The extra ingredient

Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-4 (2021)
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Birch et. al. see their model as incompatible with higher-order-thought (HOT) theories of consciousness, on which a state is conscious if one is in some suitable way aware of that state. They see higher-order (HO) awareness as an “extra ingredient”. But since Birch et al go on to say that “[t]his is not the place for a detailed discussion of HOT theories,” they don’t address why they take HO awareness to be an extra ingredient or why HOT theorists are convinced that it’s needed. In this commentary we argue that higher-order theories are a crucial for understanding consciousness.

Author Profiles

David Rosenthal
CUNY Graduate Center
Richard Brown
LaGuardia Community College (CUNY)
Joseph LeDoux
New York University


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