About this topic
Summary There are two main questions regarding the relation between consciousness and intentional content: does consciousness play a role in intentionality, and does intentionality play a role in consciousness? Phenomenal intentionality theories hold that consciousness plays a role in intentionality, whereas representational theories of consciousness (which go by the labels "representationalism" and "intentionalism") hold that intentionality plays a role in consciousness. Some views bring together these two positions.  
Key works Key statements of phenomenal intentionality theories include Searle 1992Searle 1993Strawson 1994, Horgan & Tienson 2002 and Pitt 2004. Key statements of representationalism include Harman 1990, Dretske 1995, Tye 1995, Lycan 1996, Byrne 2001, and Chalmers 2004.
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  1. Shaping Your Own Mind: The Self-Mindshaping View on Metacognition.Víctor Fernández-Castro & Fernando Martínez-Manrique - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (1):139-167.
    Starting from Proust’s distinction between the self-attributive and self-evaluative views on metacognition, this paper presents a third view: self-mindshaping. Based on the notion of mindshaping as the core of social cognition, the self-mindshaping view contends that mindshaping abilities can be turned on one’s own mind. Against the self-attributive view, metacognition is not a matter of accessing representations to metarepresent them but of giving shape to those representations themselves. Against the self-evaluative view, metacognition is not blind to content but relies heavily (...)
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  2. A Role for Conscious Accessibility in Skilled Action.Chiara Brozzo - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-15.
    Skilled sportsmen or musicians—more generally, skilled agents—often fill us with awe with the way they perform their actions. One question we may ask ourselves is whether they intended to perform some awe-inspiring aspects of their actions. This question becomes all the more pressing as it often turns out that these agents were not conscious of some of those aspects at the time of performance. As I shall argue, there are reasons for suspecting lack of conscious access to an aspect of (...)
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  3. Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness Are Empirically False.N. Greely - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (11-12):30-54.
    Higher-order theories of consciousness come in many varieties, but all adopt the 'transitivity principle' as a central, explanatory premise. The transitivity principle states that a mental state of a subject is conscious if and only if the subject is aware of it. This higher-order awareness is realized in different ways in different forms of higher-order theory. I argue that empirical studies of metacognition have falsified the transitivity principle by showing that there can be awareness of a mental state without that (...)
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  4. Effort, Uncertainty, and the Sense of Agency.Oliver Lukitsch - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):955-975.
    Orthodox neurocognitive accounts of the bodily sense of agency suggest that the experience of agency arises when action-effects are anticipated accurately. In this paper, I argue that while successful anticipation is crucial for the sense of agency, the role of unsuccessful prediction has been neglected, and that inefficacy and uncertainty are no less central to the sense of agency. I will argue that this is reflected in the phenomenology of agency, which can be characterized both as the experience of efficacy (...)
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  5. The Living Mirror Theory of Consciousness.J. E. Cooke - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (9-10):127-147.
    An explanatory gap exists between physics and experience, raising the hard problem of consciousness: why are certain physical systems associated with an experience of an external world from an internal perspective? The living mirror theory holds that consciousness can be understood as arising from the computational interaction between a living system and its environment that is required for the organism's existence and survival. Maintaining a boundary that protects the system against destructive forces requires an interaction between the organism and its (...)
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  6. Emotional Consciousness in Autism.S. Arnaud - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (9-10):34-59.
    An abundant literature on autism shows differences in emotional consciousness between neurotypical and autistic people. This paper proposes an interpretation of these results through a conceptual clarification of emotional consciousness. It suggests that autistic people generally access their emotions through a thirdperson's perspective whereas neurotypical people's emotions reach consciousness via first-person access. This interpretation is based on a model of 'emotional consciousness' that applies leading theories of consciousness to emotions as well as on research on the way autistic people relate (...)
