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1.1b. The Concept of Consciousness (The Concept of Consciousness on PhilPapers)

See also:
Alexander, Hartley Burr (1904). The concept of consciousness. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 1 (5):118-124.   (Google | More links)
Allport, A. (1988). What concept of consciousness? In Anthony J. Marcel & E. Bisiach (eds.), Consciousness in Contemporary Science. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 47 | Google)
Antony, Michael V. (ms). Are our concepts "conscious state" and "conscious creature" vague?   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: are sharp rather than vague, that they can have no borderline cases. On the other hand, many who take conscious states to be identical to, or realized by, complex physical states are committed to the vagueness of those concepts. In the paper I argue that conscious state and conscious creature are sharp by presenting four necessary conditions for conceiving borderline cases in general, and showing that some of those conditions cannot be met with conscious state. I conclude that conscious state is sharp, and the conclusion is then extended to conscious creature. The paper ends with a brief discussion of some implications
Antony, Michael V. (2006). Consciousness and vagueness. Philosophical Studies 128 (3):515-538.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Abstract. An argument is offered for this conditional: If our current concept conscious state is sharp rather than vague, and also correct (at least in respect of its sharpness), then common versions of familiar metaphysical theories of consciousness are false--?namely versions of the identity theory, functionalism, and dualism that appeal to complex physical or functional properties in identification, realization, or correlation. Reasons are also given for taking seriously the claim that our current concept conscious state is sharp. The paper ends by surveying the theoretical options left open by the concept's sharpness and the truth of the conditional argued for in the paper
Antony, Michael V. (2002). Concepts of consciousness, kinds of consciousness, meanings of 'consciousness'. Philosophical Studies 109 (1):1-16.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Antony, Michael V. (2001). Conceiving simple experiences. Journal of Mind and Behavior 22 (3):263-86.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: That consciousness is composed of simple or basic elements that combine to form complex experiences is an idea with a long history. This idea is approached through an examination of our
Antony, Michael V. (2001). Is 'consciousness' ambiguous? Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (2):19-44.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Some alleged senses of the term are access consciousness, phenomenal consciousness, state consciousness, creature consciousness, introspective consciousness, self consciousness, to name a few. In the paper I argue for two points. First, there are few if any good reasons for thinking that such alleged senses are genuine:
Antony, Michael V. (1999). Outline of a general methodology for consciousness research. Anthropology and Philosophy 3:43-56.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In spite of the enormous interdisciplinary interest in consciousness these days, sorely lacking are general methodologies in terms of which individual research efforts across disciplines can be seen as contributing to a common end
Armstrong, David M. (1979). Three types of consciousness. In Brain and Mind. (Ciba Foundation Symposium 69).   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Armstrong, David M. (1981). What is consciousness? In The Nature of Mind. Cornell University Press.   (Cited by 70 | Annotation | Google)
Bain, Alexander (1894). Definition and problems of consciousness. Mind 3 (11):348-361.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Baruss, Imants (1986). Meta-analysis of definitions of consciousness. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality 6:321-29.   (Google)
Becerra, Rodrigo (2004). Homonymous mistakes with ontological aspirations: The persisting problem with the word 'consciousness'. Sorites 15 (December):11-23.   (Google | More links)
Bickhard, Mark H. (2005). Consciousness and reflective consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):205-218.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: An interactive process model of the nature of representation intrinsically accounts for multiple emergent properties of consciousness, such as being a contentful experiential flow, from a situated and embodied point of view. A crucial characteristic of this model is that content is an internally related property of interactive process, rather than an externally related property as in all other contemporary models. Externally related content requires an interpreter, yielding the familiar regress of interpreters, along with a host of additional fatal problems. Further properties of consciousness, such as differentiated qualities of experience, including qualia, emerge with conscious reflection. In particular, qualia are not constituents or direct properties of consciousness per se. Assuming that they are so is a common and ultimately disastrous misconstrual of the problems of consciousness
Bird, Alexander (online). Concepts and definitions of consciousness.   (Google)
Abstract: in Encyclopedia of Consciousness, ed. William P. Banks, Amsterdam: Elsevier, forthcoming in 2009
