Can studies of autism teach us about consciousness of the physical and the mental?

Philosophical Explorations 2 (3):175-188 (1999)
Abstract
Most scientists and theorists concerned with the problem of consciousness focus on our consciousness of the physical world (our sensations, feelings, and awareness). In this paper I consider our consciousness of the mental world (our thoughts about thoughts, intentions, wishes, and emotions).The argument is made that these are two distinct forms of consciousness, the evidence for this deriving from studies of autism. Autism is a severe childhood psychiatric condition in which individuals may be conscious of the physical world but not of the mental world. Relevant experimental evidence is described, including some recent neuroimaging studies pointing towards the neural basis of our consciousness of the mental
Keywords Autism  Consciousness  Mental  Physical  Science
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Jeanette Kennett (2002). Autism, Empathy and Moral Agency. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):340-357.
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