Is 'consciousness' ambiguous?

Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (2):19-44 (2001)
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It is widely assumed that ‘ consciousness ’ is multiply ambiguous within the consciousness literature. Some alleged senses of the term are access consciousness, phenomenal consciousness, state consciousness, creature consciousness, introspective consciousness, self consciousness, to name a few. In the paper I argue for two points. First, there are few if any good reasons for thinking that such alleged senses are genuine: ‘ consciousness ’ is best viewed as univocal within the literature. The second point is that researchers would do best to avoid the semantics of ‘ consciousness ’, since resorting to “semantic ascent” typically serves no clear purpose in the case of consciousness, and confuses matters more than anything else.



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Michael Antony
University of Haifa

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