Can studies of autism teach us about consciousness of the physical and the mental?

Philosophical Explorations 2 (3):175-188 (1999)
Most scientists and theorists concerned with the problem of consciousness focus on our consciousness of the physical world (our sensations, feelings, and awareness). In this paper I consider our consciousness of the mental world (our thoughts about thoughts, intentions, wishes, and emotions).The argument is made that these are two distinct forms of consciousness, the evidence for this deriving from studies of autism. Autism is a severe childhood psychiatric condition in which individuals may be conscious of the physical world but not of the mental world. Relevant experimental evidence is described, including some recent neuroimaging studies pointing towards the neural basis of our consciousness of the mental
Keywords Autism  Consciousness  Mental  Physical  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/10001999098538705
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,545
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Emperor's New Mind.Roger Penrose - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Autism, Empathy and Moral Agency.Jeanette Kennett - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):340-357.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total downloads
79 ( #81,680 of 2,287,891 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #235,611 of 2,287,891 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature