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The Intentional Structure of Consciousness

In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 33-56 (2003)

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  1. Consciousness and Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers traditionally recognize two main features of mental states: intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. To a first approximation, intentionality is the aboutness of mental states, and phenomenal consciousness is the felt, experiential, qualitative, or "what it's like" aspect of mental states. In the past few decades, these features have been widely assumed to be distinct and independent. But several philosophers have recently challenged this assumption, arguing that intentionality and consciousness are importantly related. This article overviews the key views on the relationship (...)
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  • Intentionality and Presence: On the Intrinsic Of-Ness of Consciousness From a Transcendental-Phenomenological Perspective.Wolfgang Fasching - 2012 - Husserl Studies 28 (2):121-141.
    This paper discusses the nature of consciousness’ intrinsic intentionality from a transcendental-phenomenological viewpoint. In recent philosophy of mind the essentially intentional character of consciousness has become obscured because the latter is predominantly understood in terms of “qualia” or the “what-it-is-like-ness” of mental states and it is hard to see why such subjective “feels”, of all things, could bestow states with objective reference. As the paper attempts to demonstrate, this is an inadequate understanding of consciousness, which should instead be defined in (...)
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  • Bodily Sensation and Tactile Perception.Louise Richardson - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):134-154.
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  • Consciousness and the Limits of Memory.Joseph Gottlieb - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5217-5243.
    Intermodal representationalism is a popular theory of consciousness. This paper argues that intermodal representationalism is false, or at least likely so. The argument turns on two forms of exceptional episodic memory: hyperthymesia and prodigious visual memory in savant syndrome. Emerging from this argument is a broader lesson about the relationship between memory and perception; that it may be possible to entertain in memory the very same content as in a corresponding perceptual experience, and that the ‘overflow’ interpretation of the classic (...)
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  • On Seeming to Remember.Fabrice Teroni - 2018 - In Kourken Michaelian, Dorothea Debus & Denis Perrin (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory. Routledge. pp. 329-345.
    Philosophers and psychologists often distinguish episodic or personal memory from propositional or semantic memory. A vexed issue concerns the role, if any, of memory “impressions” or “seemings” within the latter. According to an important family of approaches, seemings play a fundamental epistemological role vis-à-vis propositional memory judgments: it is one’s memory seeming that Caesar was murdered, say, that justifies one’s judgment that he was murdered. Yet, it has been convincingly argued that these approaches lead to insurmountable problems and that memory (...)
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  • Probabilistic Representations in Perception: Are There Any, and What Would They Be?Steven Gross - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (3):377-389.
    Nick Shea’s Representation in Cognitive Science commits him to representations in perceptual processing that are about probabilities. This commentary concerns how to adjudicate between this view and an alternative that locates the probabilities rather in the representational states’ associated “attitudes”. As background and motivation, evidence for probabilistic representations in perceptual processing is adduced, and it is shown how, on either conception, one can address a specific challenge Ned Block has raised to this evidence.
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  • The Scrambler: An Argument Against Representationalism.Stephen Biggs - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):pp. 215-236.
    Brentano famously claimed that two features demarcate the mental: consciousness and intentionality. Although he claimed that these features are intimately related, subsequent generations of philosophers rarely treated them together. Recently, however, the tide has turned. Many philosophers now accept that consciousness is intentional, where to be intentional is to have representational content, is to represent ‘things as being thus and so — where, for all that, things need not be that way’. In fact, weak representationalism, which holds that perceptual experiences (...)
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  • The Scrambler: An Argument Against Representationalism.Stephen Biggs - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):215-236.
    Brentano famously claimed that two features demarcate the mental: consciousness and intentionality. Although he claimed that these features are intimately related, subsequent generations of philosophers rarely treated them together. Recently, however, the tide has turned. Many philosophers now accept that consciousness is intentional, where to be intentional is to have representational content, is to represent ‘things as being thus and so — where, for all that, things need not be that way’. In fact, weak representationalism, which holds that perceptual experiences (...)
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  • Anomalous Dualism: A New Approach to the Mind-Body Problem.David Bourget - 2019 - In William Seager (ed.), The Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.
    In this paper, I explore anomalous dualism about consciousness, a view that has not previously been explored in any detail. We can classify theories of consciousness along two dimensions: first, a theory might be physicalist or dualist; second, a theory might endorse any of the three following views regarding causal relations between phenomenal properties (properties that characterize states of our consciousness) and physical properties: nomism (the two kinds of property interact through deterministic laws), acausalism (they do not causally interact), and (...)