Bisiach, E. (1988). The (haunted) brain and consciousness. In Anthony J. Marcel & E. Bisiach (eds.), Consciousness in Contemporary Science. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 30 | Annotation | Google)
Block, Ned (1997). Author's response. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1).   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: The distinction between phenomenal (P) and access (A) consciousness arises from the battle between biological and computational approaches to the mind. If P = A, the computationalists are right; but if not, the biological nature of P yields its scientific nature
Bode, Boyd H. (1913). The definition of consciousness. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 10 (9):232-239.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Bogen, Joseph E. (1997). An example of access-consciousness without phenomenal consciousness? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):144-144.   (Google)
Boodin, John E. (1908). Consciousness and reality: I. Negative definition of consciousness. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 5 (7):169-179.   (Google | More links)
Bradley, Francis H. (1893). Consciousness and experience. Mind 2 (6):211-216.   (Google | More links)
Burr Alexander, Hartley (1904). The concept of consciousness. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 1 (5):118-124.   (Google | More links)
Burt, Cyril (1962). The concept of consciousness. British Journal of Psychology 53:229-42.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Burge, Tyler (1997). Two kinds of consciousness. In Ned Block, Owen Flanagan & Güven Güzeldere (eds.), The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates. The Mit Press.   (Google)
Cam, Philip (1985). Phenomenology and speech dispositions. Philosophical Studies 47 (May):357-68.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Caruso, Gregg (2005). Sensory States, Consciousness, and the Cartesian Assumption. In Nathan Smith and Jason Taylor (ed.), Descartes and Cartesianism. Cambridge Scholars Press.   (Google)
Chalmers, David J. (1997). Availability: The cognitive basis of experience? In Ned Block, Owen J. Flanagan & Guven Guzeldere (eds.), The Nature of Consciousness. MIT Press.   (Cited by 26 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: [[This was written as a commentary on Ned Block 's paper "On A Confusion about a Function of Consciousness" . It appeared in _Behavioral_ _and Brain Sciences_ 20:148-9, 1997, and also in the collection _The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates_ (MIT Press, 1997) edited by Block, Flanagan, and Guzeldere. ]]
Church, Jennifer (1998). Two sorts of consciousness? Communication and Cognition 31 (1):51-71.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Clark, Austen (2001). Phenomenal consciousness so-called. In Werner Backhaus (ed.), Neuronal Coding of Perceptual Systems. World Scientific.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: "Consciousness" is a multiply ambiguous word, and if our goal is to explain perceptual consciousness we had better be clear about which of the many senses of the word we are endorsing when we sign on to the project. I describe some of the relatively standard distinctions made in the philosophical literature about different meanings of the word "conscious". Then I consider some of the arguments of David Chalmers and of Ned Block that states of "phenomenal consciousness" pose special and intractable problems for the scientific understanding of perception. I argue that many of these problems are introduced by obscurities in the term itself, and propose a distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic senses of the term "phenomenal consciousness". That distinction helps explain why phenomenal consciousness seems so mysterious to so many people. States of "phenomenal consciousness" are not states of one, elemental (and inexplicable) kind; they are a ragtag lot, of differing levels of complexity, corralled under one heading by a regrettable ambiguity in our terminology
Conkling, Mark L. (1977). Ryle's mistake about consciousness. Philosophy Today 21:376-388.   (Google)
Crosson, Frederick J. (1966). The concept of mind and the concept of consciousness. Journal of Existentialism 6:449-458.   (Google)
Davidson, William L. (1881). Definition of consciousness. Mind 6 (23):406-412.   (Google | More links)
De Brigard, Felipe (forthcoming). Attention, Consciousness, and Commonsense. Journal of Consciousness Studies.   (Google)
Abstract: The relation of dependency between consciousness and attention is, once again, a matter
of heated debate among scientists and philosophers. There are at least three general views on the
issue. First, there are those who suggest that attention is both necessary and sufficient for
consciousness (e.g. Posner, 1994; Prinz, 2000, forthcoming). Second, there are those who
suggest that even though attention is necessary for consciousness, it may not be sufficient (e.g.
Moran & Desimone, 1984; Rensink et al., 1997; Merikle & Joordens, 1997). Finally, there are
those who suggest that attention is neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness, that—at
most—they are two different processes that happen to be concomitant some of the time, but
which, under very specific circumstances, can be shown to come apart (e.g. Lamme, 2003;
Koivisto et al., 2005; Koch & Tsuchiya, 2007). Piles of evidence have been marshaled in favor
and against each of these alternatives, and as far as I can see, there is no hope of agreement on
the horizon.
