Since the seventies and until relatively recently, it has been customary to assume that intentionality is independent of phenomenal consciousness. Recently, a number of philosophers have rejected this assumption, claiming that intentionality is closely tied to phenomenal consciousness, inasmuch as non-phenomenal intentionality in some sense depends upon phenomenal intentionality. Within this alternative framework, the question arises of how to account for non-phenomenal intentionality, and different authors have offered different accounts. In this paper, I compare and contrast four possible accounts of (...) non-phenomenal intentionality, which I call potentialism , inferentialism , eliminativism , and interpretivism . The first three are the leading accounts in the existing literature, while the fourth is my own proposal, which I argue to be superior. (shrink)
Recent work on phenomenal consciousness has featured a number of debates on the existence and character of controversial types of phenomenology. Perhaps the best-‐ known is a debate over the existence of a proprietary, irreducible cognitive phenomenology – a phenomenology proper to thought. Others concern the existence of irreducible agential or conative phenomenology, irreducible emotional phenomenology, and so on. In this paper, I argue that the act of entertaining a proposition also exhibits a distinctive phenomenology, a primitive phenomenology irreducible to (...) any other. After clarifying the notion of primitive phenomenology (§1) and elaborating the thesis that entertaining exhibits one (§2), I present a prima facie case for the thesis (§3). (shrink)
Perhaps the philosophical thesis most commonly associated with Brentano is that intentionality is the mark of the mental. But in fact Brentano often and centrally uses also what he calls ‘inner perception’ to demarcate the mental. In this paper, I offer a new interpretation of Brentano’s conception of the interrelations between mentality, intentionality, and inner perception. According to this interpretation, Brentano took the concept of mind to be a natural-kind concept, with intentionality constituting the underlying nature of the mental and (...) inner-perceivability serving as the concept’s reference-fixer. (shrink)
Franz Brentano was not a systematic writer, but he was very much a systematic thinker. Through his manuscripts, lecture notes, letters, dictations, and occasional published writings, one can discern a systematic, unified approach to the true, the good, and the beautiful. My goal here is to articulate explicitly this approach, and the philosophical program it reflects. The exercise requires going over big stretches of terrain with some efficiency, so I will be unable to go very deeply into the motivation and (...) content of Brentano’s approaches to the true, the good, and the beautiful. I will go just deep enough to make clear their structural unity. (shrink)
According to what I will refer to as the ‘received view,’ at least some intentional states are propositional attitudes, construed as relations to propositions (§1). The received view faces some extraordinary difficulties (§2). In this paper, I propose that these difficulties may be avoided if we adopt the radically different view of intentional states developed by Franz Brentano. Brentano’s view is different from the received view in two crucial respects. First, according to Brentano every intentional state is an objectual attitude (...) – none is a propositional attitude (§3). The judgment that some dogs are cute, for example, is just the act of acknowledging (the existence of) a cute dog. Secondly, for Brentano (at least late in his career), objectual attitudes are not relations to objects; they are non-relational properties of subjects (§4). The judgment that some dogs are cute involves an experience as of standing in a relation to a cute dog, but that experience may or may not be veridical (depending on whether the judgment is true or not). These ideas sound strange to our contemporary ears, but I contend that once we familiarize ourselves with them, and see how they work, the portrait of the attitudes that emerges can be appreciated as not only intriguing but also plausible. (shrink)
According to the old feeling theory of emotion, an emotion is just a feeling: a conscious experience with a characteristic phenomenal character. This theory is widely dismissed in contemporary discussions of emotion as hopelessly naïve. In particular, it is thought to suffer from two fatal drawbacks: its inability to account for the cognitive dimension of emotion (which is thought to go beyond the phenomenal dimension), and its inability to accommodate unconscious emotions (which, of course, lack any phenomenal character). In this (...) paper, I argue that the old feeling theory is in reality only a pair of modifications removed from a highly plausible account of the nature of emotion that retains the essential connection between emotion and feeling. These modifications are, moreover, motivated by