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  1. 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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  • 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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  • On Ambitious Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Joseph Gottlieb - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (3):421-441.
    ABSTRACTAmbitious Higher-order theories of consciousness – Higher-order theories that purport to give an account of phenomenal consciousness – face a well-known objection from the possibility of ra...
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  • A Consciousness-Based Quantum Objective Collapse Model.Elias Okon & Miguel Ángel Sebastián - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    Ever since the early days of quantum mechanics it has been suggested that consciousness could be linked to the collapse of the wave function. However, no detailed account of such an interplay is usually provided. In this paper we present an objective collapse model where the collapse operator depends on integrated information, which has been argued to measure consciousness. By doing so, we construct an empirically adequate scheme in which superpositions of conscious states are dynamically suppressed. Unlike other proposals in (...)
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  • Connecting Conscious and Unconscious Processing.Axel Cleeremans - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (6):1286-1315.
    Consciousness remains a mystery—“a phenomenon that people do not know how to think about—yet” (Dennett, , p. 21). Here, I consider how the connectionist perspective on information processing may help us progress toward the goal of understanding the computational principles through which conscious and unconscious processing differ. I begin by delineating the conceptual challenges associated with classical approaches to cognition insofar as understanding unconscious information processing is concerned, and to highlight several contrasting computational principles that are constitutive of the connectionist (...)
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  • Exaggerated Reports: Reply to Block.David Rosenthal - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):431-437.
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  • Response to Rosenthal and Weisberg.N. Block - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):443-448.
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  • Abusing the Notion of What-It's-Like-Ness: A Response to Block.J. Weisberg - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):438-443.
    Ned Block argues that the higher-order (HO) approach to explaining consciousness is ‘defunct’ because a prominent objection (the ‘misrepresentation objection’) exposes the view as ‘incoherent’. What’s more, a response to this objection that I’ve offered elsewhere (Weisberg 2010) fails because it ‘amounts to abusing the notion of what-it’s-like-ness’ (xxx).1 In this response, I wish to plead guilty as charged. Indeed, I will continue herein to abuse Block’s notion of what-it’s-like-ness. After doing so, I will argue that the HO approach accounts (...)
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  • Understanding the Higher-Order Approach to Consciousness.Richard Brown, Hakwan Lau & Joseph E. LeDoux - 2019 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 23 (9):754-768.
    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 The higher-order theory (HOT) of consciousness has often been misunderstood by critics. 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 (e.g. first-order local recurrency theories). For example, HOT has been criticized for over-intellectualizing consciousness. We show (...)
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  • The Attribution of Unity of Consciousness Over Time.Seyyed Bahram Borgheai - 2019 - Open Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):1-14.
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  • Change Blindness and Misrepresentation.Asger Kirkeby-Hinrup - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (42):37-56.
    Some proponents of the higher-order thought theory of consciousness defend the view that higher-order misrepresentation is possible. In support of this view they have proposed various pieces of empirical evidence. This paper examines one such piece of proposed empirical evidence; Change blindness. CB occurs when a subject fails to detect salient changes in visual scenes. I propose an alternative interpretation of the CB phenomenon on which misrepresentation does not occur. Finally, I examine three lines of reply that might be pursued (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Consciousness and Mental Qualities for Auditory Sensations.Adriana Renero - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (9-10):179-204.
    The contribution of recent theories of sound and audition has been extremely significant for the development of a philosophy of auditory perception; however, none tackle the question of how our consciousness of auditory states arises. My goal is to show how consciousness about our auditory experience gets triggered. I examine a range of auditory mental phenomena to show how we are able to capture qualitative distinctions of auditory sensations. I argue that our consciousness of auditory states consists in having thoughts (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Is Iconic Memory Iconic?Jake Quilty‐Dunn - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Short‐term memory in vision is typically thought to divide into at least two memory stores: a short, fragile, high‐capacity store known as iconic memory, and a longer, durable, capacity‐limited store known as visual working memory (VWM). This paper argues that iconic memory stores icons, i.e., image‐like perceptual representations. The iconicity of iconic memory has significant consequences for understanding consciousness, nonconceptual content, and the perception–cognition border. Steven Gross and Jonathan Flombaum have recently challenged the division between iconic memory and VWM by (...)
