•  81
    The extra ingredient
    Biology and Philosophy 36 (2): 1-4. 2021.
    Birch et. al. see their model as incompatible with higher-order-thought (HOT) theories of consciousness, on which a state is conscious if one is in some suitable way aware of that state. They see higher-order (HO) awareness as an “extra ingredient”. But since Birch et al go on to say that “[t]his is not the place for a detailed discussion of HOT theories,” they don’t address why they take HO awareness to be an extra ingredient or why HOT theorists are convinced that it’s needed. In this comme…Read more
  •  69
    Edited in hypertext by Andrew Chrucky. Reprinted with the permission of Professor David Rosenthal. Editor's Note: Due to the limitation of current hypertext, the following conventions have been used. In general, if an expression has some mark over it, that mark is placed as a prefix to the expression. All Greek characters are rendered by their names. Subscripts are placed in parentheses as concatenated suffixes: thus, e.g., HO is the chemical formula for water. Sellars' dot quotes are expressed …Read more
  •  57
    Res Cogitans: An Essay in Rational Psychology
    Journal of Philosophy 73 (9): 240-252. 1976.
  •  54
    Higher-order thoughts and the appendage theory of consciousness
    Philosophical Psychology 6 (2): 155-66. 1993.
    Theories of what it is for a mental state to be conscious must answer two questions. We must say how we're conscious of our conscious mental states. And we must explain why we seem to be conscious of them in a way that's immediate. Thomas Natsoulas distinguishes three strategies for explaining what it is for mental states to be conscious. I show that the differences among those strategies are due to the divergent answers they give to the foregoing questions. Natsoulas finds most promising the st…Read more
  •  45
    red and round. According to common sense, the red, round thing we see is the tomato itself. When we have a hallucinatory vision of a tomato, however, there may be present to us no red and round phys- ical object. Still, we use the words 'red' and 'round' to describe that situation as well, this time applying them to the visual experience itself. We say that we have a red, round visual image, or a visual experience of a red disk, or some such. Because we see physical objects far more often than w…Read more
  •  42
    Perception: A Representative Theory by Frank Jackson (review)
    Journal of Philosophy 82 (1): 28-41. 1985.
  •  42
    Neural Antecedents of Spontaneous Voluntary Movement: A New Perspective
    with Aaron Schurger and Myrto Mylopoulos
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (2): 77-79. 2016.
  •  42
    Quality-space theory in olfaction
    with Benjamin D. Young and Andreas Keller
    Frontiers in Psychology 5. 2014.
    Quality-space theory (QST) explains the nature of the mental qualities distinctive of perceptual states by appeal to their role in perceiving. QST is typically described in terms of the mental qualities that pertain to color. Here we apply QST to the olfactory modalities. Olfaction is in various respects more complex than vision, and so provides a useful test case for QST. To determine whether QST can deal with the challenges olfaction presents, we show how a quality space (QS) could be construc…Read more
  •  41
    Content, interpretation, and consciousness
    ProtoSociology 14 67-84. 2000.
    According to Dennett, the facts about consciousness are wholly fixed by the effects consciousness has on other things. But if a mental state's being conscious consists in one's having a higher-order thought about that state, we will in principle have an independent way to fix those facts. Dennett also holds that our speech acts sometimes determine what our thoughts are, since speech acts often outrun in content the thoughts they express.I argue that what thoughts we have is independent of how we…Read more
  •  37
    Philosophy of Mind
    Social Research: An International Quarterly 47. 1980.
  •  35
    Mentality and neutrality
    Journal of Philosophy 73 (13): 386-415. 1976.
  •  33
    The Nature of Consciousness
    Mind 113 (451): 581-588. 2004.
  •  32
    Subjective Character and Reflexive Content
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1): 191-198. 2004.
    John Perry’s splendid book, Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness, sets out to dispel the three main objections currently lodged against mind-body materialism. These are the objection from the alleged possibility of zombies, the knowledge argument made famous by Frank Jackson, and the modal objections due principally to Saul A. Kripke and David Chalmers. The discussion is penetrating throughout, and it develops many points in illuminating detail.
  •  32
    Phenomenological overflow and cognitive access
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6): 522-523. 2007.
    I argue that the partial-report results Block cites do not establish that phenomenology overflows cognitive accessibility, as Block maintains. So, without additional argument, the mesh he sees between psychology and neuroscience is unsupported. I argue further that there is reason to hold, contra Block, that phenomenology does always involve some cognitive access to the relevant experience
  •  30
    Sensory Quality and the Relocation Story
    Philosophical Topics 26 (1-2): 321-350. 1999.
  •  28
    Explaining consciousness
    In David J. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings, Oxford University Press. pp. 406--421. 1993.
  •  26
    The Nature of Mind (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 1991.
    This anthology brings together readings mainly from contemporary philosophers, but also from writers of the past two centuries, on the philosophy of mind. Some of the main questions addressed are: is a human being really a mind in relation to a body; if so, what exactly is this mind and how it is related to the body; and are there any grounds for supposing that the mind survives the disintegration of the body?
  •  26
    Keeping matter in mind
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1): 295-322. 1980.
  •  21
    Chalmers' Meta-Problem
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (9-10): 194-204. 2019.
    There is strong reason to doubt that the intuitions Chalmers' meta-problem focuses on are widespread or independent of proto-theoretical prompting. So it's unlikely that they result from factors connected to the nature of consciousness. In any case, it's only the accuracy of the problem intuitions that matters for evaluating theories of consciousness or revealing the nature of consciousness, not an explanation of how they arise. Unless we determine that they're accurate about consciousness, we m…Read more
  •  21
    There is much in Bridgeman's account that I find congenial and compelling, especially appealing is Bridgeman's application of his thesis to the tie between consciousness and language. Nonetheless, I want to raise some questions about whether the tie he finds between plans and consciousness actually does hold. Not all memory and attention is conscious. Although attention and accessing of memories are required to execute plans, we need not be at all conscious of the relevant states of memory and a…Read more