recent developments in work on phenomenal consciousness. The first development is the rising recognition of a phenomenal character proper to cognition—so-called cognitive phenomenology. The second is the gathering momentum behind various ‘connection principles’ that specify some connection that a given state must bear to phenomenally conscious states in order to qualify as mental. These developments make it possible to formulate a new feeling theory of emotion, which would overcome the two fatal drawbacks of the old feeling theory. According to the new feeling theory, an emotion is a mental state that bears the right connection to conscious experiences with the right phenomenal character (involving, among other elements, a cognitive phenomenology). (shrink)
Consider the following argument: when a phenomenon P is observable, any legitimate understanding of P must take account of observations of P; some mental phenomena—certain conscious experiences—are introspectively observable; so, any legitimate understanding of the mind must take account of introspective observations of conscious experiences. This paper offers a (preliminary and partial) defense of this line of thought. Much of the paper focuses on a specific challenge to it, which I call Schwitzgebel’s Challenge: the claim that introspection is so untrustworthy (...) that its indispensability for a genuine understanding of the mind only shows that no genuine understanding of the mind is possible. (shrink)
It is a curious fact about mainstream discussions of animal rights that they are dominated by consequentialist defenses thereof, when consequentialism in general has been on the wane in other areas of moral philosophy. In this paper, I describe an alternative, non‐consequentialist ethical framework (combining Kantian and virtue‐ethical elements) and argue that it grants (conscious) animals more expansive rights than consequentialist proponents of animal rights typically grant. The cornerstone of this non‐consequentialist framework is the thought that the virtuous agent is (...) s/he who has the stable and dominating disposition to treat all conscious animals, including non‐human conscious animals, as ends and not mere means. (shrink)
Philosophy of mind is one of the most dynamic fields in philosophy, and one that invites debate around several key questions. There currently exist annotated tomes of primary sources, and a handful of single-authored introductions to the field, but there is no book that captures philosophy of mind’s recent dynamic exchanges for a student audience. By bringing compiling ten newly commissioned pieces in which leading philosophers square off on five central, related debates currently engaging the field, editor Uriah Kriegel has (...) provided such a publication.The five debates include: -/- Mind and Body: The Prospects for Russellian Monism Mind in Body: The Scope and Nature of Embodied Cognition Consciousness: Representationalism and the Phenomenology of Moods Mental Representation: The Project of Naturalization The Nature of Mind: The Importance of Consciousness. Preliminary descriptions of each chapter, annotated bibliographies for each controversy, and a supplemental guide to further controversies in philosophy of mind (with bibliographies) help provide clearer and richer views of active controversies for all readers. (shrink)
According to an influential conception of reasons for action, the presence of a desire or some other conative state in the agent is a necessary condition for the agent’s havinga reason for action. This is sometimes known as internalism . In this paper I present a case for the considerably stronger thesis, which I call hyper-internalism , that the presence of a desire is a sufficient condition for the agent’s having a ( prima facie )reason for action.
In the philosophy of mind, the study of mental life has tended to focus on three central aspects of mental states: their representational content, their functional role, and their phenomenal character. The representational content of a mental state is what the state represents, what it is about; its functional role is the role it plays within the functional organization of the subject’s overall psychology; its phenomenal character is the experiential or subjective quality that goes with what it is like, from (...) the inside, to be in it. The study of this third aspect of mental life is known as phenomenology. Thus, moral phenomenology is the study of the experiential dimension of our moral inner life – of the phenomenal character of moral mental states. (shrink)
This paper presents a systematic challenge to the viability of revisionary metaphysics. The challenge is to provide epistemic grounds on which one might justifiably believe that a revisionary-metaphysical theory in some area is more likely to be true than its competitors. I argue that upon close examination, the main candidates for providing such grounds — empirical evidence, intuition, and the theoretical virtues — all turn out to be unsatisfactory.
