Philosophical Studies 167 (3):721-746 (2014)

Authors
Benjamin Kozuch
University of Alabama
Abstract
According to higher-order theories of consciousness, a mental state is conscious only when represented by another mental state. Higher-order theories must predict there to be some brain areas (or networks of areas) such that, because they produce (the right kind of) higher-order states, the disabling of them brings about deficits in consciousness. It is commonly thought that the prefrontal cortex produces these kinds of higher-order states. In this paper, I first argue that this is likely correct, meaning that, if some higher-order theory is true, prefrontal lesions should produce dramatic deficits in visual consciousness. I then survey prefrontal lesion data, looking for evidence of such deficits. I argue that no such deficits are to be found, and that this presents a compelling case against higher-order theories
Keywords Prefrontal cortex  Lesions  Higher-order theories  Consciousness
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0123-9
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References found in this work BETA

The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Raimund Popper - 1934 - London, England: Routledge.
What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.

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Citations of this work BETA

Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Peter Carruthers - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Conscious Perception and the Prefrontal Cortex A Review.Matthias Michel - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (7-8):115-157.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

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