A Short History of the Philosophy of Consciousness in the Twentieth Century

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 (forthcoming)
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Abstract
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 this particular division of mental states. So accepting this division and its associated conceptions of intentionality and consciousness is not an obligatory starting point for the philosophy of mind. A historical investigation of how these ideas came to be seen as inevitable can also help us see how we might reasonably reject them.
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First archival date: 2015-12-04
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