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  7. Prima la verità, poi la pace.Ferruccio Vigna - 2011 - In La depressione creativa. Torino TO, Italia:
    La recente pubblicazione in lingua italiana del Libro Rosso, che è stato definito l’inedito forse più importante nella storia della psicologia, è stata celebrata in numerosi convegni specialistici, compreso quello da cui originano i saggi che costituiscono questo libro. Il Libro Rosso è il libro segreto di Jung, quello sul quale egli trascrisse in parole e immagini, per oltre sedici anni, i sogni e le visioni che popolarono la sua autoanalisi. Negli ultimi anni di vita Jung lo definiva come il (...)
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  8. Stock Returns and the Mind: An Unlikely Result that Could Change Our Understanding of Consciousness.U. Holmberg - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (7-8):31-49.
    Emotions and feelings affect economic systems. This is well known as e.g. stock markets tend to react to sudden political and emotional events. However, the link between emotions, consciousness, and economic systems at a deeper level than the aggregate resulting action of people at large is yet to be explored and understood. In this paper, a first building block is presented as it is shown that a variable derived from the random numbers obtained by the Global Consciousness Project is statistically (...)
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  9. Two Problems for Non-Inferentialist Views of the Meta-Problem.Graham Peebles - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):156-165.
    The meta-problem of consciousness is to explain why we think that there is a hard problem of consciousness. On Chalmers' view of the meta-problem, our judgments about the hard problem of consciousness arise non-inferentially as a result of introspection. I raise two problems for such a non-inferentialist view of the metaproblem. It does not seem to match the psychological facts about how we come to the realization of the hard problem, and it is unclear how the view can bridge the (...)
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  10. Illusionism Helps Realism Confront the Meta-Problem.R. C. Schriner - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):166-173.
    Chalmers (2018) maintains that even if we understood every physical process in the brain we could still wonder why these processes give rise to conscious experience. The meta-problem is the challenge of explaining why we think this 'hard problem' exists. This response to the target paper endorses illusionist accounts of three 'problem intuitions' about consciousness: duality, presentation, and revelation. Subject–object duality is explained in terms of a clash between two compelling but contradictory convictions about consciousness. Phenomenal presence is understood in (...)
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  11. Why Does the Brain-Mind (Consciousness) Problem Seem So Hard?J. F. Storm - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):174-189.
    Why is there a 'hard problem' of consciousness? Why do we seem unable to grasp intuitively that physical brain processes can be identical to experiences? Here I comment on the 'meta-problem' (Chalmers, 2018), based on previous ideas (Storm, 2014; 2018). In short: humans may be 'inborn dualists' ('neuroscepticism'), because evolution gave us two (types of) brain systems (or functional modes): one (Sp) for understanding relatively simple physical phenomena, and another (Sm) specialized for mental phenomena. Because Sp cannot deal with the (...)
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  12. Ignorance and the Meta-Problem of Consciousness.T. McClelland - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):108-119.
    Chalmers (2018) considers a wide range of possible responses to the meta-problem of consciousness. Among them is the ignorance hypothesis -- the view that there only appears to be a hard problem because of our inadequate conception of the physical. Although Chalmers quickly dismisses this view, I argue that it has much greater promise than he recognizes. The plausibility of the ignorance hypothesis depends on how exactly one frames the 'problem intuitions' that a solution to the meta-problem must explain. I (...)
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  13. Précis of The Unity of Perception.Susanna Schellenberg - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):715-720.
  14. Consciousness and Information Integration.Berit Brogaard, Bartek Chomanski & Dimitria Electra Gatzia - forthcoming - Synthese.
    Integration information theories posit that the integration of information is necessary and/or sufficient for consciousness. In this paper, we focus on three of the most prominent information integration theories: Information Integration Theory, Global Workspace Theory, and Attended Intermediate-Level Theory. We begin by explicating each theory and key concepts they utilize. We then argue that the current evidence indicates that the integration of information is neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness. Unlike GWT and AIR, IIT maintains that conscious experience is both (...)