The main thesis of this paper is twofold. In the first half of the paper, (§§1-2), I argue that there are two notions of mental representation, which I call objective and subjective. In the second part (§§3-7), I argue that this casts familiar tracking theories of mental representation as incomplete: while it is clear how they might account for objective representation, they at least require supplementation to account for subjective representation.
We review some of the work already done around the notion of phenomenal intentionality and propose a way of turning this body of work into a self-conscious research program for understanding intentionality.
In defense of self-representationalism: reply to critics Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9764-8 Authors Uriah Kriegel, Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Abstract Let ?monism? be the view that there is only one basic object?the world. Monists face the question of whether there are also non-basic objects. This is in effect the question of whether the world decomposes into parts. Jonathan Schaffer maintains that it does, Terry Horgan and Matja? Potr? that it does not. In this paper, I propose a compromise view, which I call ?Kantian monism.? According to Kantian monism, the world decomposes into parts insofar as an ideal subject under (...) ideal conditions would divide it into parts, but it does not decompose into parts in and of itself, that is, in an entirely mind-independent manner. After articulating Kantian monism more precisely (Section 1), I present a prima facie case for preferring it over more standard varieties of monism (Section 2). (shrink)
In a series of publications, Tamar Gendler has argued for a distinction between belief and what she calls ?alief?. Gendler's argument for the distinction is a serviceability argument: the distinction is indispensable for explaining a whole slew of phenomena, typically involving ?belief-behaviour mismatch?. After embedding Gendler's distinction in a dual-process model of moral cognition, I argue here that the distinction also suggests a possible (dis)solution of what is perhaps the organizing problem of contemporary moral psychology: the apparent tension between the (...) inherently motivational role of moral judgments and their manifestly objectivistic phenomenology. I argue that moral judgments come in two varieties, moral aliefs and moral beliefs, and it is only the former that are inherently motivating and only the latter that have an objectivistic phenomenology. This serves to both bolster the case for the alief/belief distinction and shed new light on otherwise well-trodden territory in metaethics. I start with an exposition of the moral-psychological problem (?1) and a discussion of Gendler's alief/belief distinction (?2). I then apply the latter to moral judgments in an attempt to dissolve the former (?3). I close with discussion of the upshot for our understanding of moral thought, moral motivation, and moral phenomenology (?4). (shrink)
The current orthodoxy on mental representation can be characterized in terms of three central ideas. The -rst is ontological, the second semantic, and the third methodological. The ontological tenet is that mental representation is a two-place relation holding between a representing state and a represented entity (object, event, state of a.airs). The semantic tenet is that the relation in question is probably information-theoretic at heart, perhaps augmented teleologically, functionally, or teleo-functionally to cope with di/cult cases. The methodological tenet is that (...) mental representations are posited solely on third-person explanatory grounds. In this paper, I argue that this picture of mental representation is satisfactory only as an account of mental representation at the sub-personal level. It is unsatisfactory, in a principled way, as an account of mental representation at the personal level. (shrink)
Since the seventies, it has been customary to assume that intentionality is independent of consciousness. Recently, a number of philosophers have rejected this assumption, claiming intentionality is closely tied to consciousness, inasmuch as non- conscious intentionality in some sense depends upon conscious intentionality. Within this alternative framework, the question arises of how to account for unconscious intentionality, and different authors have offered different accounts. In this paper, I compare and contrast four possible accounts of unconscious intentionality, which I call potentialism, (...) inferentialism, eliminativism, and interpretivism. The first three are the leading accounts in the existing literature, while the fourth is my own proposal, which I argue to be superior. I then argue that an upshot of interpretivism is that all unconscious intentionality is ultimately grounded is a specific kind of cognitive phenomenology. (shrink)
