Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):829-842 (2014)
AbstractAccording to Rosenthal's higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, one is in a conscious mental state if and only if one is aware of oneself as being in that state via a suitable HOT. Several critics have argued that the possibility of so-called targetless HOTs?that is, HOTs that represent one as being in a state that does not exist?undermines the theory. Recently, Wilberg (2010) has argued that HOT theory can offer a straightforward account of such cases: since consciousness is a property of mental state tokens, and since there are no states to exhibit consciousness, one is not in conscious states in virtue of targetless HOTs. In this paper, I argue that Wilberg's account is problematic and that Rosenthal's version of HOT theory, according to which a suitable HOT is both necessary and sufficient for consciousness, is to be preferred to Wilberg's account. I then argue that Rosenthal's account can comfortably accommodate targetless HOTs because consciousness is best understood as a property of individuals, not a property of states
Similar books and articles
Unity of consciousness and the self.David M. Rosenthal - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):325-352.
Phenomenal Judgment and the HOT theory: Comments on David Rosenthal’s “Consciousness, Content, and Metacognitive Judgments”. [REVIEW]Katalin Balog - 2000 - Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2):215-219.
Higher-order thought and pathological self: The case of somatoparaphrenia.Caleb Liang & Timothy Lane - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):661-668.
Two HOTS to handle: The concept of state consciousness in the higher-order thought theory of consciousness.Jennifer Matey - 2006 - Philosophical Psychology 19 (2):151-175.
Advancing the debate between HOT and FO accounts of consciousness.Robert W. Lurz - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Research 28:23-44.
Papineau on the actualist HOT theory of consciousness.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):581-586.
The HOT theory of consciousness: Between a rock and a hard place.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2005 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (2):3-21.
Reduction and the determination of phenomenal character.Jennifer Matey - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):291-316.
A theory of consciousness.David M. Rosenthal - 1997 - In Ned Block, Owen J. Flanagan & Guven Guzeldere (eds.), The Nature of Consciousness. MIT Press.
Higher-Order Awareness, Misrepresentation, and Function.David Rosenthal - 2012 - Higher-Order Awareness, Misrepresentation and Function 367 (1594):1424-1438.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
The HOROR Theory of Phenomenal Consciousness.Richard Brown - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1783-1794.
Higher-order theories of consciousness.Peter Carruthers - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On ambitious higher-order theories of consciousness.Joseph Gottlieb - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (3):421-441.
The Higher-Order Map Theory of Consciousness.Joseph Gottlieb - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):131-148.
Perceptual consciousness plays no epistemic role.Jacob Berger - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):7-23.
References found in this work
The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory.David J. Chalmers - 1996 - Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
The Conscious Brain: How Attention Engenders Experience.Jesse Prinz - 2012 - Oup Usa.