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  1. The Choreography of the Soul: A Psychedelic Philosophy of Consciousness.Ed D'Angelo - manuscript
    This is a 2018 revision of my 1988 dissertation "The Choreography of the Soul" with a new Forward, a new Conclusion, a substantially revised Preface and Introduction, and many improvements to the body of the work. However, the thesis remains the same. A theory of consciousness and trance states--including psychedelic experience--is developed. Consciousness can be analyzed into two distinct but generally interrelated systems, which I call System X and System Y. System X is the emotional-visceral-kinaesthetic body. System X is a (...)
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  2. Recurrent Processing Theory (RPT) V. Global Neuronal Workspace Theory (GNWT). A Comment on Pitts Et Al 2018.Carlos Montemayor & Harry Haladjian - forthcoming - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
    The relationship between attention and consciousness is one that is crucial for understanding perception and different types of conscious experience, and we commend this analysis of the topic by Pitts, Lutsyshyna, and Hillyard (2018). We have also examined this relationship closely (e.g., Montemayor & Haladjian, 2015) and would like to point out a few potential contradictions in the Pitts et al. paper that require clarification, particularly in the attempt to reconcile aspects of recurrent processing theory (RPT) with global neuronal workspace (...)
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  3. Conspectus of J. R. Smythies' Theories of Mind, Matter, and N-Dimensional Space.Peter Sjöstedt-H. - manuscript
    Conspectus of part of John R. Smythies' Analysis of Perception (1956). It presents a summary of his ideas on phenomenal space – the space of one’s imagination, dreams, psychedelic experiences, somatic sensations, visions, hynagogia, etc. – and its relation to physical space.
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  4. Artificial Qualia, Intentional Systems and Machine Consciousness.Robert James M. Boyles - 2012 - In Proceedings of the DLSU Congress 2012. pp. 110a–110c.
    In the field of machine consciousness, it has been argued that in order to build human-like conscious machines, we must first have a computational model of qualia. To this end, some have proposed a framework that supports qualia in machines by implementing a model with three computational areas (i.e., the subconceptual, conceptual, and linguistic areas). These abstract mechanisms purportedly enable the assessment of artificial qualia. However, several critics of the machine consciousness project dispute this possibility. For instance, Searle, in his (...)
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  5. Qualia Ain't in the Head Review of Ten Problems of Consciousness: A Representational Theory of the Phenomenal Mind by Michael Tye. [REVIEW]David M. Armstrong - 1995 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 2:31--4.
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  6. Mineness Without Minimal Selves.M. V. P. Slors & F. Jongepier - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (7-8):193-219.
    In this paper we focus on what is referred to as the ‘mineness’ of experience, that is, the intimate familiarity we have with our own thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. Most accounts characterize mineness in terms of an experiential dimension, the first-person givenness of experience, that is subsumed under the notion of minimal self-consciousness or a ‘minimal self’. We argue that this account faces problems and develop an alternative account of mineness in terms of the coherence of experiences with what we (...)
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  7. Why the Brain Knows More Than We Do.Birgitta Dresp-Langley - 2011 - Brain Sciences 2:1-21.
    Scientific studies have shown that non-conscious stimuli and représentations influence information processing during conscious experience. In the light of such evidence, questions about potential functional links between non-conscious brain representations and conscious experience arise. This article discusses models capable of explaining how statistical learning mechanisms in dedicated resonant circuits could generate specific temporal activity traces of non-conscious representations in the brain. How reentrant signaling, top-down matching, and statistical coincidence of such activity traces may lead to the progressive consolidation of neural (...)
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  8. A Plastic Temporal Brain Code for Conscious State Generation.Birgitta Dresp & Jean Durup - 2009 - Neural Plasticity 2009:1-15.
    Consciousness is known to be limited in processing capacity and often described in terms of a unique processing stream across a single dimension: time. In this paper, we discuss a purely temporal pattern code, functionally decoupled from spatial signals, for conscious state generation in the brain. Arguments in favour of such a code include Dehaene et al.’s long-distance reverberation postulate, Ramachandran’s remapping hypothesis, evidence for a temporal coherence index and coincidence detectors, and Grossberg’s Adaptive Resonance Theory. A time-bin resonance model (...)
