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  1. Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs: How Peircean Semiotics Combines Phenomenal Qualia and Practical Effects.Marc Champagne - 2018 - Cham: Springer.
    It is often thought that consciousness has a qualitative dimension that cannot be tracked by science. Recently, however, some philosophers have argued that this worry stems not from an elusive feature of the mind, but from the special nature of the concepts used to describe conscious states. Marc Champagne draws on the neglected branch of philosophy of signs or semiotics to develop a new take on this strategy. The term “semiotics” was introduced by John Locke in the modern period – (...)
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  • Materialism and the Moral Status of Animals.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):795-815.
    Consciousness has an important role in ethics: when a being consciously experiences the frustration or satisfaction of its interests, those interests deserve higher moral priority than those of a behaviourally similar but non-conscious being. I consider the relationship between this ethical role and an a posteriori (or “type-B”) materialist solution to the mind-body problem. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, if type-B materialism is correct, then the reference of the concept of phenomenal consciousness is radically indeterminate between a (...)
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  • Emotions, concepts and the indeterminacy of natural kinds.Henry Taylor - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2073-2093.
    A central question for philosophical psychology is which mental faculties form natural kinds. There is hot debate over the kind status of faculties as diverse as consciousness, seeing, concepts, emotions, constancy and the senses. In this paper, I take emotions and concepts as my main focus, and argue that questions over the kind status of these faculties are complicated by the undeservedly overlooked fact that natural kinds are indeterminate in certain ways. I will show that indeterminacy issues have led to (...)
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  • Vividness as a Natural Kind.Uku Tooming & Kengo Miyazono - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3023-3043.
    Imaginings are often characterized in terms of vividness. However, there is little agreement in the philosophical literature as to what it amounts to and how to even investigate it. In this paper, we propose a natural kind methodology to study vividness and suggest treating it as a homeostatic property cluster with an underlying nature that explains the correlation of properties in that cluster. This approach relies on the empirical research on the vividness of mental imagery and contrasts with those accounts (...)
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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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  • Animal Sentience.Heather Browning & Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12822.
    ‘Sentience’ sometimes refers to the capacity for any type of subjective experience, and sometimes to the capacity to have subjective experiences with a positive or negative valence, such as pain or pleasure. We review recent controversies regarding sentience in fish and invertebrates and consider the deep methodological challenge posed by these cases. We then present two ways of responding to the challenge. In a policy-making context, precautionary thinking can help us treat animals appropriately despite continuing uncertainty about their sentience. In (...)
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  • The Hatching of Consciousness. [REVIEW]Jonathan Birch - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (4):1-12.
    Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Metazoa and Joseph LeDoux’s The Deep History of Ourselves present radically different big pictures regarding the nature, evolution and distribution of consciousness in animals. In this essay review, I discuss the motivations behind these big pictures and try to steer a course between them.
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  • Consciousness as a Natural Kind and the Methodological Puzzle of Consciousness.Henry Taylor - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Ethics Without Sentience: Facing Up to the Probable Insignificance of Phenomenal Consciousness.François Kammerer - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):180-204.
    Phenomenal consciousness appears to be particularly normatively significant. For this reason, sentience-based conceptions of ethics are widespread. In the field of animal ethics, knowing which animals are sentient appears to be essential to decide the moral status of these animals. I argue that, given that materialism is true of the mind, phenomenal consciousness is probably not particularly normatively significant. We should face up to this probable insignificance of phenomenal consciousness and move towards an ethic without sentience.
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  • The Search for Invertebrate Consciousness.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):133-153.
    There is no agreement on whether any invertebrates are conscious and no agreement on a methodology that could settle the issue. How can the debate move forward? I distinguish three broad types of approach: theory-heavy, theory-neutral and theory-light. Theory-heavy and theory-neutral approaches face serious problems, motivating a middle path: the theory-light approach. At the core of the theory-light approach is a minimal commitment about the relation between phenomenal consciousness and cognition that is compatible with many specific theories of consciousness: the (...)
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  • Non‐Human Consciousness and the Specificity Problem: A Modest Theoretical Proposal.Henry Shevlin - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (2):297-314.
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  • Consciousness and the Flow of Attention.Tony Cheng - 2012 - Dissertation, City University of New York, Graduate Center
    Visual phenomenology is highly elusive. One attempt to operationalize or to measure it is to use ‘cognitive accessibility’ to track its degrees. However, if Ned Block is right about the overflow phenomenon, then this way of operationalizing visual phenomenology is bound to fail. This thesis does not directly challenge Block’s view; rather it motivates a notion of cognitive accessibility different from Block’s one, and argues that given this notion, degrees of visual phenomenology can be tracked by degrees of cognitive accessibility. (...)
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  • The Received Method for Ruling Out Brain Areas From Being NCC Undermines Itself.Benjamin Kozuch - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (9-10):145-69.
    Research into the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) aims to identify not just those brain areas that are NCC, but also those that are not. In the received method for ruling out a brain area from being an NCC, this is accomplished by showing a brain area’s content to be consistently absent from subjects’ reports about what they are experiencing. This paper points out how this same absence can be used to infer that the brain area’s content is cognitively inaccessible, (...)
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  • Colour Vision and Seeing Colours.Will Davies - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):657-690.
    Colour vision plays a foundational explanatory role in the philosophy of colour, and serves as perennial quarry in the wider philosophy of perception. I present two contributions to our understanding of this notion. The first is to develop a constitutive approach to characterizing colour vision. This approach seeks to comprehend the nature of colour vision qua psychological kind, as contrasted with traditional experiential approaches, which prioritize descriptions of our ordinary visual experience of colour. The second contribution is to argue that (...)
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  • Modelling Ourselves: What the Free Energy Principle Reveals About Our Implicit Notions of Representation.Matt Sims & Giovanni Pezzulo - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7801-7833.
    Predictive processing theories are increasingly popular in philosophy of mind; such process theories often gain support from the Free Energy Principle —a normative principle for adaptive self-organized systems. Yet there is a current and much discussed debate about conflicting philosophical interpretations of FEP, e.g., representational versus non-representational. Here we argue that these different interpretations depend on implicit assumptions about what qualifies as representational. We deploy the Free Energy Principle instrumentally to distinguish four main notions of representation, which focus on organizational, (...)
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  • Consciousness, Introspection, and Subjective Measures.Maja Spener - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter discusses the main types of so-called ’subjective measures of consciousness’ used in current-day science of consciousness. After explaining the key worry about such measures, namely the problem of an ever-present response bias, I discuss the question of whether subjective measures of consciousness are introspective. I show that there is no clear answer to this question, as proponents of subjective measures do not employ a worked-out notion of subjective access. In turn, this makes the problem of response bias less (...)
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  • Colour Vision and Seeing Colours.Will Davies - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw026.
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