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What is consciousness?

In John Heil (ed.), The Nature of Mind. Cornell University Press (1981)

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  1. Consciousness and the Self.Roland Breeur - 2003 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (4):415-436.
    With his notion of absolute consciousness, Sartre tries to rethink the relation between consciousness and the self. What is the origin of subjectivity in relation to a consciousness that is characterized as impersonal and as a radical lucidity? In this article, I attempt to question that origin and the nature as such of the subject in its relation to a consciousness that in its essence is not yet subjective. On the contrary, it is characterized by a selfpresence that is so (...)
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  • Philosophical Investigation Series: Selected Texts on Metaphysics, Language and Mind / Série Investigação Filosófica: Textos Selecionados de Metafísica, Linguagem e Mente.Rodrigo Cid & Pedro Merlussi (eds.) - 2020 - Pelotas: Editora da UFPel / NEPFIL Online.
    Um dos grandes desafios da era da informação consiste em filtrar informações claras, rigorosas e atualizadas sobre tópicos importantes. O mesmo vale para a filosofia. Como encontrar conteúdo filosófico confiável em meio a milhares de artigos publicados diariamente na internet? Para ir ainda mais longe, como encontrar uma introdução a algum tópico com uma lista de referências bibliográficas atualizadas e que seja organizada por um especialista da área? Já que você começou a ler este livro, é provável que tenha ouvido (...)
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  • Editorial: Self-Consciousness Explained—Mapping the Field.Stefan Lang & Klaus Viertbauer - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (2):257-276.
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  • Consciousness, Accessibility, and the Mesh Between Psychology and Neuroscience.Ned Block - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5):481--548.
    How can we disentangle the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness from the neural machinery of the cognitive access that underlies reports of phenomenal consciousness? We can see the problem in stark form if we ask how we could tell whether representations inside a Fodorian module are phenomenally conscious. The methodology would seem straightforward: find the neural natural kinds that are the basis of phenomenal consciousness in clear cases when subjects are completely confident and we have no reason to doubt their (...)
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  • Other Bodies, Other Minds: A Machine Incarnation of an Old Philosophical Problem. [REVIEW]Stevan Harnad - 1991 - Minds and Machines 1 (1):43-54.
    Explaining the mind by building machines with minds runs into the other-minds problem: How can we tell whether any body other than our own has a mind when the only way to know is by being the other body? In practice we all use some form of Turing Test: If it can do everything a body with a mind can do such that we can't tell them apart, we have no basis for doubting it has a mind. But what is (...)
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  • Consciousness, Higher-Order Content, and the Individuation of Vehicles.Uriah Kriegel - 2003 - Synthese 134 (3):477-504.
    One of the distinctive properties of conscious states is the peculiar self- awareness implicit in them. Two rival accounts of this self-awareness are discussed. According to a Neo-Brentanian account, a mental state M is conscious iff M represents its very own occurrence. According to the Higher-Order Monitoring account, M is merely accompanied by a numerically distinct representation of its occurrence. According to both, then, M is conscious in virtue of figuring in a higher-order content. The disagreement is over the question (...)
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  • "Consciousness". Selected Bibliography 1970 - 2004.Thomas Metzinger - unknown
    This is a bibliography of books and articles on consciousness in philosophy, cognitive science, and neuroscience over the last 30 years. There are three main sections, devoted to monographs, edited collections of papers, and articles. The first two of these sections are each divided into three subsections containing books in each of the main areas of research. The third section is divided into 12 subsections, with 10 subject headings for philosophical articles along with two additional subsections for articles in cognitive (...)
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  • Stefan Lang and Klaus Viertbauer: Editorial: Self-Consciousness Explained—Mapping the Field.Stefan Lang & Klaus Viertbauer - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
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  • The Notion of Awareness of Self-awareness and the Problem of Infinite Regress in the Cheng Weishi Lun.Chih-Chiang Hu - 2022 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 21 (2):299-316.
    This essay aims to show that the fourfold division theory of consciousness in the Cheng Weishi Lun 成唯識論 is the third way between phenomenology and the higher-order theories of consciousness. Regarding the problem of infinite regress, in particular, this theory represents an alternative between the reflexive model and the reflective model of self-consciousness. The main purpose of this essay is not to prove or to argue for the theory, but to clearly present its structure and the systematic or Abhidharmic way (...)
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  • The Higher Order Approach to Consciousness is Defunct.Ned Block - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):419 - 431.
