David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):325-352 (2003)
The so-called unity of consciousness consists in the compelling sense we have that all our conscious mental states belong to a single conscious subject. Elsewhere I have argued that a mental state's being conscious is a matter of our being conscious of that state by having a higher-order thought (HOT) about it. Contrary to what is sometimes argued, this HOT model affords a natural explanation of our sense that our conscious states all belong to a single conscious subject. HOTs often group states together, so that each HOT is about a cluster of target states; single HOTs represent qualitative states as spatially unified and intentional states as unified inferentially. More important, each HOT makes one conscious of oneself in a seemingly immediate way, encouraging a sense of unity across HOTs. And the same considerations that make us assume that our first-person thoughts all refer to the same self apply also to HOTs; becoming conscious of our HOTs in introspection thus leads to a sense that our conscious states are unified in a single self. I argue that neither essential-indexical reference to oneself nor the alleged immunity to error through misidentification conflicts with this account. I close by discussing the apparent connection of unity with free agency
|Keywords||Consciousness Mental States Metaphysics Self Thought|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Friederike Moltmann (2006). Generic 'One', Arbitrary PRO, and the First Person. Natural Language Semantics 14 (3):257–281.
Tim Bayne (2005). Divided Brains and Unified Phenomenology: A Review Essay on Michael Tye's Consciousness and Persons. [REVIEW] Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):495-512.
Tim Bayne (2013). Précis of The Unity of Consciousness. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):200-208.
Tim Bayne (2013). Response to Commentators. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):223-229.
Similar books and articles
David M. Rosenthal (2000). Consciousness, Content, and Metacognitive Judgments. Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2):203-214.
Katalin Balog (2000). Phenomenal Judgment and the HOT Theory: Comments on David Rosenthal’s “Consciousness, Content, and Metacognitive Judgments. Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2):215-219.
Caleb Liang & Timothy Lane (2009). Higher-Order Thought and Pathological Self: The Case of Somatoparaphrenia. Analysis 69 (4):661-668.
David M. Rosenthal (1986). Two Concepts of Consciousness. Philosophical Studies 49 (May):329-59.
Robert W. Lurz (2003). Advancing the Debate Between HOT and FO Accounts of Consciousness. Journal of Philosophical Research 28:23-44.
Rocco J. Gennaro (2003). Papineau on the Actualist HOT Theory of Consciousness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):581-586.
Greg Janzen (2005). Self-Consciousness and Phenomenal Character. Dialogue 44 (4):707-733.
David M. Rosenthal (1993). Higher-Order Thoughts and the Appendage Theory of Consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 6 (2):155-66.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads97 ( #26,656 of 1,724,890 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #64,701 of 1,724,890 )
How can I increase my downloads?