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Summary Higher-order thought theories appeal to a thought-like mental state to explain the kind of awareness that results in one having a conscious mental state. 
Key works For a collection of important papers see: Rosenthal 2005.  A recent challenge comes from  Block 2011 (Rosenthal 2011 replies). Balog 2000 discusses an objection from the possibility of HOT-zombies.  Hardcastle 2004 criticizes 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 A classic introduction can be found here: Rosenthal 1997
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  1. added 2020-03-28
    Cotard Syndrome, Self-Awareness, and I-Concepts.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (1).
    Various psychopathologies of self-awareness, such as somatoparaphrenia and thought insertion in schizophrenia, might seem to threaten the viability of the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness since it requires a HOT about one’s own mental state to accompany every conscious state. The HOT theory of consciousness says that what makes a mental state a conscious mental state is that there is a HOT to the effect that “I am in mental state M.” I have argued in previous work that a (...)
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  2. added 2020-03-18
    Some Like It Hot: Consciousness and Higher-Order Thoughts.Alex Byrne - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 86 (2):103-129.
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  3. added 2020-02-27
    Two Kinds of Introspection.Anna Giustina & Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In Joshua Weisberg (ed.), Qualitative Consciousness: Themes from the Philosophy of David Rosenthal. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
    One of David Rosenthal’s many important contributions to the philosophy of mind was his clear and unshirking account of introspection. Here we argue that while there is a kind of introspection (we call it “reflective introspection”) that Rosenthal’s account may be structurally fit to accommodate, there is also a second kind (“primitive introspection”) that his account cannot recover. We introduce Rosenthal’s account of introspection in §1, present the case for the psychological reality of primitive introspection in §2, and argue that (...)
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  4. added 2020-02-15
    Apperception and Self-Consciousness in Kant and German Idealism.Dennis Schulting - forthcoming - London: Bloomsbury.
    blurb from publisher: "In Apperception and Self-Consciousness in Kant and German Idealism, Dennis Schulting examines the themes of reflexivity, self-consciousness, representation and apperception in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and German Idealism more widely. Central to Schulting’s argument is the claim that all of human experience is inherently self-referential and that this is part of a self-reflexivity of thought, or what is called transcendental apperception, a Kantian insight that was first apparent in the work of Christian Wolff and came to (...)
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  5. added 2019-11-26
    Drop It Like It’s HOT: A Vicious Regress for Higher-Order Thought Theories.Miguel Sebastián - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1563-1572.
    Higher-order thought theories of consciousness attempt to explain what it takes for a mental state to be conscious, rather than unconscious, by means of a HOT that represents oneself as being in the state in question. Rosenthal Consciousness and the self: new essays, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011) stresses that the way we are aware of our own conscious states requires essentially indexical self-reference. The challenge for defenders of HOT theories is to show that there is a way to explain (...)
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  6. added 2019-11-26
    Hay muchas cosas que creo de mí mismo sin saber que las creo.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2017 - Critica 49 (146):37-60.
    En un artículo publicado recientemente en esta revista, Javier Vidal argumenta que toda creencia de primera persona es una creencia consciente, una conclusión que pone en jaque ciertas teorías de la consciencia, como él mismo expone. El razonamiento de Vidal se basa en un argumento que muestra que uno conoce toda creencia de primera persona que tiene y en un principio que vincula conocimiento y consciencia. Mi objetivo en este trabajo es mostrar que el razonamiento de Vidal no es sólido. (...)
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  7. added 2019-09-13
    Somatoparaphrenia, Anosognosia, and Higher-Order Thoughts.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2015 - In Disturbed Consciousness: New Essays on Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. pp. 55-74.
    Somatoparaphrenia is a pathology of self characterized by the sense of alienaton from parts of one’s body. It is usually construed as a kind of delusional disorder caused by extensive right hemisphere lesions. Lesions in the temporoparietal junction are common in somatoparaphrenia but deep cortical regions (for example, the posterior insula) and subcortical regions (for example, the basal ganglia) are also sometimes implicated (Valler and Ronschi 2009). Patients are often described as feeling that a limb belongs to another person and (...)
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  8. added 2019-06-06
    Consciousness: Essays From a Higher‐Order Perspective ‐ By Peter Carruthers.Thomas Bittner - 2007 - Philosophical Books 48 (1):84-86.
  9. added 2019-06-06
    The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Truck Driver.William G. Lycan & Zena Ryder - 2003 - Analysis 63 (2):132-136.