    The higher order approach to consciousness attempts to build a theory of consciousness from the insight that a conscious state is one that the subject is conscious of. There is a well-known objection1 to the higher order approach, a version of which is fatal. Proponents of the higher order approach have realized that the objection is significant. They have dealt with it via what David Rosenthal calls a “retreat” (2005b, p. 179) but that retreat fails to solve the problem.
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  • Metaphysical Illusions.J. J. C. Smart - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):167 – 175.
    The paper begins by considering David Armstrong's beautiful paper 'The Headless Woman Illusion and the Defence of Materialism', which conjectures how we get the illusion that there are non-physical qualia. There are discussions of other metaphysical illusions, that there is a passage of time, that we have libertarian free will, and that consciousness is ineffable (which last also relates to Armstrong), and of their possible explanations. Moral: avoid appeal to so called intuition or phenomenology.
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  • Causality.Jessica M. Wilson - 2006 - In Jessica Pfeifer & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 90--100.
    Arguably no concept is more fundamental to science than that of causality, for investigations into cases of existence, persistence, and change in the natural world are largely investigations into the causes of these phenomena. Yet the metaphysics and epistemology of causality remain unclear. For example, the ontological categories of the causal relata have been taken to be objects (Hume 1739), events (Davidson 1967), properties (Armstrong 1978), processes (Salmon 1984), variables (Hitchcock 1993), and facts (Mellor 1995). (For convenience, causes and effects (...)
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  • The Merits of Higher-Order Thought Theories.Sam Coleman - 2018 - Trans/Form/Ação 41 (s1):31-48.
    Over many years and in many publications David Rosenthal has developed, defended and applied his justly well-known higher-order thought theory of consciousness.2 In this paper I explain the theory, then provide a brief history of a major objection to it. I suggest that this objection is ultimately ineffectual, but that behind it lies a reason to look beyond Rosenthal's theory to another sort of HOT theory. I then offer my own HOT theory as a suitable alternative, before concluding in a (...)
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  • Consciousness and Vision in Man : Where Philosophy has Gone Wrong.David John Uings - unknown
    My central claim is that philosophers of mind have failed to take adequate account of empirical evidence regarding human consciousness and vision. Experiments on split-brain patients over the past fifty years reveal consciousness in both cerebral hemispheres. I claim specifically that (a) consciousness in the right hemisphere is inherited from our animal ancestors; (b) consciousness in the left hemisphere arose during human evolution in association with language; and (c) the existence of both forms of consciousness provides the best explanation for (...)
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  • V. Consciousness, Interpretation, and Higher-Order-Thought.David Rosenthal - unknown
    Few contemporary researchers in psychology, philosophy, and the cognitive sciences have any doubt about whether mental phenomena occur without being conscious. There is extensive and convincing clinical and experimental evidence for the existence of thoughts, desires, and related mental states that aren’t conscious. We characterize thoughts, desires, intentions, expectations, hopes, and many other mental states in terms of the things they are about and, more fully, in terms of their content, as captured by a sentence nominalization, such as a clause (...)
     
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  • Against Unnecessary Duplication of Selves: A Sartrean Argument Against Zahavi.Simon Gusman - 2015 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 46 (4):323-335.
    In this article I argue that Zahavi's Sartre-inspired combination of the experiential and narrative self entails an unnecessary duplication of selves. Sartre himself accused Husserl of the same mistake in The Transcendence of the Ego. He claims that Husserl's combination of the transcendental I and the Me is unnecessary, and that we can do without the first. I try to show that Sartre's critique of Husserl also applies to Zahavi. Sartre's critique is based on his idea of impersonal consciousness, which (...)
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  • Metacognition and Higher-Order Thoughts.David M. Rosenthal - 2000 - Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2):231-242.
    Because there is a fair amount of overlap in the points by Balog and Rey, I will organize this response topically, referring specifically to each commentator as rele- vant. And, because much of the discussion focuses on my higher-order-thought hypothesis independent of questions about metacognition, I will begin by addressing a cluster of issues that have to do with the status, motivation, and exact formulation of that hypothesis.
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  • Qualia Ain't in the Head Review of Ten Problems of Consciousness: A Representational Theory of the Phenomenal Mind by Michael Tye. [REVIEW]David M. Armstrong - 1995 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 2:31--4.
  • Mind-Brain Identity and the Nature of States.David Hunter - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (3):366 – 376.
  • Consciousness and Sensation: Philosophical Aspects.David Rosenthal - 2001 - In N. J. Smelser & B. Baltes (eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Pergamon/Elsevier.
    consciousness. Such unconscious processing always " Cambridge, UK " tends to re?ect habitual or strong responses. From this.
