Natural Theories of Consciousness

Peter Carruthers

in Consciousness

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780199277360
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602597 | DOI:
Natural Theories of Consciousness

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Works its way through a variety of different accounts of phenomenal consciousness, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each. At the heart of the chapter is an extended critical examination of first-order representational (FOR) theories, of the sort espoused by Dretske and Tye, arguing that they are inferior to higher-order representational (HOR) accounts. Acknowledges as a problem for HOR theories that they might withhold phenomenal consciousness from most other species of animal, but claims that this problem should not be regarded as a serious obstacle to the acceptance of some such theory. Different versions of HOR theory are discussed, and the author’s own account (dual-content theory, here called dispositional higher-order thought theory) is briefly elaborated and defended.

Keywords: animal consciousness Dretske; dual-content theory; dispositional higher-order thought; higher-order representationalism; first-order representationalism; phenomenal consciousness; Tye

Chapter.  12424 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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