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Summary Higher-order theories of consciousness seek to explain the difference between conscious mental states and unconscious mental states. We have both common sense as well as scientific reasons to think that mental functioning can occur both consciously and unconsciously. Higher-order theories explain this difference in terms of our having some kind of (unconscious) higher-order awareness which makes it the case that I am aware of myself as being in some mental state. The claim that a conscious mental state is one which I am in some suitable way aware of myself as being in is commonly referred to as the Transitivity Principle.
Key works For an overview and comparison of various higher-order approaches see: Rosenthal 2004.  For a collection of important papers by David Rosenthal see: Rosenthal 2005. A recent challenge comes from Ned Block here: Block 2011. See here for Rosenthal's reply: Rosenthal 2011.  For a defense of higher-order perception see: Lycan 2004. Balog 2000 discusses an objection from the possibility of HOT-zombies -creatures with all of my HOTs and none of my first-order states. Hardcastle 2004 criticizes what she takes to be Rosenhal's reasoning in support of higher-order theories.  Matey 2011 offers a defense of the higher-order thought theory in a modified form.
Introductions Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Carruthers 2008; Scholarpedia: Rosenthal & Weisberg 2008; Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Droege 2005
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  1. What Can Synesthesia Teach Us About Higher Order Theories of Consciousness?Fred Adams & Charlotte Shreve - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (3):251-257.
    In this article, we will describe higher order thought theories of consciousness. Then we will describe some examples from synesthesia. Finally, we will explain why the latter may be relevant to the former.
  2. Higher-Order Magneto-Electric Effects.Edgar Ascher - 1968 - Philosophical Magazine 17 (145):149-157.
  3. Mental States, Conscious and Nonconscious.Jacob Berger - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (6):392-401.
    I discuss here the nature of nonconscious mental states and the ways in which they may differ from their conscious counterparts. I first survey reasons to think that mental states can and often do occur without being conscious. Then, insofar as the nature of nonconscious mentality depends on how we understand the nature of consciousness, I review some of the major theories of consciousness and explore what restrictions they may place on the kinds of states that can occur nonconsciously. I (...)
  4. Cultivating the Higher Order Thinking Ability in EFL Reading Class.Bhaila Birendra - 2011 - Fenomenologia. Diálogos Possíveis Campinas: Alínea/Goiânia: Editora da Puc Goiás 11:269-282.
  5. The Problem of the Rock and the Grammar of Consciousness.Lajos L. Brons - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):5-12.
    The “Problem of the Rock” (PoR) is a famous objection to Higher-Order (HO) theories of consciousness. According to PoR, the HO theorists’ claim that a mental state is conscious iff there is a higher-order mental state about it implies that a rock is also conscious iff there is a higher-order mental state about it. In this paper I show that this argument confuses two grammatically distinct attributions of consciousness, and that if the consequent equivocation fallacy is avoided, PoR is either (...)
  6. Adverbial Theories of Consciousness.Panayot K. Butchvarov - 1980 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (3):261-80.
  7. The Nature of Mind, Ed. David Rosenthal.Tim Chappell - 1992 - Philosophy Now 3:43-44.
  8. Can Consciousness Be Explained?Reena Cheruvalath & Baiju - 2001 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 18 (3):222-226.
  9. Higher-Order Logics.Nino Cocchiarella - 1991 - In Hans Burkhardt & Barry Smith (eds.), Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology. Philosophia Verlag. pp. 466--470.
  10. E. Higher., Order Thought and Representationalism.Explaining Consciousness - 2002 - In David J. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press. pp. 406.
  11. Bases for First-Order Theories and Subtheories.William Craig - 1960 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 25 (2):97-142.
  12. Ensemble of Tensor Classifiers Based on the Higher-Order Singular Value Decomposition.Bogusław Cyganek - 2012 - In Emilio Corchado, Vaclav Snasel, Ajith Abraham, Michał Woźniak, Manuel Grana & Sung-Bae Cho (eds.), Hybrid Artificial Intelligent Systems. Springer. pp. 578--589.