Dennett, Daniel C. (2001). Consciousness: How much is that in real money? In Richard L. Gregory (ed.), Oxford Companion to the Mind. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
de Sousa, Ronald B. (2002). Twelve varieties of subjectivity. In M. Larrazabal & P. Miranda (eds.), Twelve Varieties of Subjectivity: Dividing in Hopes of Conquest. Kluwer.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Dewey, John (1906). The terms 'conscious' and `consciousness'. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 3 (2):39-41.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Evnine, Simon J. (2008). Kinds and conscious experience: Is there anything that it is like to be something? Metaphilosophy 39 (2):185–202.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this article I distinguish the notion of there being something it is like to be a certain kind of creature from that of there being something it is like to have a certain kind of experience. Work on consciousness has typically dealt with the latter while employing the language of the former. I propose several ways of analyzing what it is like to be a certain kind of creature and find problems with them all. The upshot is that even if there is something it is like to have certain kinds of experience, it does not follow that there is anything it is like to be a certain kind of creature. Skepticism about the existence of something that it is like to be an F is recommended
Faw, Bill (2002). Phenomenal, access, and reflexive consciousness: The missing 'blocks' in Ned Block's typlogy. Consciousness and Emotion 3 (2):145-158.   (Google)
Fingelkurts, Andrew A.; Fingelkurts, Alexander A. & Neves, Carlos F. H. (2010). Natural World Physical, Brain Operational, and Mind Phenomenal Space-Time. Physics of Life Reviews 7 (2):195-249.   (Google)
Abstract: Concepts of space and time are widely developed in physics. However, there is a considerable lack of biologically plausible theoretical frameworks that can demonstrate how space and time dimensions are implemented in the activity of the most complex life-system – the brain with a mind. Brain activity is organized both temporally and spatially, thus representing space-time in the brain. Critical analysis of recent research on the space-time organization of the brain’s activity pointed to the existence of so-called operational space-time in the brain. This space-time is limited to the execution of brain operations of differing complexity. During each such brain operation a particular short-term spatio-temporal pattern of integrated activity of different brain areas emerges within related operational space-time. At the same time, to have a fully functional human brain one needs to have a subjective mental experience. Current research on the subjective mental experience offers detailed analysis of space-time organization of the mind. According to this research, subjective mental experience (subjective virtual world) has definitive spatial and temporal properties similar to many physical phenomena. Based on systematic review of the propositions and tenets of brain and mind space-time descriptions, our aim in this review essay is to explore the relations between the two. To be precise, we would like to discuss the hypothesis that via the brain operational space-time the mind subjective space-time is connected to otherwise distant physical space-time reality.
Fite, Warner (1895). The priority of inner experience. Philosophical Review 4 (2):129-142.   (Google | More links)
Gennaro, Rocco J. (1995). Does mentality entail consciousness? Philosophia 24 (3-4):331-58.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Girle, Roderic A. (1996). Shades of consciousness. Minds and Machines 6 (2):143-57.   (Google | More links)
Goldman, Alvin (1993). Consciousness, folk psychology, and cognitive science. Consciousness and Cognition 2:364-382.   (Cited by 31 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper supports the basic integrity of the folk psychological conception of consciousness and its importance in cognitive theorizing. Section 1 critically examines some proposed definitions of consciousness, and argues that the folk- psychological notion of phenomenal consciousness is not captured by various functional-relational definitions. Section 2 rebuts the arguments of several writers who challenge the very existence of phenomenal consciousness, or the coherence or tenability of the folk-psychological notion of awareness. Section 3 defends a significant role for phenomenal consciousness in the execution of a certain cognitive task, viz., classification of one's own mental states. Execution of this task, which is part of folk psychologizing, is taken as a datum in scientific psychology. It is then argued (on theoretical grounds) that the most promising sort of scientific model of the self-ascription of mental states is one that posits the kinds of phenomenal properties invoked by folk psychology. Cognitive science and neuroscience can of course refine and improve upon the folk understanding of consciousness, awareness, and mental states generally. But the folk-psychological constructs should not be jettisoned; they have a role to play in cognitive theorizing
Greidanus, J. H. (1961). Fundamental Physical Theory and the Concept of Consciousness. New York, Pergamon Press.   (Google)
Hamanaka, T. (1997). The concept of consciousness in the history of neuropsychiatry. History of Psychiatry 8:361-373.   (Google | More links)
Harman, Gilbert (online). What is cognitive access?   (Google)
Heinemann, F. H. (1941). The analysis of 'experience'. Philosophical Review 50 (November):561-584.   (Google | More links)
Hellie, Benj (2010). An externalist's guide to inner experience. In Bence Nanay (ed.), Perceiving the World. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Let's be externalists about perceptual consciousness and think the form of veridical perceptual consciousness includes /seeing this or that mind-independent particular and its colors/. Let's also take internalism seriously, granting that spectral inversion and hallucination can be "phenomenally" the same as normal seeing. Then perceptual consciousness and phenomenality are different, and so we need to say how they are related. It's complicated!

Phenomenal sameness is (against all odds) /reflective indiscriminability/. I build a "displaced perception" account of reflection on which indiscriminability stems from shared "qualia". Qualia are compatible with direct realism: while they generate an explanatory gap (and colors do not), so does /seeing/; qualia are excluded from perceptual consciousness by its "transparency"; instead, qualia are aspects of thought about the perceived environment.

The asymmetry between my treatments of color and seeing is grounded in the asymmetry between ignorance and error: while inversion shows that normal subjects are ignorant of the natures of the colors, hallucination shows not that perceivers are ignorant of the nature of seeing but that hallucinators are prone to error about their condition. Past literature has treated inversion and hallucination as on a par: externalists see error in both cases, while internalists see mutual ignorance. My account is so complicated because plausible results require mixing it up.
Helminiak, Daniel A. (1984). Consciousness as a subject matter. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 14 (July):211-230.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Hellie, Benj (2007). Factive phenomenal characters. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):259--306.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper expands on the discussion in the first section of 'Beyond phenomenal naivete'. Let Phenomenal Naivete be understood as the doctrine that some phenomenal characters of veridical experiences are factive properties concerning the external world. Here I present in detail a phenomenological case for Phenomenal Naivete and an argument from hallucination against it. I believe that these arguments show the concept of phenomenal character to be defective, overdetermined by its metaphysical and epistemological commitments together with the world. This does not establish a gappish eliminativism, but a gluttish pluralism, on which there are many imperfect deservers of the name 'phenomenal character'. Different projects in the philosophy of mind -- phenomenology, philosophy of conscious, metaphysics and epistemology of perception -- are concerned with different deservers of the name.
Hennig, Boris (2007). Cartesian conscientia. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (3):455-484.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Although Descartes is often said to have coined the modern notion of ‘consciousness’, he defines it neither explicitly nor implicitly. This may imply (1) that he was not the first to use ‘conscientia’ in its modern, psychological sense, or (2) that he still used it in its traditional moral sense. In this paper, I argue for the latter assumption. Descartes used ‘conscientia’ according to the meaning we also find in texts of St. Paul, Augustine, Aquinas and later scholastics. Thus the Cartesian conscientia is, technically speaking, a shared knowledge of the specific value of our thoughts as thoughts and at the same time the cause of this value. This means that it is not itself a kind of individual knowledge, awareness, or a particular thought. Rather, ‘conscientia’ refers to the evaluative knowledge of an ideal observer.
Hodgson, Shadworth H. (1894). Reflective consciousness. Mind 3 (10):208-221.   (Google | More links)
Holt, Edwin B. (1914). The Concept of Consciousness. New York,Arno Press.   (Google)
Honderich, Ted (1998). Consciousness as existence. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Contemporary Issues in the Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Honderich, Ted (2004). Consciousness as existence, devout physicalism, spiritualism. Mind and Matter 2 (1):85-104.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Consider three answers to the question of what it actually is for you to be aware of the room you are in. (1) It is for the room in a way to exist. (2) It is for there to be only physical activity in your head, however additionally described. (3) It is for there to be non-spatial facts somehow in your head. The first theory, unlike the other two, satisfies five criteria for an adequate account of consciousness itself. The criteria have to do with the seeming nature of this consciousness, and with subjectivity, reality including non-abstractness, mind-body causation, and the differences between perceptual, reflective and affective consciousness. The theory of consciousness as existence is not open to the objection having to do with a deluded brain in a vat. The theory, as any theory of consciousness needs to, explains its own degree of failure in characterizing consciousness. It releases neuroscience and cognitive science from nervousness about consciousness, and leaves all of consciousness a subject for science. The theory is a reconstruction of our conception of consciousness. It may be that we should carry forward several theories of consciousness. But they will have to be compared in terms of truth to the five criteria for an adequate theory
Honderich, Ted (2000). Consciousness as existence again. In Bernard Elevitch (ed.), Theoria. Charlottesville: Philosophy Doc Ctr.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Honderich, Ted (2003). Perceptual, reflective, and affective consciousness as existence. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Minds and Persons. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This is a further improved version of a paper previously called `Reflective and Affective Consciousness'. It is better now -- more or less comprehensible if still imperfect. It is the fourth in a series of papers, and continues the idea that consciousness needs to be analysed not in any of the boring ways: by way of the plain or 17th Century materialism that is still with us in new packages, or immaterialism, or dualistic identity theory, or functionalism and cognitive science with philosophical ambition. (For argued surveys of these, and a particular allegiance now abandoned in favour of Consciousness as Existence, go to Mind Brain Connection and Mind and Brain Explanation .) Consciousness needs to be analysed, rather, mainly in terms of things existing outside of heads. The final draft of the paper will eventually turn up in the annual proceedings of The Royal Institute of Philosophy, a volume under the title Minds and Persons edited by Anthony O'Hear. At the end of the paper here there is a summary of it -- in fact the handout for a lecture
Huebner, Bryce (2010). Commonsense concepts of phenomenal consciousness: Does anyone care about functional zombies? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: It would be a mistake to deny commonsense intuitions a role in developing a theory of consciousness. However, philosophers have traditionally failed to probe commonsense in a way that allows these commonsense intuitions to make a robust contribution to a theory of consciousness. In this paper, I report the results of two experiments on purportedly phenomenal states and I argue that many disputes over the philosophical notion of ‘phenomenal consciousness’ are misguided—they fail to capture the interesting connection between commonsense ascriptions of pain and emotion. With this data in hand, I argue that our capacity to distinguish between ‘mere things’ and ‘subjects of moral concern’ rests, to a significant extent, on the sorts of mental states that we take a system to have