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  15. From Biological to Synthetic Neurorobotics Approaches to Understanding the Structure Essential to Consciousness (Part 2).Jun Tani & Jeff White - 2016 - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 2 (16):29-41.
    We have been left with a big challenge, to articulate consciousness and also to prove it in an artificial agent against a biological standard. After introducing Boltuc’s h-consciousness in the last paper, we briefly reviewed some salient neurology in order to sketch less of a standard than a series of targets for artificial consciousness, “most-consciousness” and “myth-consciousness.” With these targets on the horizon, we began reviewing the research program pursued by Jun Tani and colleagues in the isolation of the formal (...)
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  16. Phenomenal Overflow, Bodily Affect, and Some Varieties of Access.Sean Smith - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):787-808.
    The phenomenal overflow thesis states that the content of phenomenally conscious mental states can exceed our capacities of cognitive access. Much of the philosophical and scientific debate about the phenomenal overflow thesis has been focused on vision, attention, and verbal report. My view is that we feel things in our bodies that we don’t always process with the resources of cognitive access. Thinking about the question of phenomenal overflow from the perspective of embodied affect rather than the content of visual (...)
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  17. IIT Vs. Russellian Monism: A Metaphysical Showdown on the Content of Experience.M. Grasso - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (1-2):48-75.
    Integrated information theory attempts to account for both the quantitative and the phenomenal aspects of consciousness, and in taking consciousness as fundamental and widespread it bears similarities to panpsychist Russellian monism. In this paper I compare IIT's and RM's response to the conceivability argument, and their metaphysical account of conscious experience. I start by claiming that RM neutralizes the conceivability argument, but that by virtue of its commitment to categoricalism it doesn't exclude fickle qualia scenarios. I argue that IIT's core (...)
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  18. The Transient Hypofrontality Theory of Altered States of Consciousness.A. Dietrich & L. Al-Shawaf - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (11-12):226-247.
    Consciousness-altering behaviour is, to a first approximation, a universal phenomenon; practically all human societies have experimented with altered states of consciousness in some form. In this article, we review the neuroscientific and psychological evidence in favour of the transient hypofrontality theory, a general brain mechanism that can account for a great number of phenomenological features shared by all ASCs. The theory is based on the conceptualization of brain areas and mental abilities into a functional hierarchy with the top layers in (...)
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  19. A Neurotheological Perspective on Altered States of Consciousness.A. B. Newberg & D. B. Yaden - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (11-12):202-225.
    This article reviews the most recent information and data regarding brain processes associated with altered states of consciousness. It takes a neurotheological approach, seeking to blend what is known about these states, particularly as they relate to religious and spiritual experiences, in terms of brain processes and subjective elements of the experiences. The overall goal is to provide a comprehensive model that incorporates multiple brain areas including cortical, limbic, and subcortical structures, as well as considers the various neurotransmitters that might (...)
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  20. Expanding the Scientific Study of Self-Experience with Psychedelics.M. Girn & K. Christoff - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (11-12):131-154.
    The nature of the self has long been a topic of discussion in philosophical and religious contexts, and has recently also garnered significant scientific attention. Although evidence exists to suggest the multifaceted nature of self-experience, the amount of research done on each of its putative components has not been uniform. Whereas selfreflective processing has been studied extensively, non-reflective aspects of self-experience have been the subject of comparatively little empirical research. This discrepancy may be linked to the methodological difficulties in experimentally (...)
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  21. Mind--Brain Relationship and the Perspective of Meaning.R. Mukhopadhyay - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):184-208.
    We view the mind-body problem in terms of the two interconnected problems of phenomenal consciousness and mental causation, namely, how subjective conscious experience can arise from physical neurological processes and how conscious mental states can causally act upon the physical world. In order to address these problems, I develop here a non-physicalist framework that combines two apparently antithetical views: the materialist view of the mind as a product of the brain and the metaphysical view of consciousness rooted in an underlying (...)
