Abstract of "Two problems for Higher-Order Thought Theories of Consciousness"

Chrisley, Ron (2005) Abstract of "Two problems for Higher-Order Thought Theories of Consciousness". ISSN 1039-723X

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Higher-order thought theories of consciousness (HOT theories) claim that one is in a mental state M consciously iff: 1) one has the thought that one is in M and 2) one actually is in M. I argue that such theories face two related problems, the Modal Problem and the Poor Theory Problem. I show that, that according to HOT theories, it is an empirical possibility that I do not have any conscious mental states. This is the Modal Problem: HOT theories cannot be correct, because it is in fact empirically impossible that I do not have any conscious mental states. The Poor Theory Problem is that HOT theories, I argue, demand that we deny consciousness to any person whose theory of mind is incorrect to the point of failing to refer to their actual mental states. Yet it seems wrong to deny consciousness to someone just because they have an incorrect theory of mind. Insofar as perception is conceptual, higher-order perception theories of consciousness (HOP theories) fall afoul of the same problems. I consider whether a variant of higher-order theories involving non-conceptual representation of one's own mental states might avoid these problems.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Ron Chrisley
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:36
Last Modified: 31 May 2013 14:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26904
📧 Request an update