Hutto, Daniel D. (2001). Consciousness and Conceptual Schema. In Paavo Pylkkanen & Tere Vaden (eds.), Dimensions of Conscious Experience. John Benjamins.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
James, William (1904). Does "consciousness" exist? Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods 1 (18):477-491.   (Cited by 171 | Google | More links)
James, William (2005). The notion of consciousness: Communication made (in french) at the 5th international congress of psychology, Rome, 30 April 1905. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (7):55-64.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Johnson, A. H. (1964). Ordinary experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 25 (September):96-107.   (Google | More links)
Kirk, Robert E. (1992). Consciousness and concepts. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 66 (66):23-40.   (Cited by 7 | Annotation | Google)
Knobe, Joshua & Prinz, Jesse J. (2008). Intuitions about consciousness: Experimental studies. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):67-83.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: When people are trying to determine whether an entity is capable of having certain kinds of mental states, they can proceed either by thinking about the entity from a *functional* standpoint or by thinking about the entity from a *physical* standpoint. We conducted a series of studies to determine how each of these standpoints impact people’s mental state ascriptions. The results point to a striking asymmetry. It appears that ascriptions of states involving phenomenal consciousness are sensitive to physical factors in a way that ascriptions of other states are not
Krikorian, Y. H. (1938). An empirical definition of consciousness. Journal of Philosophy 35 (6):156-161.   (Google | More links)
Kriegel, Uriah (2006). Consciousness: Phenomenal consciousness, access consciousness, and scientific practice. In Paul R. Thagard (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.   (Google)
Abstract: Key Terms: Phenomenal consciousness, access consciousness, qualitative character, subjective character, intransitive self-consciousness, disposition, categorical basis, subliminal perception, blindsight
Lagerspetz, Olli (2002). Experience and consciousness in the shadow of Descartes. Philosophical Psychology 15 (1):5-18.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: A conscious being is characterized by its ability to cope with the environment--to perceive it, sometimes change it, and perhaps reflect on it. Surprisingly, most studies of the mind's place in nature show little interest in such interaction. It is often implicitly assumed that the main questions about consciousness just concern the status of various entities, levels, etc., within the individual. The intertwined notions of "(conscious) experience" and "(phenomenal) consciousness" are considered. The predominant use of these notions in cognitive science can be traced back to Cartesianism. What is important is the survival of the central methodological commitments despite seemingly profound changes of metaphysical outlook. The author argues (1) that cognitive scientists typically assimilate perception to sensation, thereby ignoring ways in which descriptions of perception and descriptions of the environment are logically intertwined; (2) that this involves methodological solipsism and an unacknowledged sceptical position that was originally part of Descartes' Dream argument; and (3) that it is impossible to identify the object supposedly to be studied by a science of the phenomenal consciousness. A somewhat parallel argument is identified in Kant's critique of rationalist psychology
Laird, John (1923). Mental process and the conscious quality. Mind 32 (127):273-288.   (Google | More links)
Levy, Neil (2008). Does phenomenology overflow access? Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (7):29-38.   (Google)
Abstract: Ned Block has influentially distinguished two kinds of consciousness, access and phenomenal consciousness. He argues that these two kinds of consciousness can dissociate, and therefore we cannot rely upon subjective report in constructing a science of consciousness. I argue that none of Block's evidence better supports his claim than the rival view, that access and phenomenal consciousness are perfectly correlated. Since Block's view is counterintuitive, and has wildly implausible implications, the fact that there is no evidence that better supports it than the rival view should lead us to reject it
Lormand, Eric (1996). Nonphenomenal consciousness. Noûs 30 (2):242-61.   (Cited by 20 | Google | More links)
Abstract: There is not a uniform kind of consciousness common to all conscious mental states: beliefs, emotions, perceptual experiences, pains, moods, verbal thoughts, and so on. Instead, we need a distinction between phenomenal and nonphenomenal consciousness. As if consciousness simpliciter were not mysterious enough, philosophers have recently focused their worries on phenomenal (or qualitative) consciousness, the kind that explains or constitutes there being "something it
Lormand, Eric (online). What qualitative consciousness is like.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Lowenthal, Marvin Marx (1915). Comparative study of Spinoza and neo-realism as indicated in Holt's "concept of consciousness". Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 12 (25):673-682.   (Google | More links)
Lycan, William G. (online). The plurality of consciousness.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Abstract: My topics are consciousness. The plural is deliberate. Both in philosophy and in psychology,