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  • On a Confusion About Which Intuitions to Trust: From the Hard Problem to a Not Easy One.Miguel Sebastián - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):31-40.
    Alleged self-evidence aside, conceivability arguments are one of the main reasons in favor of the claim that there is a Hard Problem. These arguments depend on the appealing Kripkean intuition that there is no difference between appearances and reality in the case of consciousness. I will argue that this intuition rests on overlooking a distinction between cognitive access and consciousness, which has received recently important empirical support. I will show that there are good reasons to believe that the intuition is (...)
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  • Consciousness and Theory of Mind: A Common Theory?Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (1):73-89.
    Many philosophers and scientists have argued that the difference between phenomenally conscious states and other kind of states lies in the implicit self-awareness that conscious states have. Higher-Order Representationalist theories, attempt to explain such a self-awareness by means of a higher-order representation. Consciousness relies on our capacity to represent our own mental states, consciousness depends on our Theory of Mind. Such an ability can, at least conceptually, be decomposed into another two: mindreading and metacognition. In this paper I will argue (...)
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  • The Resilience of a Refined Higher-Order Thought Theory of Consciousness.T. Sangster Lee-Anna - unknown
    This dissertation consists of three independent papers, each defending the Higher-Order Thought Theory of Consciousness against a different objection. First the HOT theory is defended against the Theory of Mind Objection. Since the HOT theory requires that a subject be able to represent mental states in thought in order to have mental states that are conscious, objectors argue from empirical evidence that few creatures pass TOM tests to the conclusion that few creatures must be capable of having conscious mental states (...)
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  • The Regress Objection to Reflexive Theories of Consciousness.Daniel Stoljar - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):293-308.
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  • Unconscious Perception Reconsidered.Ian Phillips - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 4 (59):471-514.
    Most contemporary theorists regard the traditional thesis that perception is essentially conscious as just another armchair edict to be abandoned in the wake of empirical discovery. Here I reconsider this dramatic departure from tradition. My aim is not to recapture our prelapsarian confidence that perception is inevitably conscious (though much I say might be recruited to that cause). Instead, I want to problematize the now ubiquitous belief in unconscious perception. The paper divides into two parts. Part One is more purely (...)
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  • Unitary and Dual Models of Phenomenal Consciousness.Tomáš Marvan & Michal Polák - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 56:1-12.
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  • Keeping It Real: Intentional Inexistents, Fineness‐of‐Grain, and the Dilemma for Extrinsic Higher‐Order Representational Theories.Vincent Picciuto - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (4):555-575.
    According to the standard argument from targetless higher-order representations, the possibility of such representations presents a dilemma for higher-order theorists. In this article I argue that there are two theoretically well-motivated replies to the standard argument. Consequently, the standard argument against higher-order theories fails. I then go on to argue that while certain versions of higher-order theory can adequately respond to the standard argument, they both, nevertheless, fail to explain the fineness-of-grain that phenomenally conscious experience appears to have.
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  • Consciousness is Not a Property of States: A Reply to Wilberg.Jacob Berger - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):829-842.
    According to Rosenthal's higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, one is in a conscious mental state if and only if one is aware of oneself as being in that state via a suitable HOT. Several critics have argued that the possibility of so-called targetless HOTs?that is, HOTs that represent one as being in a state that does not exist?undermines the theory. Recently, Wilberg (2010) has argued that HOT theory can offer a straightforward account of such cases: since consciousness is a (...)
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  • Diversité du représentationnalisme de la conscience.Paul Bernier - 2014 - Philosophiques 41 (1):37-56.
    Paul Bernier | : Cet article discute de diverses versions du représentationnalisme de la conscience. L’objectif principal est de défendre une interprétation de la théorie auto-représentationnelle de la conscience (TARC) selon laquelle le contenu d’un état mental conscient serait une proposition de re qui est constituée, en partie, par l’état mental conscient lui-même. Je souligne d’abord certains problèmes importants auxquels est confrontée une des théories de la conscience les plus influentes, soit la théorie représentationnelle de la conscience (TRC) et soutiens (...)
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  • Nietzsche's Pluralism About Consciousness.Mattia Riccardi - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (1):132-154.