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  9. Conceptualising the Structure of the Biophysical Organising Principle: Triple-Aspect-Theory of Being.Joseph Naimo - 2012 - In Patricia Hanna (ed.), An Anthology of Philosophical Studies Vol. VI,. Athens: ATINER. pp. 121-132.
    When examining the human being as a conscious being, we are still to arrive at an understanding of, firstly, the conditions required whereby physical processes give rise to consciousness and secondly, how consciousness is something fundamental to life as an intrinsic part of nature. Humans are complex organisms with myriad interacting systems whereby the convergence of the activities toward the support and development of the whole organism requires a high level of organisation. Though what accounts for the dynamic unity of (...)
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  10. Leopold Stubenberg, Consciousness and Qualia.Josh Weisberg - 1999 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6:154-154.
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  11. Selbstbezüglichkeit und Geltung – ein methodenkritischer Beitrag zur Bewusstseinsphilosophie.Patrick Grüneberg - 2010 - In Edmundo Balsemão. Pires, Burkhard Nonnenmacher & Stefan Büttner-von Stülpnagel (eds.), Relations of the Self. Coimbra University Press. pp. 155--173.
    »Keine Bewusstseinstheorie ohne Wissenstheorie«, d.h. die Reflexion auf die grundbegrifflichen Voraussetzungen ist notwendig, um gültige Aussagen über das Bewusstsein treffen zu können. Im Gegensatz zum Realmonismus handelt es sich bei dieser kritischen Position um einen transzendentalen Dualismus, der die Form des Bewusstseins eigens reflektiert, um damit die Voraussetzungen zu klären, unter denen das Bewusstsein überhaupt thematisiert werden muss. Der wissenstheoretische Anteil umfasst diese transzendentale Reflexion als eine reflexive Epistemologie mit einem eige- nem, d.h. hier insbesondere nicht-empirischem Geltungsanspruch: Wissen basiert nicht (...)
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  12. Erkenntnistheoretischer Dualismus.Tobias Schlicht - 2007 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 10:113-136.
    The dominant position in current debates on the mind-body problem is some version of physicalism, according to which the mind is reducible to the brain and mental phenomena are ultimately explainable in physical terms. But there seems to be an explanatory gap between physicalistic descriptions of neuronal processes and the subjectivity of conscious experience. Some dualists conclude that, therefore, consciousness must be ontologically distinct from any physical properties or entities. This article introduces and argues for a different perspective on these (...)
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  13. The Metaphysics of Consciousness.Peter G. Jones - manuscript
    Some time ago, in an article for the Journal of Consciousness Studies, David Chalmers challenged his peers to identify the ingredient missing from our current theories of consciousness, the absence of which prevents us from solving the 'hard' problem and forces us to make do with nonreductive theories. Here I respond to this challenge. I suggest that consciousness is a metaphysical problem and as such can be solved only within a global metaphysical theory. Such a theory would look very like (...)
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  14. Author's Bio 2012.Lorna Green - manuscript
    Consciousness and not matter is the basis of the universe. Here is my biography and a list of some of my works.
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  15. Framework of Consciousness From Semblance of Activity at Functionally LINKed Postsynaptic Membranes. Vadakkan - 2010 - Frontiers in Conssciousness Research 1 (1):1-12.
    Consciousness is seen as a difficult “binding” problem. Binding, a process where different sensations evoked by an item are associated in the nervous system, can be viewed as a process similar to associative learning. Several reports that consciousness is associated with some form of memory imply that different forms of memories have a common feature contributing to consciousness. Based on a proposed synaptic mechanism capable of explaining different forms of memory, we developed a framework for consciousness. It is based on (...)