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  • Reductive Representationalism and Emotional Phenomenology.Uriah Kriegel - 2017 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 41 (1):41-59.
    A prominent view of phenomenal consciousness combines two claims: (i) the identity conditions of phenomenally conscious states can be fully accounted for in terms of these states’ representational content; (ii) this representational content can be fully accounted for in non-phenomenal terms. This paper presents an argument against this view. The core idea is that the identity conditions of phenomenally conscious states are not fixed entirely by what these states represent (their representational contents), but depend in part on how they represent (...)
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  • Neurolímits.Óscar Llorensi Garcia - 2018 - Recerca. Revista de Pensament 22:15-32.
    Neuroscience promises us to explain philosophical issues, from ethics to general philosophy, as brain activity. I this paper we will propose expose the naturalistic view of neurophilosphy, show many problems of this proposal and how a dualistic ontology helps solve efficently these problems.
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  • Constructing a World for the Senses.Katalin Farkas - 2013 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Phenomenal Intentionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 99-115.
    It is an integral part of the phenomenology of mature perceptual experience that it seems to present to us an experience-independent world. I shall call this feature 'perceptual intentionality'. In this paper, I argue that perceptual intentionality is constructed by the structure of more basic sensory features, features that are not intentional themselves. This theory can explain why the same sensory feature can figure both in presentational and non-presentational experiences. There is a fundamental difference between the intentionality of sensory experiences (...)
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  • Tracking Representationalism.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2014 - In Andrew Bailey (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. Continuum. pp. 209-235.
    This paper overviews the current status of debates on tracking representationalism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking features of one's environment in a certain way. We overview the main arguments for the view and the main objections and challenges it faces. We close with a discussion of alternative versions of representationalism that might overcome the shortcomings of tracking representationalism.
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  • What is the Problem of Non-Existence?Tim Crane - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):417-434.
    It is widely held that there is a problem of talking about or otherwise representing things that not exist. But what exactly is this problem? This paper presents a formulation of the problem in terms of the conflict between the fact that there are truths about non-existent things and the fact that truths must be answerable to reality, how things are. Given this, the problem of singular negative existential statements is no longer the central or most difficult aspect of the (...)
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  • Sensation, Introspection, and the Phenomenal.Jonathan Ellis - 2012 - In J. Ellis & D. Guevara (eds.), Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
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  • An Argument for Shape Internalism.Jan Almäng - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):819-836.
    This paper is a defense of an internalist view of the perception of shapes. A basic assumption of the paper is that perceptual experiences have certain parts which account both for the phenomenal character associated with perceiving shapes—phenomenal shapes—and for the intentional content presenting shapes—intentional shapes. Internalism about perceptions of shapes is defined as the claim that phenomenal shapes determine the intentional shapes. Externalism is defined as the claim that perceptual experiences represent whatever shape the phenomenal shape reliably tracks. The (...)
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  • Ontological Minimalism About Phenomenology.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):1-40.
    I develop a view of the common factor between subjectively indistinguishable perceptions and hallucinations that avoids analyzing experiences as involving awareness relations to abstract entities, sense-data, or any other peculiar entities. The main thesis is that hallucinating subjects employ concepts (or analogous nonconceptual structures), namely the very same concepts that in a subjectively indistinguishable perception are employed as a consequence of being related to external, mind-independent objects or property-instances. These concepts and nonconceptual structures are identified with modes of presentation types. (...)
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  • The Representational Theory of Consciousness.David Bourget - 2010 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    A satisfactory solution to the problem of consciousness would take the form of a simple yet fully general model that specifies the precise conditions under which any given state of consciousness occurs. Science has uncovered numerous correlations between consciousness and neural activity, but it has not yet come anywhere close to this. We are still looking for the Newtonian laws of consciousness. -/- One of the main difficulties with consciousness is that we lack a language in which to formulate illuminating (...)
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  • Response to Rosenthal and Weisberg.N. Block - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):443-448.
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  • Is 'No' a Force-Indicator? No!M. Textor - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):448-456.
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  • Consciousness is Underived Intentionality.David Bourget - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):32 - 58.
    Representationalists argue that phenomenal states are intentional states of a special kind. This paper offers an account of the kind of intentional state phenomenal states are: I argue that they are underived intentional states. This account of phenomenal states is equivalent to two theses: first, all possible phenomenal states are underived intentional states; second, all possible underived intentional states are phenomenal states. I clarify these claims and argue for each of them. I also address objections which touch on a range (...)
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  • Consequences of Schematism.Alberto Voltolini - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (1):135-150.
