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A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness

Cambridge University Press (1988)

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  1. How to Define Consciousness—and How Not to Define Consciousness.Prof Max Velmans - 2009 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (5):139-156.
    Definitions of consciousness need to be sufficiently broad to include all examples of conscious states and sufficiently narrow to exclude entities, events and processes that are not conscious. Unfortunately, deviations from these simple principles are common in modern consciousness studies, with consequent confusion and internal division in the field. The present paper gives example of ways in which definitions of consciousness can be either too broad or too narrow. It also discusses some of the main ways in which pre-existing theoretical (...)
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  • Passive Frame Theory: A New Synthesis.Ezequiel Morsella, Godwin Christine, Jantz Tiffany, Krieger Stephen & Gazzaley Adam - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    Passive frame theory attempts to illuminate what consciousness is, in mechanistic and functional terms; it does not address the “implementation” level of analysis (how neurons instantiate conscious states), an enigma for various disciplines. However, in response to the commentaries, we discuss how our framework provides clues regarding this enigma. In the framework, consciousness is passive albeit essential. Without consciousness, there would not be adaptive skeletomotor action.
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  • Representation and Extension in Consciousness Studies.Zsuzsanna Kondor - 2017 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 8 (1):209-227.
    Various theories suggest conscious phenomena are based exclusively on brain activity, while others regard them as a result of the interaction between embodied agents and their environment. In this paper, I will consider whether this divergence entails the acceptance of the fact that different theories can be applied in different scales, or if they are reconcilable. I will suggest that investigating how the term representation is used can reveal some hints, building upon which we can bridge the gulf between the (...)
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  • Intentionality, Mind and Folk Psychology.Winand H. Dittrich & Stephen E. G. Lea - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):39-41.
    The comment addresses central issues of a "theory theory" approach as exemplified in Gopnik' and Goldman's BBS-articles. Gopnik, on the one hand, tries to demonstrate that empirical evidence from developmental psychology supports the view of a "theory theory" in which common sense beliefs are constructed to explain ourselves and others. Focusing the informational processing routes possibly involved we would like to argue that his main thesis (e.g. idea of intentionality as a cognitive construct) lacks support at least for two reasons: (...)
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  • Olfactory Consciousness Across Disciplines.Benjamin D. Young & Andreas Keller - 2015 - Frontiers.
    Our sense of smell pervasively influences our most common behaviors and daily experience, yet little is known about olfactory consciousness. Over the past decade and a half research in both the fields of Consciousness Studies and Olfaction has blossomed, however, olfactory consciousness has received little to no attention. The olfactory systems unique anatomy, functional organization, sensory processes, and perceptual experiences offers a fecund area for exploring all aspects of consciousness, as well as a external perspective for re-examining the assumptions of (...)
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  • Emotional Experience in the Computational Belief–Desire Theory of Emotion.Rainer Reisenzein - 2009 - Emotion Review 1 (3):214-222.
    Based on the belief that computational modeling (thinking in terms of representation and computations) can help to clarify controversial issues in emotion theory, this article examines emotional experience from the perspective of the Computational Belief–Desire Theory of Emotion (CBDTE), a computational explication of the belief–desire theory of emotion. It is argued that CBDTE provides plausible answers to central explanatory challenges posed by emotional experience, including: the phenomenal quality,intensity and object-directedness of emotional experience, the function of emotional experience and its relation (...)
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  • Nonconscious Pain, Suffering, and Moral Status.Bernardo Aguilera - 2020 - Neuroethics 13 (3):337-345.
    Pain is an unwanted mental state that is often considered a sufficient ground for moral status. However, current science and philosophy of mind suggest that pains, like other perceptual states, might be nonconscious. This raises the questions of whether the notion of nonconscious pain is coherent and what its moral significance might be. In this paper I argue that the existence of nonconscious pain is conceptually coherent; however as a matter of fact our brains might always represent pains consciously. I (...)
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  • Brain, Consciousness and Disorders of Consciousness at the Intersection of Neuroscience and Philosophy.Michele Farisco - 2019 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    The present dissertation starts from the general claim that neuroscience is not neutral, with regard to theoretical questions like the nature of consciousness, but it needs to be complemented with dedicated conceptual analysis. Specifically, the argument for this thesis is that the combination of empirical and conceptual work is a necessary step for assessing the significant questions raised by the most recent study of the brain. Results emerging from neuroscience are conceptually very relevant in themselves but, notwithstanding its theoretical sophistication, (...)