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  22. Sceptical Alternatives: Strong Illusionism Versus Modest Realism.R. C. Schriner - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):209-227.
    Daniel Dennett and others have suggested that qualia and introspectible phenomena do not exist. Dennett's account of consciousness, along with several related approaches, has been called illusionism by Keith Frankish. Frankish's analysis is helpful and provocative. As currently presented, however, his 'strong' version of illusionism suffers from several basic confusions, particularly regarding its relationship to eliminative materialism. This paper contrasts strong illusionism with an alternative that is easier to understand and more sharply focused -- fallibilist experiential realism, or, less technically, (...)
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  23. A Structuralist Defence of the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness.M. D. Beni - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):75-98.
    This paper addresses John Searle's criticism of the integrated information theory of consciousness. Among other things, Searle claimed that, since information is a syntactic notion, IITC cannot account for the content of consciousness. He also argued that IITC cannot explain consciousness in causal terms. In this paper, I demonstrate that the original formulation of IITC is compatible with a structuralist reading. After that, I explain how a structuralist reconstruction of IITC could deal with the objections that Searle raised. Among other (...)
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  24. Phenomenology of Mathematical Understanding.A. Van-Quynh & F. L. Wolcott - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (11-12):193-215.
    We present the results of a phenomenological methodology that allowed for the investigation of the experience of understanding an abstract mathematical object as effectively lived by active mathematicians. Our method of analysis reveals the essential structure of such a phenomenon and, as a consequence, permits us to address the conditions of possibility for the occurrence of this particular phenomenon. We show that the different modalities of the experience of understanding an abstract mathematical object, as unearthed by the elucidation of the (...)
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  25. Whose Voice Speaks for Consciousness?M. M. Browning - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (9-10):181-204.
    This paper tells the story of consciousness from each of the three 'person' perspectives of the English language, with the author arguing for the equally fundamental social and personal bases of human consciousness. The 'lived' second-person position of ecological psychology is the starting point for the organic, yet socially embedded, consciousness of the non-symbolic human infant. First- and third-person positions are 'reflective' sociohistorical perspectives enabled by the development of symbolic functioning. The paper presents Llinás's compelling evolutionary account but supplements this (...)
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  26. Explaining Levitation By Denying Gravity: A Response to Kenneth McRitchie's Article 'Clearing the Logjam in Astrological Research'.G. Dean & I. Kelly - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (7-8):217-232.
    An astrologer (McRitchie) replied to our article criticizing the claims of astrologers who hold that psychic or supernatural factors play a role in astrological readings (JCS, 2003). However, McRitchie mistakes our 2003 JCS article 'Is Astrology Relevant to Consciousness and Psi' for an attack on astrology when it merely asks if the performance of astrologers has implications for consciousness and psi. For example, he attempts to validate astrology by citing studies we ignored and by highlighting the supposed flaws that made (...)
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  27. What is It Like a Meditate? Methods and Issues for a Micro-Phenomenological Description of Meditative Experience.C. Petitmengin, M. van Beek, M. Bitbol, J. -M. Nissou & A. Roepstorff - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (5-6):170-198.
    In our society, where interest in Buddhist meditation is expanding enormously, numerous scientific studies are now conducted on the neurophysiological effects of meditation practices and on the neural correlates of meditative states. However, very few studies have been conducted on the experience associated with contemplative practice: what it is like to meditate -- from moment to moment, at different stages of practice -- remains almost invisible in contemporary contemplative science. Recently, 'micro-phenomenological' interview methods have been developed to help us become (...)
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  28. The Arrow of Mind.R. Le Poidevin - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (3-4):112-126.
    Episodic memory provides a peculiarly intimate kind of access to our experiential past. Does this tell us anything about the nature of time, and in particular the basis of time's direction? This paper will argue that the causal theory of temporal direction enables us to unify a number of the key features of episodic memory: its being about particular past experiences, its reliable representation of experiences as past, and the derivative nature of this kind of access to the past: that (...)
