Perceptual consciousness and intensional transitive verbs

Philosophical Studies 180 (12):3301-3322 (2023)
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Abstract

There is good reason to think that, in every case of perceptual consciousness, there is something of which we are conscious; but there is also good reason to think that, in some cases of perceptual consciousness—for instance, hallucinations—there is nothing of which we are conscious. This paper resolves this inconsistency—which we call the presentation problem—by (a) arguing that ‘conscious of’ and related expressions function as intensional transitive verbs and (b) defending a particular semantic approach to such verbs, on which they have readings that lack direct objects or themes. The paper further argues that this approach serves not only as a linguistic proposal about the semantics of ‘conscious of’, but also as a proposal about the metaphysics of conscious states.

Author Profiles

Justin D'Ambrosio
University of St. Andrews
Daniel Stoljar
Australian National University

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