Manson, Neil Campbell (2002). Epistemic consciousness. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science A 33 (3):425-441.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Manson, Neil Campbell (2000). State consciousness and creature consciousness: A real distinction. Philosophical Psychology 13 (3):405-410.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: It is widely held that there is an important distinction between the notion of consciousness as it is applied to creatures and, on the other hand, the notion of consciousness as it applies to mental states. McBride has recently argued in this journal that whilst there may be a grammatical distinction between state consciousness and creature consciousness, there is no parallel ontological distinction. It is argued here that whilst state consciousness and creature consciousness are indeed related, they are distinct properties. Conscious creatures can have, at one time, both conscious and unconscious mental states. This raises the question of what distinguishes the conscious from unconscious mental states of a subject: a question about what state consciousness consists in. Whilst the state/creature distinction may not be of use in explaining every aspect of a subject's consciousness, it does provide a key part of the explanandum for theories of consciousness and mind. The state/creature consciousness distinction is a real one and should not be dropped from our psychological taxonomy
Margolis, Joseph (1980). The concept of consciousness. Philosophic Exchange 3:3-18.   (Google)
Markus, Gyorgy (1975). The Marxian concept of consciousness. Philosophy and Social Criticism 3 (1).   (Google)
Matthews, Gareth B. (1977). Consciousness and life. Philosophy 52 (January):13-26.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
McBride, R. (1999). Consciousness and the state/transitive/creature distinction. Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):181-196.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This essay examines the grammatical structure underlying the use of the word "conscious". Despite the existence of this grammatical structure, I reject the assumption that actual consciousness has a similar structure. Specifically, I reject the claim that consciousness consists of three subtypes: state consciousness, transitive consciousness, and creature consciousness. I offer an inductive argument and a deductive argument that no such psychological entities exist. The inductive argument: given the lack of evidence or arguments for the entities and given that a tripartite consciousness structure evolved from a tripartite grammatical habit, it would be far too coincidental if the grammatical distinction mirrored a psychological distinction. The deductive argument (a reductio ad absurdum) shows that absurd conclusions follow from assuming the existence of three distinct psychological entities. Furthermore, the verbal habits that motivate the distinction are rendered more intelligible under a "Unitary Thesis", the idea that verbal distinctions involving use of the word "conscious" are unified in their reliance on a single ontological unit, that of conscious experience
Moody, Todd C. (1986). Distinguishing consciousness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (December):289-95.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1985). An introduction to the perceptual kind of conception of direct (reflective) consciousness. Journal of Mind and Behavior 6:333-356.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1983). A selective review of conceptions of consciousness with special reference to behavioristic contributions. Cognition and Brain Theory 6:417-47.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1978). Consciousness. American Psychologist 33:906-14.   (Cited by 37 | Annotation | Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (2000). Consciousness and conscience. Journal of Mind and Behavior 21 (4):327-352.   (Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1995). Consciousness(3) and Gibson's concept of awareness. Journal of Mind and Behavior 3 (3):305-28.   (Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1997). Consciousness and self-awareness: Consciousness (1,2,3,4,5,6). Journal of Mind and Behavior 18 (1):53-94.   (Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1983). Concepts of consciousness. Journal of Mind and Behavior 4:195-232.   (Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1993). Consciousness(4): Varieties of intrinsic theory. Journal of Mind and Behavior 14 (2):107-32.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (2001). On the intrinsic nature of states of consciousness: Attempted inroads from the first person perspective. Journal Of Mind And Behavior 22 (3):219-248.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1998). Tertiary consciousness. Journal of Mind and Behavior 19 (2):141-176.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
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Nixon, Gregory (2010). Hollows of Experience. Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research (3):234-288.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This essay is divided into two parts, deeply intermingled. Part I examines not only the
origin of conscious experience but also how it is possible to ask of our own
consciousness how it came to be. Part II examines the origin of experience itself, which
soon reveals itself as the ontological question of Being. The chief premise of Part I
chapter is that symbolic communion and the categorizations of language have enabled
human organisms to distinguish between themselves as actually existing entities and
their own immediate experience of themselves and their world. This enables them to
reflect upon abstract concepts, including “self,” “experience,” and “world.” Symbolic
communication and conceptualization grow out of identification, the act of first
observing conscious experiencing and intimating what it is like, mimesis, a gestural
protolanguage learned through imitation, and reflection, seeing oneself through the eyes
of others. The step into actual intentional speech is made through self-assertion,
narrative, and intersubjectivity. These three become the spiral of human cultural
development that includes not only the adaptive satisfaction of our biological needs, but
also the creativity of thought. With the mental-conceptual separation of subject and
object – of self and world – the human ability to witness the universe (and each other) is
the ground of our genuinely human quality. Consciousness gives human life its
distinctively human reality. It is, therefore, one and the same ability that enables us to
shape planet Earth by means of conceptual representations (rather than by means of our
hands alone) while also awakening us to the significance of being.