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  16. Which Systems Are Conscious?Mark F. Sharlow - manuscript
    This document consists primarily of an excerpt (chapter 14) from the author’s book From Brain to Cosmos. In that excerpt, the author uses the concept of subjective fact developed earlier in the book to address a question about consciousness: which physical systems (organisms or machines) are conscious? (This document depends heavily upon the concept of subjective fact developed in From Brain to Cosmos. Readers unfamiliar with that concept are strongly advised to read chapters 2 and 3 of From Brain to (...)
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  17. Experience and Introspection.Fabian Dorsch - 2013 - In Fiona Macpherson & Dimitris Platchias (eds.), Hallucination. The MIT Press. pp. 175-220.
    One central fact about hallucinations is that they may be subjectively indistinguishable from perceptions. Indeed, it has been argued that the hallucinatory experiences concerned cannot— and need not—be characterized in any more positive general terms. This epistemic conception of hallucinations has been advocated as the best choice for proponents of experiential (or “naive realist”) disjunctivism—the view that perceptions and hallucinations differ essentially in their introspectible subjective characters. In this chapter, I aim to formulate and defend an intentional alternative to experiential (...)
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  18. Sense-Data and the Philosophy of Mind: Russell, James, and Mach.Gary Hatfield - 2002 - Principia 6 (2):203-230.
    The theory of knowledge in early twentieth-century Anglo American philosophy was oriented toward phenomenally described cognition. There was a healthy respect for the mind-body problem, which meant that phenomena in both the mental and physical domains were taken seriously. Bertrand Russell's developing position on sense-data and momentary particulars drew upon, and ultimately became like, the neutral monism of Ernst Mach and William James. Due to a more recent behaviorist and physicalist inspired "fear of the mental", this development has been down-played (...)
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Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness
  1. The Problem of the Rock and the Grammar of Consciousness.Lajos Brons - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):5-12.
    The “Problem of the Rock” (PoR) is a famous objection to Higher-Order (HO) theories of consciousness. According to PoR, the HO theorists’ claim that a mental state is conscious iff there is a higher-order mental state about it implies that a rock is also conscious iff there is a higher-order mental state about it. In this paper I show that this argument confuses two grammatically distinct attributions of consciousness, and that if the consequent equivocation fallacy is avoided, PoR is either (...)
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  2. What Can Synesthesia Teach Us About Higher Order Theories of Consciousness?Fred Adams & Charlotte Shreve - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (3):251-257.
    In this article, we will describe higher order thought theories of consciousness. Then we will describe some examples from synesthesia. Finally, we will explain why the latter may be relevant to the former.
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  3. Consciousness Despite Network Underconnectivity in Autism: Another Case of Consciousness Without Prefrontal Activity?William Hirstein - 2015 - In Rocco Gennaro (ed.), Disturbed Consciousness: New Essays on Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness. The M. I. T, Press. pp. 249-263.
    Recent evidence points to widespread underconnectivity in autistic brains owing to deviant white matter, the fibers that make long connections between areas of the cortex. Subjects with autism show measurably fewer long-range connections between the parietal and prefrontal cortices. These findings may help shed light on the current debate in the consciousness literature about whether conscious states require both prefrontal and parietal/temporal components. If it can be shown that people with autism have conscious states despite such underconnectivity, this would constitute (...)
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  4. Why Should Our Mind-Reading Abilities Be Involved in the Explanation of Phenomenal Consciousness?Diana I. Pérez - 2008 - Análisis Filosófico 28 (1):35-84.
    In this paper I consider recent discussions within the representationalist theories of phenomenal consciousness, in particular, the discussions between first order representationalism (FOR) and higher order representationalism (HOR). I aim to show that either there is only a terminological dispute between them or, if the discussion is not simply terminological, then HOR is based on a misunderstanding of the phenomena that a theory of phenomenal consciousness should explain. First, I argue that we can defend first order representationalism from Carruthers' attacks (...)
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  5. Review of Peter Carruthers, Michael Siegal, Stephen Stich, (Eds.), The Cognitive Basis of Science[REVIEW]Nicola Lonsdale - 2003 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (3).
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Higher-Order Thought Theories of Consciousness
  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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. 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. 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. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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