HOT: Keeping up Appearances?

Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1):155-163 (2012)
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Abstract

David Rosenthal and Josh Weisberg have recently provided a counter argument to Ned Block’s argument that a Higher Order Thought theory of consciousness cannot accommodate the existence of hallucinatory conscious states . Their counter argument invokes the idea of mental appearances: a non-existent intentional object which is to aid in an account of subjective conscious awareness. I argue that if mental appearances are to do the work they are supposed to, we cannot draw a mental appearance/reality distinction. I provide an alternative story that a HOT theorist can invoke to account for cases of conscious misrepresentation. Such a story will require denying the existence of hallucinatory conscious states while still accounting for conscious misrepresentation. This is a cost I believe the HOT theorist should be willing to pay

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David Miguel Gray
University of Memphis

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