Consciousness and Cognition

Robert Van Gulick

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195309799
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Consciousness and Cognition

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Several concepts used in the area of consciousness and cognition are discussed. There are five distinguished types of creature consciousness. An organism may be said to be conscious is it can sense and perceive its environment and has the capacity to respond appropriately. A second sense of creature consciousness requires not merely the capacity to sense or perceive, but the current active use of those capacities. Another notion of creature consciousness requires that organisms be not only aware but also self-aware. Self-awareness comes in degrees and varies along multiple dimensions. The conscious creatures might be defined as those that have an experiential life. Organisms are sometimes said to be conscious of various items or objects. Consciousness in this sense is understood as an intentional relation between the organism and some object or item of which it is aware. The conscious states might be regarded as those that have phenomenal properties or phenomenal character. The representationalist theories claim that conscious states have no mental properties other than their representational properties. Higher-order theories analyze consciousness as a form of self-awareness. Higher-order theories come in several forms. Some treat the requisite higher-order states as perception-like, and thus the process of generating such states is a kind of inner perception or perhaps introspection. The intermediate level representation model focuses on the contents of conscious experience.

Keywords: consciousness; cognition; transitive consciousness; access consciousness; representational theories

Article.  9790 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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