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  • The Many-Worlds Theory of Consciousness.Christian List - 2021
    This paper sketches a new and somewhat heterodox metaphysical theory of consciousness: the “many-worlds theory”. It drops the assumption that all conscious subjects’ experiences are features of one and the same world and instead associates different subjects with different “first-personally centred worlds”. We can think of these as distinct “first-personal realizers” of a shared “third-personal world”, where the latter is supervenient, in a sense to be explained. This is combined with a form of modal realism, according to which different subjects’ (...)
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  • Analyzing the etiological functions of consciousness.Dylan Black - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (1):191-216.
    Scientists disagree about which capacities a functional analysis of consciousness should target. To address this disagreement, I propose that a good functional analysis should target the etiological functions of consciousness. The trouble is that most hypotheses about the etiological origins of consciousness presuppose particular functional analyses. In recent years, however, a small number of scientists have begun to offer evolutionary hypotheses that are relatively theory neutral. I argue that their hypotheses can serve an independent standard for evaluating among theories of (...)
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  • 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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  • On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
    Consciousness is a mongrel concept: there are a number of very different "consciousnesses." Phenomenal consciousness is experience; the phenomenally conscious aspect of a state is what it is like to be in that state. The mark of access-consciousness, by contrast, is availability for use in reasoning and rationally guiding speech and action. These concepts are often partly or totally conflated, with bad results. This target article uses as an example a form of reasoning about a function of "consciousness" based on (...)
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  • Corporate Crocodile Tears? On the Reactive Attitudes of Corporate Agents.Gunnar Björnsson & Kendy Hess - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):273–298.
    Recently, a number of people have argued that certain entities embodied by groups of agents themselves qualify as agents, with their own beliefs, desires, and intentions; even, some claim, as moral agents. However, others have independently argued that fully-fledged moral agency involves a capacity for reactive attitudes such as guilt and indignation, and these capacities might seem beyond the ken of “collective” or “ corporate ” agents. Individuals embodying such agents can of course be ashamed, proud, or indignant about what (...)
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  • What is It Like to Be a Group Agent?Christian List - 2016 - Noûs:295-319.
    The existence of group agents is relatively widely accepted. Examples are corporations, courts, NGOs, and even entire states. But should we also accept that there is such a thing as group consciousness? I give an overview of some of the key issues in this debate and sketch a tentative argument for the view that group agents lack phenomenal consciousness. In developing my argument, I draw on integrated information theory, a much-discussed theory of consciousness. I conclude by pointing out an implication (...)
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  • How a Materialist Can Deny That the United States is Probably Conscious – Response to Schwitzgebel.François Kammerer - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1047-1057.
    In a recent paper, Eric Schwitzgebel argues that if materialism about consciousness is true, then the United States is likely to have its own stream of phenomenal consciousness, distinct from the streams of conscious experience of the people who compose it. Indeed, most plausible forms of materialism have to grant that a certain degree of functional and behavioral complexity constitutes a sufficient condition for the ascription of phenomenal consciousness – and Schwitzgebel makes a case to show that the United States (...)
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  • Introspective Physicalism as an Approach to the Science of Consciousness.Anthony I. Jack & T. Shallice - 2001 - Cognition 79 (1):161-196.
    Most ?theories of consciousness? are based on vague speculations about the properties of conscious experience. We aim to provide a more solid basis for a science of consciousness. We argue that a theory of consciousness should provide an account of the very processes that allow us to acquire and use information about our own mental states ? the processes underlying introspection. This can be achieved through the construction of information processing models that can account for ?Type-C? processes. Type-C processes can (...)
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  • Can Physics Provide a Theory of Consciousness?Bernard J. Baars - 1995 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 2.
  • Applying Global Workspace Theory to the Frame Problem.Murray Shanahan & Bernard Baars - 2005 - Cognition 98 (2):157-176.
  • Philosophical Investigation Series: Selected Texts on Metaphysics, Language and Mind / Série Investigação Filosófica: Textos Selecionados de Metafísica, Linguagem e Mente.Rodrigo Cid & Pedro Merlussi (eds.) - 2020 - Pelotas: Editora da UFPel / NEPFIL Online.
    Um dos grandes desafios da era da informação consiste em filtrar informações claras, rigorosas e atualizadas sobre tópicos importantes. O mesmo vale para a filosofia. Como encontrar conteúdo filosófico confiável em meio a milhares de artigos publicados diariamente na internet? Para ir ainda mais longe, como encontrar uma introdução a algum tópico com uma lista de referências bibliográficas atualizadas e que seja organizada por um especialista da área? Já que você começou a ler este livro, é provável que tenha ouvido (...)