     
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  • David Papineau, Thinking About Consciousness, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002, Pp. 280, £25.William G. Lycan - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):587-596.
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  • Empirical Support for Higher-Order Theories of Conscious Awareness.Hakwan Lau & David Rosenthal - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (8):365-373.
  • How Physicalists Can—and Cannot—Explain the Seeming “Absurdity” of Physicalism.Pär Sundström - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):681-703.
    According to a widely held physicalist view, consciousness is identical with some physical or functional phenomenon just as liquidity is identical with loose molecular connection. To many of us, this claim about consciousness seems more problematic than the claim about liquidity. To many—including many physicalists—the identification of consciousness with some physical phenomenon even seems “absurd” or “crazy”. A full defence of physicalism should explain why the allegedly correct hypothesis comes across this way. If physicalism is true and we have reason (...)
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  • Kant on Consciousness, Obscure Representations and Cognitive Availability.Yibin Liang - 2017 - Philosophical Forum 48 (4):345-368.
  • A New Theory of Free Will.Marcus Arvan - 2013 - Philosophical Forum 44 (1):1-48.
    This paper shows that several live philosophical and scientific hypotheses – including the holographic principle and multiverse theory in quantum physics, and eternalism and mind-body dualism in philosophy – jointly imply an audacious new theory of free will. This new theory, "Libertarian Compatibilism", holds that the physical world is an eternally existing array of two-dimensional information – a vast number of possible pasts, presents, and futures – and the mind a nonphysical entity or set of properties that "read" that physical (...)
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  • Consciousness as Inner Sensation: Crusius and Kant.Jonas Jervell Indregard - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    What is it that makes a mental state conscious? Recent commentators have proposed that for Kant, consciousness results from differentiation: A mental state is conscious insofar as it is distinguished, by means of our conceptual capacities, from other states and/or things. I argue instead that Kant’s conception of state consciousness is sensory: A mental state is conscious insofar as it is accompanied by an inner sensation. Interpreting state consciousness as inner sensation reveals an underappreciated influence of Crusius on Kant’s view, (...)
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  • The Mind as Neural Software?: Understanding Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):269-311.
    Defending or attacking either functionalism or computationalism requires clarity on what they amount to and what evidence counts for or against them. My goalhere is not to evaluatc their plausibility. My goal is to formulate them and their relationship clearly enough that we can determine which type of evidence is relevant to them. I aim to dispel some sources of confusion that surround functionalism and computationalism. recruit recent philosophical work on mechanisms and computation to shed light on them, and clarify (...)
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  • Evolution of Consciousness.John C. Eccles - 1992 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Usa 89:7320-24.
  • The Self and the Phenomenal.Barry Dainton - 2004 - Ratio 17 (4):365-89.
    As is widely appreciated and easily demonstrated, the notion that we are essentially experiential (or conscious) beings has a good deal of appeal; what is less obvious, and more controversial, is whether it is possible to devise a viable account of the self along such lines within the confines of a broadly naturalistic metaphysical framework. There are many avenues to explore, but here I confine myself to outlining the case for one particular approach. I suggest that we should think of (...)
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  • Apperception, Sensation, and Dissociability.David M. Rosenthal - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (2):206-223.
    Recent writing on consciousness has increasingly stressed ways in which the terms.
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  • Meaning and Emotion.Constant Bonard - 2021 - Dissertation, Université de Genève
    This dissertation may be divided into two parts. The first part is about the Extended Gricean Model of information transmission. This model, introduced here, is meant to better explain how humans communicate and understand each other. It has been developed to apply to cases that were left unexplained by the two main models of communication found in contemporary philosophy and linguistics, i.e. the Gricean model and the code model. In particular, I show that these latter two models cannot apply to (...)
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  • Naïve Realism, Privileged Access, and Epistemic Safety.Matthew Kennedy - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):77-102.
    Working from a naïve-realist perspective, I examine first-person knowledge of one's perceptual experience. I outline a naive-realist theory of how subjects acquire knowledge of the nature of their experiences, and I argue that naive realism is compatible with moderate, substantial forms of first-person privileged access. A more general moral of my paper is that treating “success” states like seeing as genuine mental states does not break up the dynamics that many philosophers expect from the phenomenon of knowledge of the mind.
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  • Hume on Mental Transparency.Hsueh Qu - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (4):576-601.
    This article investigates Hume's account of mental transparency. In this article, I will endorse Qualitative Transparency – that is, the thesis that we cannot fail to apprehend the qualitative characters of our current perceptions, and these apprehensions cannot fail to be veridical – on the basis that, unlike its competitors, it is both weak enough to accommodate the introspective mistakes that Hume recognises, and yet strong enough to make sense of his positive employments of mental transparency. Moreover, Qualitative Transparency is (...)
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  • Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, and Authoritative Self-Knowledge.Cynthia Macdonald - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):319-346.
    Many recent discussions of self-consciousness and self-knowledge assume that there are only two kinds of accounts available to be taken on the relation between the so-called first-order (conscious) states and subjects' awareness or knowledge of them: a same-order, or reflexive view, on the one hand, or a higher-order one, on the other. I maintain that there is a third kind of view that is distinctively different from these two options. The view is important because it can accommodate and make intelligible (...)
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  • Naturalizing Subjective Character.Uriah Kriegel - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):23-57.
    . When I have a conscious experience of the sky, there is a bluish way it is like for me to have that experience. We may distinguish two aspects of this "bluish way it is like for me": the bluish aspect and the for-me aspect. Let us call the bluish aspect of the experience its qualitative character and the for-me aspect its subjective character . What is this elusive for-me-ness, or subjective character , of conscious experience? In this paper, I (...)
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  • A Dilemma for Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Isabel Gois - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (1):143-156.
    Higher Order theories of consciousness have their fair share of sympathisers, but the arguments mustered in their support are—to my mind—unduly persuasive. My aim in this paper is to show that Higher Order theories cannot accommodate the possibility of misrepresentation without either falling into contradiction, or collapsing into a First-Order theory. If this diagnosis is on the right track, then Higher Order theories—at least in the specific versions here considered—fail to give an account of what they set out to explain: (...)
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  • In Defense of a Latin Social Trinity: A Response to William Hasker.Scott M. Williams - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (7):96-117.
    In “Unity of Action in a Latin Social Model of the Trinity,” I objected to William Hasker’s Social Model of the Trinity (among others) on the grounds that it does not secure the necessary agreement between the divine persons. Further, I developed a Latin Social model of the Trinity. Hasker has responded by defending his Social Model and by raising seven objections against my Latin Social Model. Here I raise a new objection against Hasker on the grounds that it is (...)
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  • On The Conceivability of Zombies.Brent Silby - 1998 - In Jack Copeland (ed.), Philosophy research paper series - Dept Philosophy, University of Canterbury.
    In this paper I begin by explaining the concept of supervenience. I then describe the problem of qualia and explain why qualia are a problem for physicalist theories of the mind. Next, I outline the zombie argument and explain Chalmers' attempt to use it as an argument for the conclusion that qualia do not logically supervene on the physical. My goal is to show that the supposed conceivability of zombies does not offer any serious refutation of physicalist theories of the (...)
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  • Representationalism, Peripheral Awareness, and the Transparency of Experience.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (1):39-56.
    It is often said that some kind of peripheral (or inattentional) conscious awareness accompanies our focal (attentional) consciousness. I agree that this is often the case, but clarity is needed on several fronts. In this paper, I lay out four distinct theses on peripheral awareness and show that three of them are true. However, I then argue that a fourth thesis, commonly associated with the so-called "self-representational approach to consciousness," is false. The claim here is that we have outer focal (...)
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  • Attention and Internal Monitoring: A Farewell to HOP.Wesley Sauret & William G. Lycan - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):363-370.
    Higher-Order Perception (HOP) theories in the philosophy of mind are offered as explanations of what it is that makes a mental state a conscious state. According to HOP, a mental state is conscious just in case it is itself represented in a quasi-perceptual way by an internal monitor or scanning device. We start with one of the more popular objections to HOP and a seemingly innocuous concession to it: identifying the internal monitor with the faculty of attention. We show how (...)
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  • Introspection and Authoritative Self-Knowledge.Cynthia Macdonald - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (2):355-372.
    In this paper I outline and defend an introspectionist account of authoritative self-knowledge for a certain class of cases, ones in which a subject is both thinking and thinking about a current, conscious thought. My account is distinctive in a number of ways, one of which is that it is compatible with the truth of externalism.
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  • Dangerous Habits: Examining the Philosophical Baggage of Biological Research.Massimo Pigliucci - 2003 - Dissertation, The University of Tennessee
    Science is about conceptualizing the natural world in a way that can be understood by human beings while at the same time reflecting as much as possible what we can empirically infer about how the world actually is. Among the crucial tools that allow scientists to formulate hypotheses and to contribute to a progressive understanding of nature are the use of imagery and metaphors, on the one hand, and the ability to assume certain starting points on which to build new (...)
