p0005 The term ‘consciousness’ is used in several ways: to describe a person or other creature as being awake and sentient, to describe a person or other creature as being ‘aware of ’ something, and to refer to a property of mental states, such as perceiving, feeling, and thinking, that distinguishes those states from unconscious mental states. Distinguishing these different concepts of consciousness is crucial in evaluating the major theories of what it is for a state to be conscious. Among those are first-order theories, on which a mental state is conscious if being in that state results in one’s being conscious of something; global-workspace theories, on which a state is conscious if it’s widely available for mental processing; inner-sense theories, on which a state is conscious if one senses or perceives that state by way of a special inner faculty; and higher-orderthought theories, on which a state is conscious if one is aware of that state by having a thought about it. We will consider the advantages and shortcomings of these theories and variants of them.
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