Quotational higher-order thought theory

Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2705-2733 (2015)
Authors
Sam Coleman
University of Hertfordshire
Abstract
Due to their reliance on constitutive higher-order representing to generate the qualities of which the subject is consciously aware, I argue that the major existing higher-order representational theories of consciousness insulate us from our first-order sensory states. In fact on these views we are never properly conscious of our sensory states at all. In their place I offer a new higher-order theory of consciousness, with a view to making us suitably intimate with our sensory states in experience. This theory relies on the idea of ‘quoting’ sensory qualities, so is dubbed the ‘quotational higher-order thought theory’. I argue that it can capture something of the idea that we are ‘acquainted’ with our conscious states without slipping beyond the pale for naturalists, whilst also providing satisfying treatments of traditional problems for higher-order theories concerning representational mismatch. The theory achieves this by abandoning a representational mechanism for mental intentionality, in favour of one based on ‘embedding’
Keywords Consciousness  Higher-order thought  Qualia  Representation  Self-representation  Acquaintance
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-015-0441-1
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References found in this work BETA

Intentionality.John Searle - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
Consciousness, Color, and Content.Michael Tye - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (3):233 - 235.

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Citations of this work BETA

Editorial: Consciousness and Inner Awareness.Jonathan Farrell & Tom McClelland - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (1):1-22.
Transitivity and Transparency.Joseph Gottlieb - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (4):353-379.

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