According to the self-representational theory of consciousness – self- representationalism for short – a mental state is phenomenally conscious when, and only when, it represents itself in the right way. In this paper, I consider how self- representationalism might address the alleged explanatory gap between phenomenal consciousness and physical properties. I open with a presentation of self- representationalism and the case for it (§1). I then present what I take to be the most promising self-representational approach to the explanatory gap (...) (§2). That approach is threatened, however, by an objection to self-representationalism, due to Levine, which I call the just more representation objection (§3). I close with a discussion of how the self-representationalist might approach the objection (§4). (shrink)
In a series of publications, Eli Hirsch has presented a sustained defense of common-sense ontology. Hirsch's argument relies crucially on a meta-ontological position sometimes known as ‘superficialism’. Hirsch's argument from superficialism to common-sense ontology is typically resisted on the grounds that superficialism is implausible. In this paper, I present an alternative argument for common-sense ontology, one that relies on (what I argue is) a much more plausible meta-ontological position, which I call ‘constructivism’. Note well: I will not quite argue that (...) constructivism is true; merely that it is significantly more plausible than superficialism, and consequently affords a safer route to common-sense ontology. Thus my main goal in the paper is not quite to establish common-sense ontology, nor for that matter to refute Hirsch's argument for it. My goal is, in a way, more expressive than argumentative: I wish to articulate a novel meta-ontological position, one that I take to be in no way obviously less plausible than already familiar positions, and to point out that the position probably leads to common-sense ontology. I open, in section 1, with a discussion of Hirsch's argument and the main objection to it. I then develop, in section 2, a sketch of the alternative meta-ontology I have in mind. I close, in section 3, with the argument that this alternative meta-ontology, too, leads to common-sense ontology. (shrink)
Of all the problems attending the sense-datum theory, arguably the deepest is that it draws a veil of appearances over the external world. Today, the sense-datum theory is widely regarded as an overreaction to the problem of hallucination. Instead of accounting for hallucination in terms of intentional relations to sense data, it is often thought that we should account for it in terms of intentional relations to properties. In this paper, however, I argue that in the versions that might address (...) the problem of hallucination, this newer account is guilty of a vice similar to sense-datum theory’s: it draws a veil of abtracta over the concrete world. (shrink)
One of the most enduring elements of Davidson’s legacy is the idea that intentionality is inherently normative. The normativity of intentionality means different things to different people and in different contexts, however. A subsidiary goal of this paper is to get clear on the sense in which Davidson means the thesis that intentionality is inherently normative. The central goal of the paper is to consider whether the thesis is true, in light of recent work on intentionality that insists on an (...) intimate connection between intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. According to several recent authors, there is a kind of intentionality – “phenomenal intentionality” – that is fully constituted by the phenomenal character of conscious experiences. I will argue that although Davidson’s thesis, when correctly understood, is compelling for most intentionality, it is false of phenomenal intentionality. I start, in §1, with an explication of the notion of phenomenal intentionality; in §2, I elucidate Davidson’s thesis and his case for it; in §3, I argue that the case does not extend to phenomenal intentionality; I close, in §4, with some objections and replies. (shrink)
To a first approximation, self-representationalism is the view that a mental state M is phenomenally conscious just in case M represents itself in the appropriate way. Proponents of self-representationalism seem to think that the phenomenology of ordinary conscious experience is on their side, but opponents seem to think the opposite. In this paper, I consider the phenomenological merits and demerits of self-representationalism. I argue that there is phenomenological evidence in favor of self-representationalism, and rather more confidently, that there is no (...) phenomenological evidence against self-representationalism. (shrink)
John Searle has argued that all perceptual experiences are token-reflexive, in the sense that they are constituents of their own veridicality conditions. Many philosophers have found the kind of token-reflexivity he attributes to experiences, which I will call _causal_ token-reflexivity, unfaithful to perceptual phenomenology. In this paper, I develop an argument for a different sort of token-reflexivity in perceptual (as well as some non- perceptual) experiences, which I will call _temporal_ token-reflexivity, and which ought to be phenomenologically unobjectionable.
