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Summary Higher-order perception theories of consciousness appeal to a perception-like higher-order state to explain the awareness which makes it the case that one is in a conscious mental state
Key works For a classic defense see: Lycan 2004
Introductions The same paper also serves as an introduction: Lycan 2004
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  1. Susan Brower-Toland (2014). William Ockham on the Scope and Limits of Consciousness. Vivarium 52 (3-4):197-219.
    Ockham holds what nowadays would be characterized as a “higher-order perception” theory of consciousness. Among the most common objections to such a theory is the charge that it gives rise to an infinite regress in higher-order states. In this paper, I examine Ockham’s various responses to the regress problem, focusing in particular on his attempts to restrict the scope of consciousness so as to avoid it. In his earlier writings, Ockham holds that we are conscious only of those states to (...)
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  2. Marc Champagne (2009). Some Semiotic Constraints on Metarepresentational Accounts of Consciousness. In John N. Deely & Leonard G. Sbrocchi (eds.), Semiotics. Legas Press 557-564.
    "Representation" is one of those Janus-faced terms that seems blatantly obvious when used in a casual or pre-theoretic manner, but which reveals itself far more slippery when attentively studied. Any allusion to "metarepresentation", it would then seem, only compounds these difficulties. Taking the metarepresentationalist framework in its roughest outline as our point of departure, we thus articulate four key "structural" features that appear binding for any such theory.
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  3. Ted Everett (2014/2015). Other Minds and the Origins of Consciousness. Anthropology and Philosophy 11.
    Why are we conscious? What does consciousness enable us to do that cannot be done by zombies in the dark? This paper argues that introspective consciousness probably co-evolved as a "spandrel" along with our more useful ability to represent the mental states of other people. The first part of the paper defines and motivates a conception of consciousness as a kind of "double vision" – the perception of how things seem to us as well as what they are – along (...)
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  4. Maxime Julien (2015). Franz Brentano Était-Il Cartésien ? L’Interprétation D’Ordre Supérieur de la Psychologie Descriptive. Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique 11.
    Dans son ouvrage Consciousness and Mind, David Rosenthal propose une interprétation originale de la psychologie descriptive de Brentano qui mène directement à une théorie d’ordre supérieur de la con- science. Rosenthal défend lui-même une version particulière de théorie d’ordre supérieur, selon laquelle, un état mental est « conscient » s’il est accompagné par une pensée distincte qui le représente. Dans cette théorie fonctionnaliste de l’esprit, la conscience est une relation intentionnelle entre deux états d’ordre ou de niveau différent. La question (...)
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  5. W. G. Lycan (2009). Higher-Order Representation Theories of Consciousness. In Bayne Tim, Cleeremans Axel & Wilken Patrick (eds.), The Oxford Companion to Consciousness. Oxford University Press 346--350.
  6. William G. Lycan (2004). The Superiority of Hop to HOT. In Rocco J. Gennaro (ed.), Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness: An Anthology. John Benjamins 93–114.
  7. William G. Lycan (1995). Consciousness as Internal Monitoring. Philosophical Perspectives 9:1-14.
    Locke put forward the theory of consciousness as "internal Sense" or "reflection"; Kant made it inner sense, by means of which the mind intuits itself or its inner state." On that theory, consciousness is a perception-like second-order representing of our own psychological states events. The term "consciousness," of course, has many distinct uses.
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  8. W. Sauret & W. G. Lycan (2014). Attention and Internal Monitoring: A Farewell to HOP. 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 conclude by (...)
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  9. Charles Siewert (2001). Consciousness Neglect and Inner Sense: A Reply to Lycan. Psyche 7.
    Lycan is concerned that I fail to explain my sense of 'phenomenal consciousness' sufficiently, and that I would unjustifiably criticize his "inner sense" theory for consciousness neglect. In response, I argue that my explanation of what I mean provides an adequate basis for disambiguating and answering Lycan's questions about the relation of phenomenal consciousness to "visual awareness" and the like. While I do not charge Lycan's theory with consciousness neglect, I do argue it employs a notion of non-conceptual higher order (...)
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