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  • Are There Pure Conscious Events?Rocco J. Gennaro - 2008 - In Chandana Chakrabarti & Gordon Haist (eds.), Revisiting Mysticism. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 100--120.
    There has been much discussion about the nature and even existence of so-called “pure conscious events” (PCEs). PCEs are often described as mental events which are non-conceptual and lacking all experiential content (Forman 1990). For a variety of reasons, a number of authors have questioned both the accuracy of such a characterization and even the very existence of PCEs (Katz 1978, Bagger 1999). In this chapter, I take a somewhat different, but also critical, approach to the nature and possibility of (...)
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  • Is Memory Purely Preservative?Jérôme Dokic - 2001 - In Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack (eds.), Time and Memory. Oxford University Press. pp. 213--232.
  • Analytic Functionalism and Mental State Attribution.Mark Phelan & Wesley Buckwalter - 2012 - Philosophical Topics 40 (2):129-154.
    We argue that the causal account offered by analytic functionalism provides the best account of the folk psychological theory of mind, and that people ordinarily define mental states relative to the causal roles these states occupy in relation to environmental impingements, external behaviors, and other mental states. We present new empirical evidence, as well as review several key studies on mental state ascription to diverse types of entities such as robots, cyborgs, corporations and God, and explain how this evidence supports (...)
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  • Qual a motivação para se defender uma teoria causal da memória?César Schirmer Dos Santos - 2018 - In Juliano Santos do Carmo & Rogério F. Saucedo Corrêa (eds.), Linguagem e cognição. Pelotas: NEPFil. pp. 63-89.
    Este texto tem como objetivo apresentar a principal motivação filosófica para se defender uma teoria causal da memória, que é explicar como pode um evento que se deu no passado estar relacionado a uma experiência mnêmica que se dá no presente. Para tanto, iniciaremos apresentando a noção de memória de maneira informal e geral, para depois apresentar elementos mais detalhados. Finalizamos apresentando uma teoria causal da memória que se beneficia da noção de veritação (truthmaking).
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  • Relative Blindsight Arises From a Criterion Confound in Metacontrast Masking: Implications for Theories of Consciousness.Ali Jannati & Vincent Di Lollo - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (1):307-314.
    Relative blindsight is said to occur when different levels of subjective awareness are obtained at equality of objective performance. Using metacontrast masking, Lau and Passingham reported relative blindsight in normal observers at the shorter of two stimulus-onset asynchronies between target and mask. Experiment 1 replicated the critical asymmetry in subjective awareness at equality of objective performance. We argue that this asymmetry cannot be regarded as evidence for relative blindsight because the observers’ responses were based on different attributes of the stimuli (...)
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  • A Higher-Order Theory of Emotional Consciousness.Joseph LeDoux & Richard Brown - 2017 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114 (10):E2016-E2025.
    Emotional states of consciousness, or what are typically called emotional feelings, are traditionally viewed as being innately programed in subcortical areas of the brain, and are often treated as different from cognitive states of consciousness, such as those related to the perception of external stimuli. We argue that conscious experiences, regardless of their content, arise from one system in the brain. On this view, what differs in emotional and non-emotional states is the kind of inputs that are processed by a (...)
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  • Levels of Consciousness and Self-Awareness: A Comparison and Integration of Various Neurocognitive Views.Alain Morin - 2006 - Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2):358-371.
    Quite a few recent models are rapidly introducing new concepts describing different levels of consciousness. This situation is getting confusing because some theorists formulate their models without making reference to existing views, redundantly adding complexity to an already difficult problem. In this paper, I present and compare nine neurocognitive models to highlight points of convergence and divergence. Two aspects of consciousness seem especially important: perception of self in time and complexity of self-representations. To this I add frequency of self-focus, amount (...)
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  • Conscious Perceptual Experience as Representational Self-Prompting.John Dilworth - 2007 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 28 (2):135-156.
    Journal of Mind and Behavior 28 no. 2 , pp. 135-156. The self-prompting theory of consciousness holds that conscious perceptual experience occurs when non-routine perceptual data prompt the activation of a plan in an executive control system that monitors perceptual input. On the other hand, routine, non-conscious perception merely provides data about the world, which indicatively describes the world correctly or incorrectly. Perceptual experience instead involves data that are about the perceiver, not the world. Their function is that of imperatively (...)
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