HOT: Keeping Up Appearances?

Abstract
David Rosenthal and Josh Weisberg have recently provided a counter argument to Ned Block’s argument that a Higher Order Thought (HOT) theory of consciousness cannot accommodate the existence of hallucinatory conscious states (i.e. a conscious episode consisting of a HOT without the presence of a relevant lower order thought). Their counter argument invokes the idea of mental appearances: a non-existent intentional object which is to aid in an account of subjective conscious awareness. I argue that if mental appearances are to do the work they are supposed to, we cannot draw a mental appearance/reality distinction. I provide an alternative story that a HOT theorist can invoke to account for cases of conscious misrepresentation. Such a story will require denying the existence of HCS while still accounting for conscious misrepresentation. This is a cost I believe the HOT theorist should be willing to pay.
Keywords Consciousness  Higher Order Thought  Higher Order Representation  David Rosenthal  Empty Thoughts  Hallucinations  Intentionality  Intentional Objects  Intentional Content  Representation
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David M. Rosenthal (2003). Unity of Consciousness and the Self. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):325-352.
David Rosenthal (2012). Higher-Order Awareness, Misrepresentation, and Function. Higher-Order Awareness, Misrepresentation and Function 367 (1594):1424-1438.
Joshua Shepherd (2013). Why Block Can't Stand the HOT. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (3-4):183-195.
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