Looking beyond human self-consciousness to investigate the origin and nature of
awareness itself in Part 2, reductive objective materialism is found to be of little use.
Direct experience also falls short in that, in order to be transformed into objective
knowledge about itself, it must always be interpreted through and limited by the
symbolic contexts of culture and the idiosyncratic conceptualizations of the individual.
Awareness in itself must thus be considered ultimately unexplainable, but this may
more indicate its inexpressible transcendence of all symbolic qualifiers than its
nonexistence. It is suggested that awareness is not “self-aware” (as in deity) but is
instead unknowing yet identical with the only true universal: the impetus of creative
unfolding. Our human knowledge, as an expression of this unfolding, is seen to emerge
from our conscious experiencing and, in turn, to have the power – and enormous
responsibility – of directing that experience. Our underlying symbolic worldviews are
found to be autopoietic: They limit or open our conscious experience, which, in turn,
confirms those worldview expectations. As we explore a future of unforeseeable
technological breakthroughs on an ailing planet who patiently copes with our “success,”
truly vital decisions about the nature, meaning, and future of conscious experience will
have to be made.
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Abstract: Among philosophers in the period of change between the late 18th and early 19th centuries it was a widespread conviction that, because the status of a demonstrative theory made up of axioms and proofs was neither available nor desirable for philosophy, philosophical critique would also not be external to the business of philosophy. Rather it was to belong to the essence of philosophy itself. Against this background Hegel occupied himself almost from the beginning of his philosophical thinking with the question of how a critique that is also able to convince an adherent of a theory differing from one’s own should proceed. Initially it must provide him with a description of his standpoint that he himself can accept. Moreover, the critique must tie up with a method of examination that is part of this standpoint itself, because its adherent would not otherwise have to agree to the procedure. Hegel is interested in this matter not only as a description of the hermeneutic situation in which the adherents of two particular, opposing positions find themselves. Rather, he asks himself whether an idea for the procedure of philosophical critique that commits itself to such considerations can also be generalized. This would require giving a minimalist description of the starting point in a way that allows as large a spectrum as possible of positions that are to be the object of the critique to recognize themselves within it. And the procedure of the critique must be able to be developed from this description itself
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Abstract: This paper aims to replace deep sounding unanswerable, time-wasting pseudo- questions which are often posed in the context of attacking some version of the strong AI thesis, with deep, discovery-driving, real questions about the nature and content of internal states of intelligent agents of various kinds. In particular the question
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Abstract: Over the past century phenomenology has ably analyzed the basic structuresof consciousness as we experience it. Yet recent philosophy of mind, lookingto brain activity and computational function, has found it difficult to makeroom for the structures of subjectivity and intentionality that phenomenologyhas appraised. In order to understand consciousness as something that is bothsubjective and grounded in neural activity, we need to delve into phenomenologyand ontology. I draw a fundamental distinction in ontology among the form,appearance, and substrate of any entity. Applying this three-facet ontology toconsciousness, we distinguish: the intentionality of consciousness (its form),the way we experience consciousness (its appearance, including so-called qualia),and the physical, biological, and cultural basis of consciousness (its substrate).We can thus show how these very different aspects of consciousness fit togetherin a fundamental ontology. And we can thereby define the proper domains ofphenomenology and other disciplinesthat contribute to our understanding of consciousness
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Abstract: In studying folk psychology, cognitive and developmental psychologists have mainly focused on how people conceive of non-experiential states, such as beliefs and desires. As a result, we know very little about how the non-philosophers (or the folk) understand the mental states that philosophers typically classify as being phenomenally conscious. In particular, it is not known whether the folk even tend to classify mental states in terms of their being or not being phenomenally conscious in the first place. Things have changed dramatically in the last few years, however, with a flurry of ground-breaking research by psychologists and experimental philosophers. In this article, I will review this work, carefully distinguishing between two questions: First, are the ascriptions that the folk make with regard to the mental states that philosophers classify as phenomenally conscious related to their decisions about whether morally right or wrong action has been done to an entity? Second, do the folk tend to classify mental states in the way that philosophers do, distinguishing between mental states that are phenomenally conscious and mental states that are not phenomenally conscious?