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  10. added 2019-06-06
    Jean-Paul Sartre and the HOT Theory of Consciousness.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):293-330.
    In Section I, I explain some key Sartrean terminology and in Section II, I introduce the HOT theory. Section III is where I argue for the close connection between Sartre’s theory and a somewhat modified version of the HOT theory. That section of the paper is divided into four subsections in which I also address the relevance of Sartre’s rejection of the Freudian unconscious and the threat of an infinite regress in his theory of consciousness. In Section IV, I critically (...)
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  11. added 2019-06-06
    What is It Like to Have an Unconscious Mental State?Jim Stone - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 104 (2):197-202.
    HOST is the theory that to be conscious of a mental state is totarget it with a higher-order state , either an innerperception or a higher-order thought. Some champions of HOSTmaintain that the phenomenological character of a sensory stateis induced in it by representing it with a HOS. I argue that thisthesis is vulnerable to overwhelming objections that flow largelyfrom HOST itself. In the process I answer two questions: `What isa plausible sufficient condition for a quale's belonging to aparticular mental (...)
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  12. added 2019-06-06
    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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  13. added 2019-04-24
    Cognitive Approaches to Phenomenal Consciousness.Pete Mandik - 2018 - In Dale Jacquette (ed.), The Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Consciousness. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 347-370.
    The most promising approaches to understanding phenomenal consciousness are what I’ll call cognitive approaches, the most notable exemplars of which are the theories of consciousness articulated by David Rosenthal and Daniel Dennett. The aim of the present contribution is to review the core similarities and differences of these exemplars, as well as to outline the main strengths and remaining challenges to this general sort of approach.
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  14. added 2019-04-11
    On Ambitious Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Joseph Gottlieb - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (3):421-441.
    ABSTRACTAmbitious Higher-order theories of consciousness – Higher-order theories that purport to give an account of phenomenal consciousness – face a well-known objection from the possibility of ra...
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  15. added 2019-01-31
    The Consciousness Paradox: Consciousness, Concepts, and Higher-Order Thoughts by Gennaro, Rocco J.: Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2012, Pp. X + 378, US$42. [REVIEW]Josh Weisberg - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):401-404.
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 92, Issue 2, Page 401-404, June 2014.
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  16. added 2019-01-30
    Nietzsche on the Superficiality of Consciousness.Mattia Riccardi - 2018 - In Manuel Dries (ed.), Nietzsche on consciousness and the embodied mind. De Gruyter. pp. 93-112.
    Abstract: Nietzsche’s famously wrote that “consciousness is a surface” (EH, Why I am so clever, 9: 97). The aim of this paper is to make sense of this quite puzzling contention—Superficiality, for short. In doing this, I shall focus on two further claims—both to be found in Gay Science 354—which I take to substantiate Nietzsche’s endorsement of Superficiality. The first claim is that consciousness is superfluous—which I call the “superfluousness claim” (SC). The second claim is that consciousness is the source (...)
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  17. added 2019-01-06
    Understanding the Higher-Order Approach to Consciousness.Richard Brown, Hakwan Lau & Joseph E. LeDoux - 2019 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 23 (9):754-768.
    Critics have often misunderstood the higher-order theory (HOT) of consciousness. Here we clarify its position on several issues, and distinguish it from other views such as the global The higher-order theory (HOT) of consciousness has often been misunderstood by critics. Here we clarify its position on several issues, and distinguish it from other views such as the global workspace theory (GWT) and early sensory models (e.g. first-order local recurrency theories). For example, HOT has been criticized for over-intellectualizing consciousness. We show (...)
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  18. added 2018-11-22
    Responsible Brains: Neuroscience, Law, and Human Culpability.William Hirstein, Katrina L. Sifferd & Tyler K. Fagan - 2018 - New York, NY, USA: MIT Press.
    [This download includes the table of contents and chapter 1.] When we praise, blame, punish, or reward people for their actions, we are holding them responsible for what they have done. Common sense tells us that what makes human beings responsible has to do with their minds and, in particular, the relationship between their minds and their actions. Yet the empirical connection is not necessarily obvious. The “guilty mind” is a core concept of criminal law, but if a defendant on (...)
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  19. added 2018-11-12
    The Several Factors of Consciousness.David Woodruff Smith - 2016 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 7 (3):291-302.
