Consciousness, content, and cognitive attenuation: A neurophenomenological perspective

In Rick Repetti (ed.), Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Meditation. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 354–367 (2022)
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This paper pursues two lines of inquiry. First, drawing on evidence from clinical literature on borderline states of consciousness, I propose a new categorical framework for liminal states of consciousness associated with certain forms of meditative attainment; second, I argue for dissociating phenomenal character from phenomenal content in accounting for the etiology of nonconceptual states of awareness. My central argument is that while the idea of nonconceptual awareness remains problematic for Buddhist philosophy of mind, our linguistic and categorizing practices cannot be adequately explained without considering the ways in which the first-person phenomenology grounds a more basic level of cognitive and affective sensing.

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Christian Coseru
College of Charleston


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