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Abstract: The assumption that the concept of phenomenal consciousness is pretheoretical is often found in the philosophical debates on consciousness. Unfortunately, this assumption has not received the kind of empirical attention that it deserves. We suspect that this is in part due to difficulties that arise in attempting to test folk intuitions about consciousness. In this article we elucidate and defend a key methodological principle for this work. We draw this principle out by considering recent experimental work on the topic by Joshua Knobe and Jesse Prinz (2008). We charge that their studies do not establish that the folk have a concept of phenomenal consciousness in part because they compare group agents to individuals . The problem is that group agents and individuals differ in some significant ways in terms of functional organization and behavior. We propose that future experiments should establish that ordinary people are disposed to ascribe different mental states to entities that are given behaviorally and functionally equivalent descriptions
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Abstract: Do philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in the same way? In this article, we argue that they do not and that the philosophical concept of phenomenal consciousness does not coincide with the folk conception. We first offer experimental support for the hypothesis that philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in markedly different ways. We then explore experimentally the folk conception, proposing that for the folk, subjective experience is closely linked to valence. We conclude by considering the implications of our findings for a central issue in the philosophy of mind, the hard problem of consciousness
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Abstract: Classical and medieval writers had no term for consciousness in anything like the modern sense, and their philosophy seems not to have been troubled by the mind-body problem. Contemporary eliminativists find strong support in this fact for their claim that consciousness does not exist, or, at least, is not an appropriate scientific explanandum. They typically hold that contemporary conceptions of consciousness are artefacts of Descartes' (now outmoded) views about matter and his unrealistic craving for epistemological certainty. Essentially, they say, our belief in consciousness is a residue of once pressing, but now irrelevant, intellectual tensions between religion and the rising new science of the Early Modern period. With the attempts of Descartes and his successors to resolve these tensions, Western thought began down a track toward the conceptual cul-de-sac of the "hard problem". Plausibly, the problem will only be (dis)solved, and the onward march of science assured, when we are able to shake off the pervasive influence of the Cartesian tradition in a way that goes far beyond the mere rejection of dualism. But when we do so, eliminativists contend, the distinctively Cartesian notion of consciousness will simply drop out of our world-picture, like phlogiston or the vital entelechy
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Abstract: An evolutionary point of view is proposed to make more appropriate distinctions between experience, awareness and consciousness. Experience can be defined as a characteristic linked closely to specific pattern matching, a characteristic already apparent at the molecular level at least. Awareness can be regarded as the special experience of one or more central, final modules in the animal neuronal brain. Awareness is what experience is to animals.Finally, consciousness could be defined as reflexive awareness. The ability for reflexive awareness is distinctly different from animal and human awareness and depends upon the availability of a separate frame of reference, as provided by symbolic language. As such, words have made reflexive awareness
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Abstract: The following extracts with connecting comments suggest a departure point for a definitions of consciousness that preserves its everyday phenomenology while allowing an understanding of what consciousness is to deepen as scientific investigation proceeds. I argue that current definitions are often theory-driven rather than following the contours of ordinary experience. Consequently they are sometimes too broad, sometimes too narrow, and sometimes not definitions of phenomenal consciousness at all. As an alternative, an ecologically valid, reflexive approach to consciousness is suggested that is consistent with science and with common sense
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Abstract: Definitions of consciousness need to be sufficiently broad to include all examples of conscious states and sufficiently narrow to exclude entities, events and processes that are not conscious. Unfortunately, deviations from these simple principles are common in modern consciousness studies, with consequent confusion and internal division in the field. The present paper gives example of ways in which definitions of consciousness can be either too broad or too narrow. It also discusses some of the main ways in which pre-existing theoretical commitments (about the nature of consciousness, mind and world) have intruded into definitions. Similar problems can arise in the way a “conscious process” is defined, potentially obscuring the way that conscious phenomenology actually relates to its neural correlates and antecedent causes in the brain, body and external world. Once a definition of “consciousness” is firmly grounded in its phenomenology, investigations of its ontology and its relationships to entities, events and processes that are not conscious can begin, and this may in time transmute the meaning (or sense) of the term. As our scientific understanding of these relationships deepen, our understanding of what consciousness is will also deepen. A similar transmutation of meaning (with growth of knowledge) occurs with basic terms in physics such as "energy", and "time."
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