    : In prior essays I have sketched a “modal model” of consciousness. That model “factors” out several distinct forms of awareness in the phenomenological structure of a typical act of consciousness. Here we consider implications of the model à propos of contemporary theories of consciousness. In particular, we distinguish phenomenality from other features of awareness in a conscious experience: “what it is like” to have an experience involves several different factors. Further, we should see these factors as typical of consciousness, (...)
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  20. added 2018-09-22
    Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2018 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of higher-order representational theories of consciousness. Representational theories of consciousness attempt to reduce consciousness to “mental representations” rather than directly to neural or other physical states. This approach has been fairly popular over the past few decades. Examples include first-order representationalism (FOR) which attempts to explain conscious experience primarily in terms of world-directed (or first-order) intentional states (Tye 2005) as well as several versions of higher-order representationalism (HOR) which holds that what makes a mental state M conscious is (...)
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  21. added 2018-08-28
    Phenomenal Vision and Apperception: Evidence From Blindsight.Petra Stoerig - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (2):224-237.
  22. added 2018-08-28
    Apperception, Sensation, and Dissociability.David M. Rosenthal - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (2):206-223.
    Recent writing on consciousness has increasingly stressed ways in which the terms.
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  23. added 2018-06-23
    Animal Consciousness.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2018 - Springer: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior.
    This chapter addresses the extent to which nonhuman animals are conscious. Most important perhaps is what criteria should be used in making such a determination.
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  24. added 2018-04-04
    Know Thyself: Well-Being and Subjective Experience.Joseph LeDoux, Richard Brown, Daniel S. Pine & Stefan G. Hofmann - 2018 - Cerebrum (2018).
  25. added 2018-02-25
    Anesthesia and Consciousess.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2018 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 5 (1):49-69.
    For patients under anesthesia, it is extremely important to be able to ascertain from a scientific, third person point of view to what extent consciousness is correlated with specific areas of brain activity. Errors in accurately determining when a patient is having conscious states, such as conscious perceptions or pains, can have catastrophic results. Here, I argue that the effects of (at least some kinds of) anesthesia lend support to the notion that neither basic sensory areas nor the prefrontal cortex (...)
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  26. added 2018-02-18
    A Simple Argument for a Higher-Order Representation Theory of Consciousness.William G. Lycan - 2001 - Analysis 61 (1):3-4.
  27. added 2018-02-17
    A Cross-Order Integration Hypothesis for the Neural Correlate of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (4):897-912.
    One major problem many hypotheses regarding the neural correlate of consciousness, 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 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 (...)
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  28. added 2018-02-16
    The Mind and Its Expression.G. E. M. Anscombe, R. Rhees & David M. Rosenthal - unknown
    pain' and ┌I think that p┐ express the pain and the thought that p, themselves. The book is most impressive. It is packed with careful argument, and addresses a remarkable range of important issues about the mind. I have very much enjoyed studying it.
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  29. added 2018-02-16
    Comments on David Miguel Gray’s “HOT: Keeping Up Appearances?”.Josh Weisberg - 2012 - Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (2):59-63.
  30. added 2018-02-16
    Consciousness.David M. Rosenthal - unknown
    One phenomenon pertains roughly to being awake. A person or other creature is conscious when it's awake and mentally responsive to sensory input; otherwise it's unconscious. This kind of consciousness figures most often in everyday discourse.
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  31. added 2017-10-03
    Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness and What-It-is-Like-Ness.Jonathan Farrell - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2743-2761.
    Ambitious higher-order theories of consciousness aim to account for conscious states when these are understood in terms of what-it-is-like-ness. This paper considers two arguments concerning this aim, and concludes that ambitious theories fail. The misrepresentation argument against HO theories aims to show that the possibility of radical misrepresentation—there being a HO state about a state the subject is not in—leads to a contradiction. In contrast, the awareness argument aims to bolster HO theories by showing that subjects are aware of all (...)
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  32. added 2017-09-03
    How Things Seem to Higher-Order Thought Theorists.Jacob Berger - 2017 - Dialogue 56 (3):503-526.
    According to David Rosenthal’s higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, a mental state is conscious just in case one is aware of being in that state via a suitable HOT. Jesse Mulder (2016) recently objects: though HOT theory holds that conscious states are states that it seems to one that one is in, the view seems unable to explain how HOTs engender such seemings. I clarify here how HOT theory can adequately explain the relevant mental appearances, illustrating the explanatory power (...)
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  33. added 2017-03-04
    Mental Ownership and Higher Order Thought.Timothy Lane & Caleb Liang - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):496-501.