    In his (2001a) and in some related papers, Tim Crane has maintained that intentional objects are schematic entities, in the sense that, insofar as being an intentional object is not a genuine metaphysical category, qua objects of thought intentional objects have no particular nature. This approach to intentionalia is the metaphysical counterpart of the later Husserl's ontological approach to the same entities, according to which qua objects of thought intentionalia are indifferent to existence. But to buy a metaphysically deflationary approach (...)
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  • The Rational Role of Experience.David Bourget - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):467-493.
    If there is content that we reason on, cognitive content, it is in the head and accessible to reasoning mechanisms. This paper discusses the phenomenal theory of cognitive content, according to which cognitive contents are the contents of phenomenal consciousness. I begin by distinguishing cognitive content from the closely associated notion of narrow content. I then argue, drawing on prior work, that the phenomenal theory can plausibly account for the cognitive contents of many relatively simple mental states. My main focus (...)
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  • Perceptual Transparency and Perceptual Constancy.Jan Almäng - 2014 - Husserl Studies 30 (1):1-19.
    A central topic in discussions about qualia concerns their purported transparency. According to transparency theorists, an experience is transparent in the sense that the subject having the experience is aware of nothing but the intended object of the experience. In this paper this notion is criticized for failing to account for the dynamical aspects of perception. A key assumption in the paper is that perceptual content has a certain temporal depth, in the sense that each act of perception can present (...)
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  • Intentionalism.Tim Crane - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin & Ansgar Beckermann (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 474-93.
    The central and defining characteristic of thoughts is that they have objects. The object of a thought is what the thought concerns, or what it is about. Since there cannot be thoughts which are not about anything, or which do not concern anything, there cannot be thoughts without objects. Mental states or events or processes which have objects in this sense are traditionally called ‘intentional,’ and ‘intentionality’ is for this reason the general term for this defining characteristic of thought. Under (...)
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  • The Three Circles of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In M. Guillot & M. Garcia-Carpintero (eds.), The Sense of Mineness. Oxford University Press.
    A widespread assumption in current philosophy of mind is that a conscious state’s phenomenal properties vary with its representational contents. In this paper, I present (rather dogmatically) an alternative picture that recognizes two kinds of phenomenal properties that do not vary concomitantly with content. First, it admits phenomenal properties that vary rather with attitude: what it is like for me to see rain is phenomenally different from what it is like for me to remember (indistinguishable) rain, which is different again (...)
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  • The Representational Character of Experience.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 153--181.
    Consciousness and intentionality are perhaps the two central phenomena in the philosophy of mind. Human beings are conscious beings: there is something it is like to be us. Human beings are intentional beings: we represent what is going on in the world.Correspondingly, our specific mental states, such as perceptions and thoughts, very often have a phenomenal character: there is something it is like to be in them. And these mental states very often have intentional content: they serve to represent the (...)
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  • Intentionalism About Moods.Angela Mendelovici - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):126-136.
    According to intentionalism, phenomenal properties are identical to, supervenient on, or determined by representational properties. Intentionalism faces a special challenge when it comes to accounting for the phenomenal character of moods. First, it seems that no intentionalist treatment of moods can capture their apparently undirected phenomenology. Second, it seems that even if we can come up with a viable intentionalist account of moods, we would not be able to motivate it in some of the same kinds of ways that intentionalism (...)
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  • Representationalism About Consciousness.William E. Seager & David Bourget - 2007 - In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. pp. 261-276.
    A representationalist-friendly introduction to representationalism which covers a number of central problems and objections.
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  • A Short History of the Philosophy of Consciousness in the Twentieth Century.Tim Crane - forthcoming - In Amy Kind (ed.), Philosophy of Mind in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: The History of the Philosophy of Mind, Volume 6. London: Routledge.
    In this paper, it is argued that the late twentieth century conception of consciousness in analytic philosophy emerged from the idea of consciousness as givenness, via the behaviourist idea of “raw feels”. In the post-behaviourist period in philosophy, this resulted in the division of states of mind into essentially unconscious propositional attitudes plus the phenomenal residue of qualia: intrinsic, ineffable and inefficacious sensory states. It is striking how little in the important questions about consciousness depends on this conception, or on (...)
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  • Some Reflections on Husserlian Intentionality, Intentionalism, and Non-Propositional Contents.Corijn van Mazijk - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):499-517.
    This paper discusses Husserl’s theory of intentionality and compares it to contemporary debates about intentionalism. I first show to what extent such a comparison could be meaningful. I then outline the structure of intentionality as found in Ideas I. My main claims are that – in contrast with intentionalism – intentionality for Husserl covers just a region of conscious contents; that it is essentially a relation between act-processes and presented content; and that the side of act-processes contains non-representational contents. In (...)