    In this paper I argue that Nietzsche's view on consciousness is best captured by distinguishing different notions of consciousness. In other words, I propose that Nietzsche should be read as endorsing pluralism about consciousness. First, I consider the notion that is preeminent in his work and argue that the only kind of consciousness which may fit the characterization Nietzsche provides of this dominant notion is self-consciousness. Second, I argue that in light of Nietzsche's treatment of perceptions and sensations we should (...)
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  • The Consciousness Paradox: Consciousness, Concepts, and Higher-Order Thoughts.David Pereplyotchik - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (3):434-448.
    Gennaro presents a version of the higher-order thought theory of consciousness that differs from the version defended by Rosenthal . I explore several key differences between Gennaro's and Rosenthal's views, with an eye toward establishing that Rosenthal's Extrinsic Higher-Order Thought theory is preferable to Gennaro's Wide Intrinsicality View . Gennaro's attempts to demonstrate the superiority of the WIV rest on an unargued and implausible assumption to the effect that the higher-order intentional contents of self-representing conscious states are necessarily accurate. Gennaro (...)
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  • Epistemic Warrants and Higher-Order Theories of Conscious Perception.James Edwards & Dimitris Platchias - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    We present a new account of perceptual consciousness, one which gives due weight to the epistemic commitment of normal perception in familiar circumstances. The account is given in terms of a higher-order attitude for which the subject has an immediate perceptual epistemic warrant in the form of an appropriate first-order perception. We develop our account in contrast to Rosenthal's higher-order account, rejecting his view of consciousness in virtue of so-called ‘targetless’ higher-order states. We explain the key notion of an immediate (...)
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  • Consciousness and Criterion: On Block's Case for Unconscious Seeing.Ian Phillips - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):419-451.
    Block () highlights two experimental studies of neglect patients which, he contends, provide ‘dramatic evidence’ for unconscious seeing. In Block's hands this is the highly non-trivial thesis that seeing of the same fundamental kind as ordinary conscious seeing can occur outside of phenomenal consciousness. Block's case for it provides an excellent opportunity to consider a large body of research on clinical syndromes widely held to evidence unconscious perception. I begin by considering in detail the two studies of neglect to which (...)
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  • Empirical Support for Higher-Order Theories of Conscious Awareness.Hakwan Lau & David Rosenthal - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (8):365-373.
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  • Reflexive Theories of Consciousness and Unconscious Perception.Graham Peebles - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (1):25-43.
    A core commitment of the reflexive theory of consciousness is that conscious states are themselves necessarily the contents of mental states. The strongest argument for this claim—the necessity of inner-content for consciousness—is the argument from unconscious perception. According to this argument, we find evidence for the necessity claim from cases of alleged unconscious perception, the most well-known and widely discussed of these being blindsight. However, the reflexive theory cannot partake in this argument and therefore, must rely on at least one (...)
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  • How Things Seem to Higher-Order Thought Theorists.Jacob Berger - 2017 - Dialogue 56 (3):503-526.
    According to David Rosenthal’s higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, a mental state is conscious just in case one is aware of being in that state via a suitable HOT. Jesse Mulder (2016) recently objects: though HOT theory holds that conscious states are states that it seems to one that one is in, the view seems unable to explain how HOTs engender such seemings. I clarify here how HOT theory can adequately explain the relevant mental appearances, illustrating the explanatory power (...)
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  • Mental States, Conscious and Nonconscious.Jacob Berger - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (6):392-401.
    I discuss here the nature of nonconscious mental states and the ways in which they may differ from their conscious counterparts. I first survey reasons to think that mental states can and often do occur without being conscious. Then, insofar as the nature of nonconscious mentality depends on how we understand the nature of consciousness, I review some of the major theories of consciousness and explore what restrictions they may place on the kinds of states that can occur nonconsciously. I (...)
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  • Transitivity and Transparency.Joseph Gottlieb - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (4):353-379.
    Two popular theses central to recent theorizing about consciousness are the transitivity principle and the transparency of experience. According to the former, conscious mental states are mental states we are aware of in some way. According to the latter, there is some awareness-relation that we seemingly cannot bear to our experiences. I argue that, within certain reasonable constraints, there is no precisification of these theses that renders them compatible.
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