    Mental ownership concerns who experiences a mental state. According to David Rosenthal (2005: 342), the proper way to characterize mental ownership is: ‘being conscious of a state as present is being conscious of it as belonging to somebody. And being conscious of a state as belonging to somebody other than oneself would plainly not make it a conscious state’. In other words, if a mental state is consciously present to a subject in virtue of a higher-order thought (HOT), then the (...)
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  34. added 2017-03-04
    Higher Order Thought and the Problem of Radical Confabulation.Timothy Lane & Caleb Liang - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):69-98.
    Currently, one of the most influential theories of consciousness is Rosenthal's version of higher-order-thought (HOT). We argue that the HOT theory allows for two distinct interpretations: a one-component and a two-component view. We further argue that the two-component view is more consistent with his effort to promote HOT as an explanatory theory suitable for application to the empirical sciences. Unfortunately, the two-component view seems incapable of handling a group of counterexamples that we refer to as cases of radical confabulation. We (...)
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  35. added 2017-02-13
    A Higher-Order Theory of Emotional Consciousness.Richard Brown & Joseph LeDoux - 2017 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
    Emotional states of consciousness, or what are typically called emotional feelings, are traditionally viewed as being innately programed in subcortical areas of the brain, and are often treated as different from cognitive states of consciousness, such as those related to the perception of external stimuli. We argue that conscious experiences, regardless of their content, arise from one system in the brain. On this view, what differs in emotional and non-emotional states is the kind of inputs that are processed by a (...)
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  36. added 2016-12-12
    Phenomenal Consciousness: A Naturalistic Theory.Peter Carruthers - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    How can phenomenal consciousness exist as an integral part of a physical universe? How can the technicolour phenomenology of our inner lives be created out of the complex neural activities of our brains? Many have despaired of finding answers to these questions; and many have claimed that human consciousness is inherently mysterious. Peter Carruthers argues, on the contrary, that the subjective feel of our experience is fully explicable in naturalistic terms. Drawing on a variety of interdisciplinary resources, he develops and (...)
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  37. added 2016-12-08
    Free Will and Consciousness: A Determinist Account of the Illusion of Free Will.Gregg Caruso - 2012 - Lexington Books.
    This book argues two main things: The first is that there is no such thing as free will—at least not in the sense most ordinary folk take to be central or fundamental; the second is that the strong and pervasive belief in free will can be accounted for through a careful analysis of our phenomenology and a proper theoretical understanding of consciousness.
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  38. added 2016-12-08
    Is There a Simple Argument for Higher-Order Representation Theories of Awareness Consciousness?Mikkel Gerken - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (2):243-259.
    William Lycan has articulated “a simple argument” for higher-order representation (HOR) theories of a variety of consciousness sometimes labeled ‘awareness consciousness’ (Lycan, Analysis 61.1, January 3–4, 2001). The purpose of this article is to critically assess the influential argument-strategy of the simple argument. I argue that, as stated, the simple argument fails since it is invalid. Moreover, I argue that an obvious “quick fix” would beg the question against competing same-order representation (SOR) theories of awareness consciousness. I then provide a (...)
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  39. added 2016-12-08
    A Higher-Order, Dispositional Theory of Qualia.John O'dea - 2007 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 15 (2):81-93.
    Higher-order theories of consciousness, such as those of Armstrong, Rosenthal and Lycan, typically distinguish sharply between consciousness and phenomenal character, or qualia. The higher-order states posited by these theories are intended only as explanations of consciousness, and not of qualia. In this paper I argue that the positing of higher-order perceptions may help to explain qualia. If we are realists about qualia, conceived as those intrinsic properties of our experience of which we are introspectibly aware, then higher-order perception might have (...)
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  40. added 2016-12-08
    Consciousness and Mind.David Rosenthal - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Consciousness and Mind presents David Rosenthal's influential work on the nature of consciousness. Central to that work is Rosenthal's higher-order-thought theory of consciousness, according to which a sensation, thought, or other mental state is conscious if one has a higher-order thought that one is in that state. The first four essays develop various aspects of that theory. The next three essays present Rosenthal's homomorphism theory of mental qualities and qualitative consciousness, and show how that theory fits with and helps sustain (...)
