Reid on consciousness: Hop, hot or for?

Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):613-634 (2007)
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Abstract

Thomas Reid claims to share Locke's view that consciousness is a kind of inner sense. This is puzzling, given the role the inner-sense theory plays in indirect realism and in the theory of ideas generally. I argue that Reid does not in fact hold an inner-sense theory of consciousness and that his view differs importantly from contemporary higher-order theories of consciousness. For Reid, consciousness is a first-order representational process in which a mental state with a particular content suggests the application of recognitional concepts in forming beliefs or judgements to the effect that one is currently undergoing a state with that content. I take up the question of whether Reid's theory leads to a regress, and I argue that while the regress cannot be eliminated, it is mitigated by the non-hierarchical nature of Reid's theory of mind

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Rebecca Copenhaver
Washington University in St. Louis

Citations of this work

Revisiting the Early Modern Philosophical Canon.Lisa Shapiro - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (3):365-383.
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References found in this work

On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Two concepts of consciousness.David M. Rosenthal - 1986 - Philosophical Studies 49 (May):329-59.
Phenomenal states.Brian Loar - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:81-108.
Conscious experience.Fred Dretske - 1993 - Mind 102 (406):263-283.
Some like it HOT: Consciousness and higher-order thoughts.Alex Byrne - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 86 (2):103-29.

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