Locke’s theory of consciousness is often appropriated as a forerunner of present-day Higher-Order Perception (HOP) theories, but not much is said about it beyond that. We offer an interpretation of Locke’s account of consciousness that portrays it as crucially different from current-day HOP theory, both in detail and in spirit. In this paper, it is argued that there are good historical and philosophical reasons to attribute to Locke the view not that conscious states are accompanied by higher-order perceptions, but rather (...) that conscious states constitute perceptions of themselves. (shrink)
In this paper, we present a conditional argument for the moral permissibility of some kinds of infanticide. The argument is based on a certain view of consciousness and the claim that there is an intimate connection between consciousness and infanticide. In bare outline, the argument is this: it is impermissible to intentionally kill a creature only if the creature is conscious; it is reasonable to believe that there is some time at which human infants are conscious; therefore, it is reasonable (...) to believe that it is permissible to intentionally kill some human infants. (shrink)
In this paper, we present a conditional argument for the moral permissibility of some kinds of infanticide. The argument is based on a certain view of consciousness and the claim that there is an intimate connection between consciousness and infanticide. In bare outline, the argument is this: it is impermissible to intentionally kill a creature only if the creature is conscious; it is reasonable to believe that there is some time at which human infants are not conscious; therefore, it is (...) reasonable to believe that it is permissible to intentionally kill some human infants. (shrink)
We argue that the letter of the Extended Mind hypothesis can be accommodated by a strongly internalist, broadly Cartesian conception of mind. The argument turns centrally on an unusual but (we argue) highly plausible view on the mark of the mental.
Abstract: The 'special composition question' is this: given objects O1, . . . , On, under what conditions is there an object O, such that O1, . . . , On compose O? This paper explores a heterodox answer to this question, one that casts composition as a secondary quality. According to the approach I want to consider, there is an O that O1, . . . , On compose (roughly) just in case a normal intuiter would, under normal conditions, (...) intuit that there is. (shrink)
In this paper, I address the what, the how, and the why of moral phenomenology. I consider first the question What is moral phenomenology?, secondly the question How to pursue moral phenomenology?, and thirdly the question Why pursue moral phenomenology? My treatment of these questions is preliminary and tentative, and is meant not so much to settle them as to point in their answers’ direction.
The ontology of (merely) intentional objects is a can of worms. If we can avoid ontological commitment to such entities, we should. In this paper, I offer a strategy for accomplishing that. This is to reject the traditional act-object account of intentionality in favor of an adverbial account. According to adverbialism about intentionality, having a dragon thought is not a matter of bearing the thinking-about relation to dragons, but of engaging in the activity of thinking dragon-wise.
It has often been thought that our knowledge of ourselves is _different_ from, perhaps in some sense _better_ than, our knowledge of things other than ourselves. Indeed, there is a thriving research area in epistemology dedicated to seeking an account of self-knowledge that would articulate and explain its difference from, and superiority over, other knowledge. Such an account would thus illuminate the descriptive and normative difference between self-knowledge and other knowledge.<sup>1</sup> At the same time, self- knowledge has also encountered its (...) share of skeptics – philosophers who refuse to accord it any descriptive, let alone normative, distinction. In this paper, we argue that there is at least one _species_ of self-knowledge that is different from, and better than, other knowledge. It is a specific kind of knowledge of one’s concurrent phenomenal experiences. Call knowledge of one’s own phenomenal experiences _phenomenal knowledge_. Our claim is that some (though not all) phenomenal knowledge is different from, and better than, non-phenomenal knowledge. In other. (shrink)
b>. One major problem many hypotheses regarding the neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) face is what we might call “the why question”: _why _would this particular neural feature, rather than another, correlate with consciousness? The purpose of the present paper is to develop an NCC hypothesis that answers this question. The proposed hypothesis is inspired by the Cross-Order Integration (COI) theory of consciousness, according to which consciousness arises from the functional integration of a first-order representation of an external stimulus and (...) a second-order representation of that first-order representation. The proposal comes in two steps. The first step concerns the “general shape” of the NCC and can be directly derived from COI theory. The second step is a concrete hypothesis that can be arrived at by combining the general shape with empirical considerations. (shrink)