  13. An Inquiry Into the Process of Human Experience: Attempting to Set Forth its Lower Laws, with Some Hints as to the Higher Phenomena of Consciousness.William Cyples - 1880 - Mind 5 (18):273-280.
  14. Conference Oh the Electron Capture and Higher Order Processes in Nuclear Decays.P. Depohhier - 1968 - In Peter Koestenbaum (ed.), Proceedings. [San Jose? Calif.. pp. 1--202.
  15. Dinamika Obydennogo Soznaniia.I. I. Dubinin & L. G. Gusliakova - 1985 - Izd-Vo Universitetskoe.
  16. Ḥiwi Al-Balkhi: A Comparative Study. Judah Rosenthal.Louis H. Feldman - 1950 - Speculum 25 (2):294-295.
  17. A Consistent Higher-Order Theory Without a Model.Thomas Forster - 1989 - Zeitschrift fur mathematische Logik und Grundlagen der Mathematik 35 (5):385-386.
  18. Higher Set Theory.Harvey Friedman - manuscript
    Russell’s way out of his paradox via the impre-dicative theory of types has roughly the same logical power as Zermelo set theory - which supplanted it as a far more flexible and workable axiomatic foundation for mathematics. We discuss some new formalisms that are conceptually close to Russell, yet simpler, and have the same logical power as higher set theory - as represented by the far more powerful Zermelo-Frankel set theory and beyond. END.
  19. Deaccenting and Higher-Order Unification.Claire Gardent - 2000 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 9 (3):313-338.
    The HOU-based analysis of ellipsis was shown byDalrymple et al. (1991) and Shieber et al. (1996) to correctly capture thecomplex interaction of VP-ellipsis, scope and anaphora and claimed toextend to further related phenomena. When applied to deaccenting, theanalysis makes a strong prediction, namely that all anaphors occurringin the deaccented part of a deaccented utterance are parallelanaphors, i.e., anaphors that resolve to their parallel counterpart inthe source. I argue that this prediction is supported by the data andshow that it correctly captures (...)
  20. Higher{Order Coloured Uni Cation and Natural Language Semantics.Claire Gardent & Michael Kohlhase - unknown
    In this paper, we show that Higher{Order Coloured Uni cation { a form of uni cation developed for automated theorem proving { provides a general theory for modeling the interface between the interpretation process and other sources of linguistic, non semantic information. In particular, it provides the general theory for the Primary Occurrence Restriction which (Dalrymple et al., 1991)'s analysis called for.
  21. Simon Browne and the Paradox of 'Being in Denial'.B. P. Garvey - 2001 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):3-20.
    It is often taken to be intuitively obvious that if one is in a given conscious state, then one knows that one is in that state. This alleged obvious truth lies at the heart of two very different philosophical doctrines fithe Cartesian doctrine that one has incorrigible knowledge about one?s own conscious states, and the view that one can explain all conscious states in terms of higher-order awareness of mental states. The present paper begins with a description of the real-life (...)
  22. Towards a General Theory of Antirepresentationalism.F. C. Garzon - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):259-292.
    This work represents an attempt to stake out the landscape for dynamicism based on a radical dismissal of the information-processing paradigm that dominates the philosophy of cognitive science. In Section 2, after setting up the basic toolkit of a theory of minimal representationalism, I introduce the central tenets of dynamic systems theory (DST) by discussing recent research in the dynamics of embodiment (Thelen et al. [2001]) in the perseverative-reaching literature. A recent proposal on the dynamics of representation--the dynamic field approach (...)
  23. In Defense of H.O.T. Theory: A Second Reply to Adams and Shreve.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2017 - Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 4 (2):231-239.
    In Gennaro (2016), I had originally replied to Fred Adams and Charlotte Shreve’s (2016) paper entitled “What Can Synesthesia Teach Us About Higher Order Theories of Consciousness?,” previously published in Symposion. I argued that H.O.T. theory does have the resources to account for synesthesia and the specific worries that they advance in their paper, such as the relationship between concepts and experience and the ability to handle instances of ‘pop-out’ experiences. They counter-reply in Adams and Shreve (2017) and also raise (...)