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  41. added 2016-12-08
    Consciousness: Essays From a Higher-Order Perspective.Peter Carruthers - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Peter Carruthers's essays on consciousness and related issues have had a substantial impact on the field, and many of his best are now collected here in revised form. The first half of the volume is devoted to developing, elaborating, and defending against competitors one particular sort of reductive explanation of phenomenal consciousness, which Carruthers now refers to as 'dual-content theory'. Phenomenal consciousness - the feel of experience - is supposed to constitute the 'hard problem' for a scientific world view, and (...)
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  42. added 2016-12-08
    The Limitations and Costs of Lycan's 'Simple' Argument.N. C. Manson - 2001 - Analysis 61 (4):319-323.
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  43. added 2016-11-26
    H.O.T. Theory, Concepts, and Synesthesia: A Reply to Adams and Shreve.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (4):443-448.
    In response 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 argue 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.
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  44. added 2016-06-03
    Some Semiotic Constraints on Metarepresentational Accounts of Consciousness.Marc Champagne - 2009 - In John N. Deely & Leonard G. Sbrocchi (eds.), Semiotics. Legas Press. pp. 557-564.
    "Representation" is one of those Janus-faced terms that seems blatantly obvious when used in a casual or pre-theoretic manner, but which reveals itself far more slippery when attentively studied. Any allusion to "metarepresentation", it would then seem, only compounds these difficulties. Taking the metarepresentationalist framework in its roughest outline as our point of departure, we thus articulate four key "structural" features that appear binding for any such theory.
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  45. added 2016-03-22
    Panpsychism and Neutral Monism: How to Make Up One's Mind.Sam Coleman - 2016 - In Jaskolla Brüntrup (ed.), Panpsychism. Oxford University Press.
  46. added 2015-08-31
    Leibniz on Consciousness and Self-Consciousness.Rocco J. Gennaro - 1999 - In Chalres Huenemann & Rocco J. Gennaro (eds.), New Essays on the Rationalists. Oxford University Press. pp. 353--71.
    In the absence of any plausible reductionist account of consciousness in nonmentalistic terms, the HOT theory says that the best explanation for what makes a mental state conscious is that it is accompanied by a thought (or awareness) that one is in that state. I discuss HOT theory with special attention to how Leibnizian theses can help support it and how it can shed light on Leibniz's theory of perception, apperception, and consciousness. It will become clear how treating Leibniz as (...)
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  47. added 2015-08-29
    Presentational Character and Higher Order Thoughts.Joseph Gottlieb - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (7-8):103-123.
    Experiences, by definition, have phenomenal character. But many experiences have a specific type of phenomenal character: presentational character. While both visual experience and conscious thought make us aware of their objects, only in visual experience do objects seem present before the mind and available for direct access. I argue that Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theories of consciousness have a particularly steep hill to climb in accommodating presentational character.
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  48. added 2015-08-15
    Representationalism, Peripheral Awareness, and the Transparency of Experience.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (1):39-56.
    It is often said that some kind of peripheral (or inattentional) conscious awareness accompanies our focal (attentional) consciousness. I agree that this is often the case, but clarity is needed on several fronts. In this paper, I lay out four distinct theses on peripheral awareness and show that three of them are true. However, I then argue that a fourth thesis, commonly associated with the so-called "self-representational approach to consciousness," is false. The claim here is that we have outer focal (...)
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  49. added 2015-08-11
    Defending HOT Theory and The Wide Intrinsicality View: A Reply to Weisberg, Van Gulick, and Seager.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (11-12):82-100.
    This is my reply to Josh Weisberg, Robert Van Gulick, and William Seager, published in JCS vol 20, 2013. This symposium grew out of an author-meets-critics session at the Central APA conference in 2013 on my 2012 book THE CONSCIOUSNESS PARADOX (MIT Press). Topics covered include higher-order thought (HOT) theory, my own "wide intrinsicality view," the problem of misrepresentation, targetless HOTs, conceptualism, introspection, and the transitivity principle.
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  50. added 2015-08-10
    The 'Of' of Intentionality and the 'Of' of Acquaintance.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2015 - In S. Miguens, G. Preyer & C. Morando (eds.), Pre-Reflective Consciousness: Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. pp. 317-341.
    I first provide some background on Sartre’s theory of consciousness and prereflective self-awareness, especially with respect to how it might be favorably compared to my own version of HOT theory. I then critically examine a few initial attempts to understand the ‘acquaintance’ relation and to link it with Sartre’s notion of prereflective self-awareness. I then briefly address a related problem often raised against HOT theory, namely, the problem of misrepresentation. I also critique several further attempts to explain the acquaintance relation (...)
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1 — 50 / 254