    Editorial: Standing on the Verge: Lessons and Limits From the Empirical Study of Consciousness.Richard Brown - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):597-599.
    The papers in this special issue are all descended from papers presented at the second Online Consciousness Conference. I founded the Online Consciousness Conference at Consciousness Online (http:// consciousnessonline. wordpress. com) in 2008 mostly because no one else would. Being inspired by the Online Philosophy Conference, I mentioned to several people that it would be great if we had something like that in Consciousness Studies. People I talked to were very enthusiastic but no one seemed like they wanted to initiate (...)
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  32. added 2011-06-05
    The Myth of Phenomenological Overflow.Richard Brown - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):599-604.
    In this paper I examine the dispute between Hakwan Lau, Ned Block, and David Rosenthal over the extent to which empirical results can help us decide between first-order and higher-order theories of consciousness. What emerges from this is an overall argument to the best explanation against the first-order view of consciousness and the dispelling of the mythological notion of phenomenological overflow that comes with it.
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  33. added 2010-05-21
    Enacting Higher Order Thoughts: Velazquez and Las Meninas.Gregory Minissale - 2009 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (2-3):165-89.
    This paper bridges art history and consciousness studies and investigates the network of gazes and frames in Las Meninas and how this engages with a system of higher-order thoughts and reflexive operations.
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  34. added 2009-10-13
    Higher-Order Thought and Pathological Self: The Case of Somatoparaphrenia.Caleb Liang & Timothy Lane - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):661-668.
    According to Rosenthal’s Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, first-order mental states become conscious only when they are targeted by HOTs that necessarily represent the states as belonging to self. On this view a state represented as belonging to someone distinct from self could not be a conscious state. Rosenthal develops this view in terms of what he calls the ‘thin immunity principle’ (TIP). According to TIP, when I experience a conscious state, I cannot be wrong about whether it is (...)
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  35. added 2008-12-31
    Phenomenal Judgment and the HOT Theory: Comments on David Rosenthal’s “Consciousness, Content, and Metacognitive Judgments”. [REVIEW]Katalin Balog - 2000 - Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2):215-219.
    In this commentary I criticize David Rosenthal’s higher order thought theory of consciousness . This is one of the best articulated philosophical accounts of consciousness available. The theory is, roughly, that a mental state is conscious in virtue of there being another mental state, namely, a thought to the effect that one is in the first state. I argue that this account is open to the objection that it makes “HOT-zombies” possible, i.e., creatures that token higher order mental states, but (...)
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