Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):69-98 (2008)
AbstractCurrently, one of the most influential theories of consciousness is Rosenthal's version of higher-order-thought (HOT). We argue that the HOT theory allows for two distinct interpretations: a one-component and a two-component view. We further argue that the two-component view is more consistent with his effort to promote HOT as an explanatory theory suitable for application to the empirical sciences. Unfortunately, the two-component view seems incapable of handling a group of counterexamples that we refer to as cases of radical confabulation. We begin by introducing the HOT theory and by indicating why we believe it is open to distinct interpretations. We then proceed to show that it is incapable of handling cases of radical confabulation. Finally, in the course of considering various possible responses to our position, we show that adoption of a disjunctive strategy, one that would countenance both one-component and two-component versions, would fail to provide any empirical or explanatory advantage.
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