  24. Does Consciousness Entail Self-Consciousness?Rocco Joseph Gennaro - 1991 - Dissertation, Syracuse University
    Consciousness entails self-consciousness. The entailment is generally denied for two reasons: some primitive forms of consciousness do not seem to require self-consciousness, and self-consciousness is regarded as a sophisticated capacity that need not accompany all conscious states. However, I show that what best explains how a mental state becomes conscious is that it is accompanied by a meta-psychological thought to the effect that one is in that mental state. I argue at some length that the meta-psychological state must specifically be (...)
  25. The Higher Criticism.GeoW Gilmore - 1904 - The Monist 14 (2):215-252.
  26. On the Problem of Self-Consciousness and the Origins of the Expressive Order: Commentaries on Dobert, Ruben and Keiler.R. Harre - 1981 - In Uffe Juul Jensen & Rom Harré (eds.), The Philosophy of Evolution. St. Martin's Press. pp. 26--155.
  27. A Worthy Enterprise Injured by Overinterpretation and Misrepresentation.Marc D. Hauser & Jon Sakata - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (4):638.
  28. Blandine Kriegel, The State and the Rule of Law Reviewed By.Mary Hawkesworth - 1996 - Philosophy in Review 16 (4):260-262.
  29. Review. Language and Thought: Interdisciplinary Themes. P Carruthers, J Boucher [Eds].J. Heal - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (2):305-308.
  30. Consciousness Despite Network Underconnectivity in Autism: Another Case of Consciousness Without Prefrontal Activity?William Hirstein - 2015 - In Rocco Gennaro (ed.), Disturbed Consciousness: New Essays on Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness. The M. I. T, Press. pp. 249-263.
    Recent evidence points to widespread underconnectivity in autistic brains owing to deviant white matter, the fibers that make long connections between areas of the cortex. Subjects with autism show measurably fewer long-range connections between the parietal and prefrontal cortices. These findings may help shed light on the current debate in the consciousness literature about whether conscious states require both prefrontal and parietal/temporal components. If it can be shown that people with autism have conscious states despite such underconnectivity, this would constitute (...)
  31. State Consciousness Revisited.Pierre Jacob - unknown
    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.
  32. Leibniz on Memory and Consciousness.Larry M. Jorgensen - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (5):887-916.
    In this article, I develop a higher-order interpretation of Leibniz's theory of consciousness according to which memory is constitutive of consciousness. I offer an account of Leibniz's theory of memory on which his theory of consciousness may be based, and I then show that Leibniz could have developed a coherent higher-order account. However, it is not clear whether Leibniz held (or should have held) such an account of consciousness; I sketch an alternative that has at least as many advantages as (...)
  33. On Wholeness and Implicate Order in Crystals and its Implications for Consciousness Studies.Shirin Kaboli - 2016 - Cosmos and History 12 (2):137-149.
  34. Emergence of Higher Order Rotational Symmetry in the Hidden Order Phase of URuSi.N. Kanchanavatee, M. Janoschek, K. Huang, B. D. White, P. S. Riseborough, A. V. Balatsky & M. B. Maple - forthcoming - Philosophical Magazine:1-11.
  35. Nietzsche's Theory of Mind: Consciousness and Conceptualization.Paul Katsafanas - 2005 - European Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):1–31.
    I show that Nietzsche's puzzling and seemingly inconsistent claims about consciousness constitute a coherent and philosophically fruitful theory. Drawing on some ideas from Schopenhauer and F.A. Lange, Nietzsche argues that conscious mental states are mental states with conceptually articulated content, whereas unconscious mental states are mental states with non-conceptually articulated content. Nietzsche's views on concepts imply that conceptually articulated mental states will be superficial and in some cases distorting analogues of non-conceptually articulated mental states. Thus, the claim that conscious states (...)
