Which States Can Be Conscious? Cognitive Qualia Reduced

Jesse J. Prinz

in The Conscious Brain

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195314595
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979059 | DOI:

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

Which States Can Be Conscious? Cognitive Qualia Reduced

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The AIR theory of consciousness applies only to perceptual representations, because other kinds of representations, include some used in higher cognition, are not hierarchically organized or amenable to direct attentional modulation. This may suggest that the theory is incomplete, because some authors claim that there can be distinctively cognitive phenomenology. Such authors can be called expansionists because they expand consciousness beyond perception. This chapter defends restrictivism, the view that only perceptual states can be conscious. Alleged cases of cognitive phenomenology are reviewed, and it is argued that that each case can be explained in terms of perceptual phenomenology, including the experience of inner speech. Five reasons are also given for rejecting the claim that there is distinctively cognitive phenomenology.

Keywords: cognitive phenomenology; restrictivism; expansionism; conscious thoughts; language

Chapter.  9432 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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