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  29. The Gap Between Aesthetic Science and Aesthetic Experience.A. D. J. Makin - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (1-2):184-213.
    For over a century we have attempted to understand human aesthetic experience using scientific methods. A typical experiment could be described as reductive and quasi-psychophysical. We vary some aspect of the stimulus and systematically measure some aspect of the aesthetic response. The limitations of this approach can be categorized as problems on the Y axis and the X axis. The most enigmatic components of aesthetic experience include inclination to cry, aesthetic rapture, a sense of the sublime, and intense fascination. However, (...)
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  30. Phenomenal Consciousness, Defined and Defended as Innocently as I Can Manage.E. Schwitzgebel - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):224-235.
    Phenomenal consciousness can be conceptualized innocently enough that its existence should be accepted even by philosophers who wish to avoid dubious epistemic and metaphysical commitments such as dualism, infallibilism, privacy, inexplicability, or intrinsic simplicity. Definition by example allows us this innocence. Positive examples include sensory experiences, imagery experiences, vivid emotions, and dreams. Negative examples include growth hormone release, dispositional knowledge, standing intentions, and sensory reactivity to masked visual displays. Phenomenal consciousness is the most folk-psychologically obvious thing or feature that the (...)
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  31. Illusionism and Givenness.J. L. Garfield - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):73-82.
    There is no phenomenal consciousness; there is nothing 'that it is like' to be me. To believe in phenomenal consciousness or 'what-it's-like-ness' or 'for-me-ness' is to succumb to a pernicious form of the Myth of the Given. I argue that there are no good arguments for the existence of such a kind of consciousness and draw on arguments from Buddhist philosophy of mind to show that the sense that there is such a kind of consciousness is an instance of cognitive (...)
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  32. Editorial Introduction: Consciousness Unbound: Going Beyond the Brain.M. Silberstein & A. Chemero - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (3-4):6-15.
  33. The Experience Dependent Dynamics of Human Consciousness.Birgitta Dresp-Langley - 2018 - Open Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):116-143.
    By reviewing most of the neurobiology of consciousness, this article highlights some major reasons why a successful emulation of the dynamics of human consciousness by artificial intelligence is unlikely. The analysis provided leads to conclude that human consciousness is epigenetically determined and experience and context-dependent at the individual level. It is subject to changes in time that are essentially unpredictable. If cracking the code to human consciousness were possible, the result would most likely have to consist of a temporal pattern (...)
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  34. Consciousness: Creative and Self-Creating. Bukala - 1991 - Philosophy Today 35 (1):14-25.
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  35. Presence and Transparency: A Reading of Levertov's Sands of the Well.Edward Zlotkowski - 1997 - Renascence 50 (1/2):135-151.
  36. On the Nature and Cognitive Function of Phenomenal Content - Part One.Ivan Fox - 1989 - Philosophical Topics 17 (1):81-117.
  37. State Consciousness Revisited.Pierre Jacob - 1996 - Acta Analytica 11 (16):29-54.
    I try to reconcile Dretske's representational theory of conscious mental states with Rosenthal's higher-order thought theory of conscious mental states by arguing that Rosenthal's HOT can make room for the notion of a state of consciousness whereby an invidual may be conscious of an object or property without thereby being conscious of being in such a state.
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  38. Consciousness, Intentionality and Function. What Is the Right Order of Explanation?Pierre Jacob - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1):195-200.
    I examine and criticize John Searle's view of the relationships between consciousness, intentionality and function.
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  39. On the 'Hyperinsulation' and 'Transparency' of Imaginery Situations.Jérome Pelletier - 2007 - In María José Frápolli (ed.), Saying, Meaning and Referring: Essays on François Recanati's Philosophy of Language. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    I make a few comments concerning the way Recanati analyses imaginary situations in two realms : : the realm of the fictional and the realm of the ascription of beliefs.