  36. Reflexivity and Eigenform: The Shape of Process.L. Kauffman - 2009 - Constructivist Foundations 4 (3):121-137.
    Purpose: The paper discusses the concept of a reflexive domain, an arena where the apparent objects as entities of the domain are actually processes and transformations of the domain as a whole. Human actions in the world partake of the patterns of reflexivity, and the productions of human beings, including science and mathematics, can be seen in this light. Methodology: Simple mathematical models are used to make conceptual points. Context: The paper begins with a review of the author's previous work (...)
  37. Brentano and the Relational View of Consciousness.Otis T. Kent - 1984 - Man and World 17 (1):19-52.
    What is consciousness? brentano suggests that consciousness is a simple binary relation between a self and an object. in this paper, i offer a textual clarification and a qualified philosophical defense of brentano's suggestion. in part i, i indicate the ordinary facts of subjective experience that any adequate theory of consciousness must account for. in part ii, i argue on textual grounds that brentano's theory has been misunderstood by chisholm. in part iii, i argue that brentano's theory meets the conditions (...)
  38. Carruthers, Peter. Phenomenal Consciousness: A Naturalistic Theory.Amy Kind - 2001 - Review of Metaphysics 55 (1):125-127.
  39. Empirical Support for Higher-Order Theories of Conscious Awareness.Hakwan Lau & David Rosenthal - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (8):365-373.
  40. The Higher-Order View Does Not Require Consciously Self-Directed Introspection: Response to Malach.Hakwan Lau & David Rosenthal - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (11):508-509.
  41. Mental and Bodily Awareness in Infancy: Consciousness of Self-Existence.Maria Legerstee - 1998 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (5-6):5-6.
    In this article, I will draw on my own work and related publications to present some intuitions and hypotheses about the nature of the self and the mechanisms that lead to the development of consciousness or self awareness in human infants during the first 6 months of life. My main purpose is to show that the origins of a concept of self include the physical and the mental selves. I believe that it is essential when trying to understand what a (...)
  42. Knowing What It is Like 'in DM Rosenthal'.D. K. Lewis - 1991 - In David M. Rosenthal (ed.), The Nature of Mind. Oxford University Press.
  43. Higher Order Matching is Undecidable.R. Loader - 2003 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 11 (1):51-68.
    We show that the solvability of matching problems in the simply typed λ-calculus, up to β equivalence, is not decidable. This decidability question was raised by Huet [4].Note that there are two variants of the question: that concerning β equivalence, and that concerning βη equivalence.The second of these is perhaps more interesting; unfortunately the work below sheds no light on it, except perhaps to illustrate the subtlety and difficulty of the problem.
  44. Toward an Instance Theory of Automatization.G. D. Logan - 1987 - Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 25 (5):342-342.
  45. Toward an Instance Theory of Automatization.Gordon D. Logan - 1988 - Psychological Review 95 (4):492-527.
  46. Review of Peter Carruthers, Michael Siegal, Stephen Stich, (Eds.), The Cognitive Basis of Science[REVIEW]Nicola Lonsdale - 2003 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (3).
  47. A Simple Argument for a Higher-Order Representation Theory of Consciousness.William G. Lycan - 2001 - Analysis 61 (1):3-4.
  48. XIII. Note Upon the Occurrence of a New Puccinia Upon Mesembryanthemum Micranthum Haw.P. MacOwan - 1879 - Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society 2 (2):89-90.
  49. Conscious Perception and the Frontal Lobes: Comment on Lau and Rosenthal.Rafael Malach - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (11):507.
  50. Exemplarization and Self-Presentation: Lehrer and Meinong on Consciousness. [REVIEW]Johann C. Marek - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (1):119-129.
    Alexius Meinong's specific use of the term "self-presentation" had a significant influence on modern epistemology and philosophical psychology. To show that there are remarkable parallels between Meinong's account of the self-presentation of experiences and Lehrer's account of the exemplarization of experiences is one of this paper's main objectives. Another objective is to put forward some comments and critical remarks to Lehrer's approach. One of the main problems can be expressed by the following: The process of using a particular experience as (...)
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