David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Rahul Banerjee & B. K. Chakrabarti (eds.), Models of Brain and Mind: Physical, Computational, and Psychological Approaches. Elsevier (2008)
It is usually taken as given that consciousness involves superior or more elaborate forms of information processing. Contemporary models equate consciousness with global processing, system complexity, or depth or stability of computation. This is in stark contrast with the powerful philosophical intuition that being conscious is more than just having the ability to compute. I argue that it is also incompatible with current empirical findings. I present a model that is free from the strong assumption that consciousness predicts superior performance. The model is based on Bayesian decision theory, of which signal detection theory is a special case. It reflects the fact that the capacity for perceptual decisions is fundamentally limited by the presence and amount of noise in the system. To optimize performance, one therefore needs to set decision criteria that are based on the behaviour, i.e. the probability distributions, of the internal signals. One important realization is that the knowledge of how our internal signals behave statistically has to be learned over time. Essentially, we are doing statistics on our own brain. This ‘higherorder’ learning, however, may err, and this impairs our ability to set and maintain optimal criteria for perceptual decisions, which I argue is central to perception consciousness. I outline three possibilities of how conscious perception might be affected by failures of ‘higher-order’ representation. These all imply that one can have a dissociation between consciousness and performance. This model readily explains blindsight and hallucinations in formal terms, and is beginning to receive direct empirical support. I end by discussing some philosophical implications of the model.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Richard Brown (2012). The Myth of Phenomenological Overflow. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):599-604.
Benjamin Kozuch (2014). Prefrontal Lesion Evidence Against Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness. Philosophical Studies 167 (3):721-746.
Chen Song, Ryota Kanai, Stephen M. Fleming, Rimona S. Weil, D. Samuel Schwarzkopf & Geraint Rees (2011). Relating Inter-Individual Differences in Metacognitive Performance on Different Perceptual Tasks. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1787.
Hakwan Lau & David Rosenthal (2011). Empirical Support for Higher-Order Theories of Conscious Awareness. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (8):365-373.
Ali Jannati & Vincent Di Lollo (2012). Relative Blindsight Arises From a Criterion Confound in Metacontrast Masking: Implications for Theories of Consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (1):307-314.
Similar books and articles
Hakwan Lau & Richard Brown (forthcoming). The Emperor's New Phenomenology? The Empirical Case for Conscious Experience Without First-Order Representations. In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Themes from Block. MIT.
Angela Coventry & Uriah Kriegel (2008). Locke on Consciousness. History of Philosophy Quarterly 25 (3):221-242.
Neil Campbell Manson (2002). What Does Language Tell Us About Consciousness? First-Person Mental Discourse and Higher-Order Thought Theories of Consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 15 (3):221 – 238.
Peter Carruthers (2004). Hop Over FOR, HOT Theory. In Rocco J. Gennaro (ed.), Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness: An Anthology. John Benjamins.
José Luis Bermúdez (2000). Consciousness, Higher-Order Thought, and Stimulus Reinforcement. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2):194-195.
Ben Phillips (2014). Indirect Representation and the Self-Representational Theory of Consciousness. Philosophical Studies 167 (2):273-290.
Robert Kirk (1992). Consciousness and Concepts. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 66 (66):23-40.
Robert Van Gulick (2004). Higher-Order Global States (Hogs): An Alternative Higher-Order Model of Consciousness. In Rocco J. Gennaro (ed.), Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness: An Anthology. John Benjamins.
Larry M. Jorgensen (2011). Leibniz on Memory and Consciousness. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (5):887-916.
Uriah Kriegel (2006). The Same-Order Monitoring Theory of Consciousness. In Uriah Kriegel & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Self-Representational Approaches to Consciousness. MIT Press. 143--170.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads45 ( #31,104 of 1,088,810 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )
How can I increase my downloads?