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  • Cognitive Access and Cognitive Phenomenology: Conceptual and Empirical Issues.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (2):188-204.
    The well-known distinction between access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness has moved away from the conceptual domain into the empirical one, and the debate now is focused on whether the neural mechanisms of cognitive access are constitutive of the neural correlate of phenomenal consciousness. In this paper, I want to analyze the consequences that a negative reply to this question has for the cognitive phenomenology thesis – roughly the claim that there is a “proprietary” phenomenology of thoughts. If the mechanisms responsible (...)
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Causal Reasoning.Michael R. Waldmann (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Causal reasoning is one of our most central cognitive competencies, enabling us to adapt to our world. Causal knowledge allows us to predict future events, or diagnose the causes of observed facts. We plan actions and solve problems using knowledge about cause-effect relations. Without our ability to discover and empirically test causal theories, we would not have made progress in various empirical sciences. In the past decades, the important role of causal knowledge has been discovered in many areas of cognitive (...)
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  • Functional Neuroanatomy of Altered States of Consciousness: The Transient Hypofrontality Hypothesis.A. Dietrich - 2003 - Consciousness and Cognition 12 (2):231-256.
    It is the central hypothesis of this paper that the mental states commonly referred to as altered states of consciousness are principally due to transient prefrontal cortex deregulation. Supportive evidence from psychological and neuroscientific studies of dreaming, endurance running, meditation, daydreaming, hypnosis, and various drug-induced states is presented and integrated. It is proposed that transient hypofrontality is the unifying feature of all altered states and that the phenomenological uniqueness of each state is the result of the differential viability of various (...)
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  • Precis: Being No-One.Thomas Metzinger - 2005 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 11:1-30.
    This is a short sketch of some central ideas developed in my recent book _Being No One_ (BNO hereafter). A more systematic summary, which focuses on short answers to a set of specific, individual questions is already contained _in _the book, namely as BNO section 8.2. Here, I deliberately and completely exclude all work related to semantically differentiating and empirically constraining the philosophical concept of a "quale" (mostly Chapter 2, 3 & 8), all proposals regarding conceptual foundations for the overall (...)
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  • How to Integrate Dreaming Into a General Theory of Consciousness—A Critical Review of Existing Positions and Suggestions for Future Research.Jennifer M. Windt & Valdas Noreika - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1091-1107.
    In this paper, we address the different ways in which dream research can contribute to interdisciplinary consciousness research. As a second global state of consciousness aside from wakefulness, dreaming is an important contrast condition for theories of waking consciousness. However, programmatic suggestions for integrating dreaming into broader theories of consciousness, for instance by regarding dreams as a model system of standard or pathological wake states, have not yielded straightforward results. We review existing proposals for using dreaming as a model system, (...)
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  • A Neurocognitive Framework for Human Creative Thought.Arne Dietrich & Hilde Haider - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Mind the Gap: An Attempt to Bridge Computational and Neuroscientific Approaches to Study Creativity.Geraint A. Wiggins & Joydeep Bhattacharya - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8.
  • Manufacturing Magic and Computational Creativity.Howard Williams & Peter W. McOwan - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • The Meta-Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):6-61.
  • Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
    To make progress on the problem of consciousness, we have to confront it directly. In this paper, I first isolate the truly hard part of the problem, separating it from more tractable parts and giving an account of why it is so difficult to explain. I critique some recent work that uses reductive methods to address consciousness, and argue that such methods inevitably fail to come to grips with the hardest part of the problem. Once this failure is recognized, the (...)
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  • Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.David J. Chalmers (ed.) - 2002 - Oxford University Press USA.
    What is the mind? Is consciousness a process in the brain? How do our minds represent the world? Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a grand tour of writings on these and other perplexing questions about the nature of the mind. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, the book includes sixty-three selections that range from the classical contributions of Descartes to the leading edge of contemporary debates. Extensive sections cover foundational issues, the nature of consciousness, and the (...)
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  • A Map of Consciousness Studies: Questions and Approaches.Takuya Niikawa - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    This article aims to present a map of consciousness studies, which consists of a list of fundamental questions about consciousness and existing approaches to them. The question list includes five fundamental categories: Definitional, Phenomenological, Epistemological, Ontological, and Axiological. Each fundamental category is divided into more determinate questions. Existing approaches to each question are also classified into a few groups, presenting principal researchers who take each kind of approach. In the final section, I demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed map of (...)
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  • Consciousness, Accessibility, and the Mesh Between Psychology and Neuroscience.Ned Block - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5):481--548.