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  • Can Representationism Explain How Attention Affects Appearances?Sebastian Watzl - forthcoming - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Themes from Block. Boston, USA: The MIT Press.
    Recent psychological research shows that attention affects appearances. An “attended item looks bigger, faster, earlier, more saturated, stripier.” (Block 2010, p. 41). What is the significance of these findings? Ned Block has argued that they undermine representationism, roughly the view that the phenomenal character of perception is determined by its representational content. My first goal in this paper is to show that Block’s argument has the structure of a Problem of Arbitrary Phenomenal Variation and that it improves on other instances (...)
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  • Macht uns die Veranderung unserer selbst autonom? Uberlegungen zur Rechtfertigung von Neuro-Enhancement der Emotionen.Monika Betzler - 2009 - Philosophia Naturalis 46 (2):167-212.
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  • “I” and “Me”: The Self in the Context of Consciousness.Mateusz Woźniak - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Phenomenological Approaches to Non-Conceptual Content.Corijn Van Mazijk - 2017 - HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology 6 (1):58-78.
    Over the past years McDowell’s conceptualist theory has received mixed phenomenological reviews. Some phenomenologists have claimed that conceptualism involves an over-intellectualization of human experience. Others have drawn on Husserl’s work, arguing that Husserl’s theory of fulfillment challenges conceptualism and that his notion of “real content” is non-conceptual. Still others, by contrast, hold that Husserl’s later phenomenology is in fundamental agreement with McDowell’s theory of conceptually informed experience. So who is right? This paper purports to show that phenomenology does not have (...)
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  • A Dualist Account of Phenomenal Concepts.Martina Fürst - 2014 - In Andrea Lavazza & Howard Robinson (eds.), Contemporary Dualism. A Defense. 112-135. Routledge. pp. 112-135.
    The phenomenal concept strategy is considered a powerful response to anti-physicalist arguments. This physicalist strategy aims to provide a satisfactory account of dualist intuitions without being committed to ontological dualist conclusions. In this paper I first argue that physicalist accounts of phenomenal concepts fail to explain their cognitive role. Second, I develop an encapsulation account of phenomenal concepts that best explains their particularities. Finally, I argue that the encapsulation account, which features self-representing experiences, implies non-physical referents. Therefore, the account of (...)
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  • Olfactory Consciousness Across Disciplines.Benjamin D. Young & Andreas Keller - 2015 - Frontiers.
    Our sense of smell pervasively influences our most common behaviors and daily experience, yet little is known about olfactory consciousness. Over the past decade and a half research in both the fields of Consciousness Studies and Olfaction has blossomed, however, olfactory consciousness has received little to no attention. The olfactory systems unique anatomy, functional organization, sensory processes, and perceptual experiences offers a fecund area for exploring all aspects of consciousness, as well as a external perspective for re-examining the assumptions of (...)
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  • Recent Work on Naive Realism.James Genone - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (1).
    Naïve realism, often overlooked among philosophical theories of perception, has in recent years attracted a surge of interest. Broadly speaking, the central commitment of naïve realism is that mind-independent objects are essential to the fundamental analysis of perceptual experience. Since the claims of naïve realism concern the essential metaphysical structure of conscious perception, its truth or falsity is of central importance to a wide range of topics, including the explanation of semantic reference and representational content, the nature of phenomenal consciousness, (...)
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  • Representationalism and Sensory Modalities: An Argument for Intermodal Representationalism.David Bourget - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (3):251-268.
    Intermodal representationalists hold that the phenomenal characters of experiences are fully determined by their contents. In contrast, intramodal representationalists hold that the phenomenal characters of experiences are determined by their contents together with their intentional modes or manners of representation, which are nonrepresentational features corresponding roughly to the sensory modalities. This paper discusses a kind of experience that provides evidence for an intermodal representationalist view: intermodal experiences, experiences that unify experiences in different modalities. I argue that such experiences are much (...)
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  • Are Introspective Beliefs About One’s Own Visual Experiences Immediate?Wolfgang Barz - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (1).
    The aim of this paper is to show that introspective beliefs about one’s own current visual experiences are not immediate in the sense that what justifies them does not include other beliefs that the subject in question might possess. The argument will take the following course. First, the author explains the notions of immediacy and truth-sufficiency as they are used here. Second, the author suggests a test to determine whether a given belief lacks immediacy. Third, the author applies this test (...)