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  40. Structure of Phenomenal Domains.John L. Rinn - 1965 - Psychological Review 72 (6):445-466.
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  41. The Case for Phenomenal Externalism.William G. Lycan - 2001 - Noûs 35 (s15):17-35.
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  42. The Division of Phenomenal Labor: A Problem for Representational Theories of Consciousness.Karen Neander - 1998 - Noûs 32 (S12):411-434.
  43. God and Phenomenal Consciousness: A Novel Approach to Knowledge Arguments.Yujin Nagasawa - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
    In God and Phenomenal Consciousness, Yujin Nagasawa bridges debates in two distinct areas of philosophy: the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of religion. First, he introduces some of the most powerful arguments against the existence of God and provides objections to them. He then presents a parallel structure between these arguments and influential arguments offered by Thomas Nagel and Frank Jackson against the physicalist approach to phenomenal consciousness. By appealing to this structure, Nagasawa constructs novel objections to Jackson's and (...)
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  44. Content, Consciousness, and Cambridge Change.Matthew Rellihan - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (4):325-345.
    Representationalism is widely thought to grease the skids of ontological reduction. If phenomenal character is just a certain sort of intentional content, representationalists argue, the hard problem of accommodating consciousness within a broadly naturalistic view of the world reduces to the much easier problem of accommodating intentionality. I argue, however, that there’s a fatal flaw in this reasoning, for if phenomenal character really is just a certain sort of intentional content, it’s not anything like the sort of intentional content described (...)
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  45. Intentionality and Mental Acts.Ausonio Marras - 1967 - Dissertation, Duke University
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  46. The Problem of Intentionality in Recent Analytic Philosophy.Thomas Michael Lennon - 1968 - Dissertation, The Ohio State University
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  47. Consciousness, Intentionality, and Self-Knowledge Replies to Ludwig and Thomasson.Charles Siewert - 2002 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 8.
    Both Ludwig and Thomasson question my claim that many phenomenal features are intentional features. Further, Ludwig raises numerous objections to my claim that higher order mental representation is not essential to phenomenal consciousness. While Thomasson does not share those objections, she wonders how my view permits me to make first-person knowledge of mind depend on phenomenal consciousness. I respond to these challenges, drawing together questions about the forms of mental representation, the phenomenal character of sensory experience, rational agency, and introspection.
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  48. Agentive Phenomenal Intentionality and the Limits of Introspection.Terry Horgan - 2007 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 13.
    I explore the prospects for overcoming the prima facie tension in the following four claims, all of which I accept: the phenomenal character of experience is narrow; virtually all aspects of the phenomenal character of experience are intentional; the most fundamental kind of mental intentionality is fully constituted by phenomenal character; and yet introspection does not by itself reliably generate answers to certain philosophically important questions about the phenomenally constituted intentional content of experience. The apparent tension results from the following (...)
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  49. Information and Consciousness.Shaun Perceval-Maxwell - 2003 - Dissertation, Queen's University at Kingston (Canada)
    This thesis includes both critical and constructive components. It presents ontological and epistemic arguments against reductive, physicalist accounts of consciousness and develops a limited form of content-first dual aspect theory as an alternative. Phenomenally conscious states, states that it is like something to have, are hypothesized to be dependent on, but irreducible to, certain sorts of information states. The cost of this position is not the unity of science but the inflation of our ontology. ;The case for inflation is supported (...)
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  50. An Introspectivist View of the Mental.Brie Gertler - 1997 - Dissertation, Brown University
    My dissertation has three interrelated aims: to defend introspectivism, the view that the deliverances of introspection should be basic data for philosophical theories of the mind, from pivotal objections which inspire the currently prevailing anti-introspectivist approach to mentality; to advance a substantive account of introspection; and to lay the groundwork for a more general theory about the mental. ;I begin by analyzing a host of philosophical problems about the mind; in each, I isolate the source of perplexity in an epistemic (...)
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