    How can we disentangle the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness from the neural machinery of the cognitive access that underlies reports of phenomenal consciousness? We can see the problem in stark form if we ask how we could tell whether representations inside a Fodorian module are phenomenally conscious. The methodology would seem straightforward: find the neural natural kinds that are the basis of phenomenal consciousness in clear cases when subjects are completely confident and we have no reason to doubt their (...)
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  • How We Know Our Minds: The Illusion of First-Person Knowledge of Intentionality.Alison Gopnik - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):1-14.
  • The Information Integration Theory of Consciousness.Giulio Tononi - 2007 - In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. pp. 287--299.
  • The Subjectivity of Subjective Experience: A Representationalist Analysis of the First-Person Perspective.Thomas Metzinger - 2004 - Networks:285--306.
    Before one can even begin to model consciousness and what exactly it means that it is a subjective phenomenon one needs a theory about what a first-person perspective really is. This theory has to be conceptually convincing, empirically plausible and, most of all, open to new developments. The chosen conceptual framework must be able to accommodate scientific progress. Its ba- sic assumptions have to be plastic as it were, so that new details and empirical data can continuously be fed into (...)
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  • Consciousness and Sensation: Philosophical Aspects.David Rosenthal - 2001 - In N. J. Smelser & B. Baltes (eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Pergamon/Elsevier.
    consciousness. Such unconscious processing always " Cambridge, UK " tends to re?ect habitual or strong responses. From this.
     
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  • 12 The Evolutionary Origins of Volition.Wayne Christensen - 2007 - In Don Ross, David Spurrett, Harold Kincaid & G. Lynn Stephens (eds.), Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 255.
  • The Silent Voice of Those Who Are No Longer: Transgenerational Transmission of Information From the Perspective of the Informational Model of Consciousness.Florin Gaiseanu - 2019 - Gerontology and Geriatrics Studies 5 (1):482-487.
    The “nature or nurture” problem concerning the debate on the innate features with respect to the acquired ones is approached in terms of information, from the perspective of the Informational Model of Consciousness. This model reveals seven distinct informational systems reflected in consciousness as informational centers, i.e. memory (Iknow-Ik), decisional info-operational center (Iwant-Iw), emotions (Ilove-Il), metabolic operations (Iam-Ia), genetic transmission (Icreate-Ic), genetic info-generation (Icreated-Icd) and the anti-entropic center (Ibelieve-Ib). Ib is a life-assisting beneficial center, because it is opposed to the (...)
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  • Informational Mode of the Brain Operation and Consciousness as an Informational Related System.Florin Gaiseanu - 2019 - Archives in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology 1 (5):1-7.
    Introduction: the objective of the investigation is to analyse the informational operating-mode of the brain and to extract conclusions on the structure of the informational system of the human body and consciousness. Analysis: the mechanisms and processes of the transmission of information in the body both by electrical and non-electrical ways are analysed in order to unify the informational concepts and to identify the specific essential requirements supporting the life. It is shown that the electrical transmission can be described by (...)
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  • Consciousness is More Than Wakefulness.Alain Morin - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (1):99-99.
    Merker’s definition of consciousness excludes self-reflective thought, making his proposal for decorticate consciousness not particularly groundbreaking. He suggests that brainstem sites are neglected in current theories of consciousness. This is so because broader definitions of consciousness are used. Split-brain data show that the cortex is important for full-blown consciousness; also, behaviors exhibited by hydranencephaly patients and decorticated rats do not seem to require reflective consciousness.
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  • Measuring Strategic Control in Implicit Learning: How and Why?Elisabeth Norman - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Distinguishing Absence of Awareness From Awareness of Absence.Matan Mazor & Stephen M. Fleming - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (II).
    Contrasting brain states when subjects are aware compared to unaware of a presented stimulus has allowed researchers to isolate candidate neural correlates of consciousness. Here we propose that an important next step in this research program is to investigate, perhaps paradoxically, brain states that covary with reports of absences of awareness. Specifically, we propose that in order to distinguish content-specific and content-invariant neural correlates of consciousness, a distinction needs to be made between the neural correlates of awareness of stimulus absence, (...)
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  • Predictive Processing as a Systematic Basis for Identifying the Neural Correlates of Consciousness.Jakob Hohwy & Anil Seth - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (II).