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  • Implications of Intensional Perceptual Ascriptions for Relationalism, Disjunctivism, and Representationalism About Perceptual Experience.David Bourget - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):381-408.
    This paper aims to shed new light on certain philosophical theories of perceptual experience by examining the semantics of perceptual ascriptions such as “Jones sees an apple.” I start with the assumption, recently defended elsewhere, that perceptual ascriptions lend themselves to intensional readings. In the first part of the paper, I defend three theses regarding such readings: I) intensional readings of perceptual ascriptions ascribe phenomenal properties, II) perceptual verbs are not ambiguous between intensional and extensional readings, and III) intensional perceptual (...)
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  • The Phenomenological Argument for the Disjunctive Theory of Perception.János Tözsér - 2009 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 5 (2):53-66.
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  • Husserl, Impure Intentionalism, and Sensory Awareness.Corijn Van Mazijk - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-19.
    Recent philosophy of mind has seen an increase of interest in theories of intentionality in offering a functional account of mental states. The standard intentionalist view holds that mental states can be exhaustively accounted for in terms of their representational contents. An alternative view proposed by Tim Crane, called impure intentionalism, specifies mental states in terms of intentional content, mode, and object. This view is also suggested to hold for states of sensory awareness. This paper primarily develops an alternative to (...)
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  • Much Ado About Nothing: The Discarded Representations Revisited.Zsuzsanna Balogh & János Tőzsér - 2013 - In Zsuzsanna Kondor (ed.), Enacting Images: Representation Revisited. Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag. pp. 47-66.
    Our paper consists of three parts. In the first part we provide an overall picture of the concept of the Cartesian mind. In the second, we outline some of the crucial tenets of the theory of the embodied mind and the main objections it makes to the concept of the Cartesian mind. In the third part, we take aim at the heart of the theory of the embodied mind; we present three examples which show that the thesis of embodiment of (...)
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  • The Mental Lives of Zombies.Declan Smithies - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):343-372.
    Could there be a cognitive zombie – that is, a creature with the capacity for cognition, but no capacity for consciousness? Searle argues that there cannot be a cognitive zombie because there cannot be an intentional zombie: on this view, there is a connection between consciousness and cognition that is derived from a more fundamental connection between consciousness and intentionality. However, I argue that there are good empirical reasons for rejecting the proposed connection between consciousness and intentionality. Instead, I argue (...)
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  • What is Distinctive About the Senses?Louise Fiona Richardson - unknown
    For the most part, philosophical discussion of the senses has been concerned with what distinguishes them from one another, following Grice’s treatment of this issue in his ‘Remarks on the senses’. But this is one of two questions which Grice raises in this influential paper. The other, the question of what distinguishes senses from faculties that are not senses, is the question I address in this thesis. Though there are good reasons to think that the awareness we have of our (...)
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  • Emotion and Value : A Phenomenological Approach.Vanello Daniel - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Warwick. Department of Philosophy
    In this thesis I argue that the affective component of emotional experience plays an essential explanatory role in the acquisition of evaluative knowledge. I call this the notion of affect as a disclosure of value. The thesis is divided into two parts. In the first part I critically assess three contemporary accounts which, I argue, are motivated either implicitly or explicitly by the notion of affect as a disclosure of value. I argue that all three accounts fail due to the (...)
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  • "Consciousness". Selected Bibliography 1970 - 2004.Thomas Metzinger - unknown
    This is a bibliography of books and articles on consciousness in philosophy, cognitive science, and neuroscience over the last 30 years. There are three main sections, devoted to monographs, edited collections of papers, and articles. The first two of these sections are each divided into three subsections containing books in each of the main areas of research. The third section is divided into 12 subsections, with 10 subject headings for philosophical articles along with two additional subsections for articles in cognitive (...)
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  • Enactive Intentionality.William G. Lycan - 2006 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 12.
    Though Noë is concerned to emphasize that perceptual experiences are not per se internal representations, he does not really say why, and he is fairly quiet about what he takes intentionality and representation themselves to be. Drawing on a subsequent paper (Noë (forthcoming)), I bring out and criticize his in fact radically negative view of those fundamental mental capacities.
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  • Does Synesthesia Undermine Representationalism?Torin Alter - 2006 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 12.
    Does synesthesia undermine representationalism? Gregg Rosenberg (2004) argues that it does. On his view, synesthesia illustrates how phenomenal properties can vary independently of representational properties. So, for example, he argues that sound/color synesthetic experiences show that visual experiences do not always represent spatial properties. I will argue that the representationalist can plausibly answer Rosenberg.
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