Caging the Beast: A Theory of Sensory Consciousness

John Benjamins (2003)
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Abstract

A major obstacle for materialist theories of the mind is the problem of sensory consciousness. How could a physical brain produce conscious sensory states that exhibit the rich and luxurious qualities of red velvet, a Mozart concerto or fresh-brewed coffee? Caging the Beast: A Theory of Sensory Consciousness offers to explain what these conscious sensory states have in common, by virtue of being conscious as opposed to unconscious states. After arguing against accounts of consciousness in terms of higher-order representation of mental states, the theory claims that sensory consciousness is a special way we have of representing the world. The book also introduces a way of thinking about subjectivity as separate and more fundamental than consciousness, and considers how this foundational notion can be developed into more elaborate varieties. An appendix reviews the connection between consciousness and attention with an eye toward providing a neuropsychological instantiation of the proposed theory.

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Paula Droege
Pennsylvania State University

Citations of this work

The representational character of experience.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 153--181.
Color constancy and Russellian representationalism.Brad Thompson - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):75-94.
Consciousness as Inner Sensation: Crusius and Kant.Jonas Jervell Indregard - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.

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