    The search for the neural correlates of consciousness is in need of a systematic, principled foundation that can endow putative neural correlates with greater predictive and explanatory value. Here, we propose the predictive processing framework for brain function as a promising candidate for providing this systematic foundation. The proposal is motivated by that framework’s ability to address three general challenges to identifying the neural correlates of consciousness, and to satisfy two constraints common to many theories of consciousness. Implementing the search (...)
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  • The Projective Theory of Consciousness: From Neuroscience to Philosophical Psychology.Alfredo Pereira Jr - 2018 - Trans/Form/Ação 41 (s1):199-232.
    : The development of the interdisciplinary areas of cognitive, affective and action neurosciences contributes to the identification of neurobiological bases of conscious experience. The structure of consciousness was philosophically conceived a century ago as consisting of a subjective pole, the bearer of experiences, and an objective pole composed of experienced contents. In more recent formulations, Nagel refers to a “point of view”, in which qualitative experiences are anchored, while Velmans understands that phenomenal content is composed of mental representations “projected” to (...)
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  • Modeling Working Memory to Identify Computational Correlates of Consciousness.James A. Reggia, Garrett E. Katz & Gregory P. Davis - 2019 - Open Philosophy 2 (1):252-269.
    Recent advances in philosophical thinking about consciousness, such as cognitive phenomenology and mereological analysis, provide a framework that facilitates using computational models to explore issues surrounding the nature of consciousness. Here we suggest that, in particular, studying the computational mechanisms of working memory and its cognitive control is highly likely to identify computational correlates of consciousness and thereby lead to a deeper understanding of the nature of consciousness. We describe our recent computational models of human working memory and propose that (...)
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  • Minority Reports: Consciousness and the Prefrontal Cortex.Matthias Michel & Jorge Morales - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (4):493-513.
    Whether the prefrontal cortex is part of the neural substrates of consciousness is currently debated. Against prefrontal theories of consciousness, many have argued that neural activity in the prefrontal cortex does not correlate with consciousness but with subjective reports. We defend prefrontal theories of consciousness against this argument. We surmise that the requirement for reports is not a satisfying explanation of the difference in neural activity between conscious and unconscious trials, and that prefrontal theories of consciousness come out of this (...)
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  • Consciousness, Art, and the Brain: Lessons From Marcel Proust.Russell Epstein - 2004 - Consciousness and Cognition 13 (2):213-40.
    In his novel Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust argues that conventional descriptions of the phenomenology of consciousness are incomplete because they focus too much on the highly-salient sensory information that dominates each moment of awareness and ignore the network of associations that lies in the background. In this paper, I explicate Proust’s theory of conscious experience and show how it leads him directly to a theory of aesthetic perception. Proust’s division of awareness into two components roughly corresponds to William (...)
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  • The Affective Core of Emotion: Linking Pleasure, Subjective Well-Being, and Optimal Metastability in the Brain.Morten L. Kringelbach & Kent C. Berridge - 2017 - Emotion Review 9 (3):191-199.
    Arguably, emotion is always valenced—either pleasant or unpleasant—and dependent on the pleasure system. This system serves adaptive evolutionary functions; relying on separable wanting, liking, and learning neural mechanisms mediated by mesocorticolimbic networks driving pleasure cycles with appetitive, consummatory, and satiation phases. Liking is generated in a small set of discrete hedonic hotspots and coldspots, while wanting is linked to dopamine and to larger distributed brain networks. Breakdown of the pleasure system can lead to anhedonia and other features of affective disorders. (...)
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  • The Mismeasure of Consciousness: A Problem of Coordination for the Perceptual Awareness Scale.Matthias Michel - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    As for most measurement procedures in the course of their development, measures of consciousness face the problem of coordination, i.e., the problem of knowing whether a measurement procedure actually measures what it is intended to measure. I focus on the case of the Perceptual Awareness Scale to illustrate how ignoring this problem leads to ambiguous interpretations of subjective reports in consciousness science. In turn, I show that empirical results based on this measurement procedure might be systematically misinterpreted.
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  • Necessary Ingredients of Consciousness: Integration of Psychophysical, Neurophysiological, and Consciousness Research for the Red-Green Channel.Ram Lakhan Pandey Vimal - 2009 - Vision Research Institute: Living Vision and Consciousness Research 1 (1).
    A general definition of consciousness is: ‘consciousness is a mental aspect of a system or a process, which is a conscious experience, a conscious function, or both depending on the context’, where the term context refers to metaphysical views, constraints, specific aims, and so on. One of the aspects of visual consciousness is the visual subjective experience (SE) or the first person experience that occurs/emerges in the visual neural-network of thalamocortical system (which includes dorsal and ventral visual pathways and frontal (...)
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