•  686
    in Encyclopedia of Consciousness, ed. William P. Banks, Amsterdam: Elsevier, forthcoming in 2009
  •  637
    Higher-Order Awareness, Misrepresentation, and Function
    Higher-Order Awareness, Misrepresentation and Function 367 (1594): 1424-1438. 2012.
    Conscious mental states are states we are in some way aware of. I compare higher-order theories of consciousness, which explain consciousness by appeal to such higher-order awareness (HOA), and first-order theories, which do not, and I argue that higher-order theories have substantial explanatory advantages. The higher-order nature of our awareness of our conscious states suggests an analogy with the metacognition that figures in the regulation of psychological processes and behaviour. I argue…Read more
  •  608
    Two concepts of consciousness
    Philosophical Studies 49 (May): 329-59. 1986.
    No mental phenomenon is more central than consciousness to an adequate understanding of the mind. Nor does any mental phenomenon seem more stubbornly to resist theoretical treatment. Consciousness is so basic to the way we think about the mind that it can be tempting to suppose that no mental states exist that are not conscious states. Indeed, it may even seem mysterious what sort of thing a mental state might be if it is not a conscious state. On this way of looking at things, if any mental sta…Read more
  •  608
    The Mind and Its Expression
    with G. E. M. Anscombe and R. Rhees
    pain' and ┌I think that p┐ express the pain and the thought that p, themselves. The book is most impressive. It is packed with careful argument, and addresses a remarkable range of important issues about the mind. I have very much enjoyed studying it.
  •  514
    The Higher-Order Model of Consciousness
    In Rita Carter (ed.), Consciousness, Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 2002.
    All mental states, including thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and sensations, often occur consciously. But they all occur also without being conscious. So the first thing a theory of consciousness must do is explain the difference between thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and sensations that are conscious and those which are not.
  •  513
    One phenomenon pertains roughly to being awake. A person or other creature is conscious when it's awake and mentally responsive to sensory input; otherwise it's unconscious. This kind of consciousness figures most often in everyday discourse.
  •  489
    Consciousness, the self and bodily location
    Analysis 70 (2): 270-276. 2010.
    (No abstract is available for this citation)
  •  433
    The problem of consciousness is to say what it is for some of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations to be conscious, given that others are not. This is different from saying what it is for a person to be conscious or not conscious. Even when people are conscious, many of their thoughts and sensations typically are not. And there's nothing problematic about a person's being conscious; it's just the person's being awake and responsive to sensory input
  •  412
    How many kinds of consciousness?
    Consciousness and Cognition 11 (4): 653-665. 2002.
    Ned BlockÕs influential distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness has become a staple of current discussions of consciousness. It is not often noted, however, that his distinction tacitly embodies unargued theoretical assumptions that favor some theoretical treatments at the expense of others. This is equally so for his less widely discussed distinction between phenomenal consciousness and what he calls reflexive consciousness. I argue that the distinction between phenomenal and acce…Read more
  •  361
    How to think about mental qualities
    Philosophical Issues 20 (1): 368-393. 2010.
    It’s often held that undetectable inversion of mental qualities is, if not possible, at least conceivable. It’s thought to be conceivable that the mental quality your visual states exhibit when you see something red in standard conditions is literally of the same type as the mental quality my visual states exhibit when I see something green in such circumstances. It’s thought, moreover, to be conceivable that such inversion of mental qualities could be wholly undetectable by any third-person mea…Read more
  •  310
  •  290
    Moore's paradox and Crimmins's case
    Analysis 62 (2): 167-171. 2002.
    Moore’s paradox occurs with sentences, such as (1) It’s raining and I don’t think it’s raining. which are self-defeating in a way that prevents one from making an asser- tion with them.1 But Mark Crimmins has given us a case of a sentence that is syntactically just like (1) but is nonetheless assertible. Suppose I know somebody, and know or have excellent reason to believe that I know that very person under some other guise. I do not know what that other guise is, though I do know that I believe…Read more
  •  289
    MS, under submission, derived from a Powerpoint presentation at a Conference on Consciousness, Memory, and Perception, in honor of Larry Weiskrantz, City University, London, September 15, 2006.
  •  287
    Expressing One’s Mind
    Acta Analytica 25 (1). 2010.
    Remarks such as ‘I am in pain’ and ‘I think that it’s raining’ are puzzling, since they seem to literally describe oneself as being in pain or having a particular thought, but their conditions of use tend to coincide with unequivocal expressions of pain or of that thought. This led Wittgenstein, among others, to treat such remarks as expressing, rather than as reporting, one’s mental states. Though such expressivism is widely recognized as untenable, Bar-On has recently advanced a ne…Read more
  •  280
    Phenomenal consciousness and what it's like
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1): 156--57. 1997.
    be realized. Whatever gets access to phenomenal awareness is represented within this absent together
  •  253
    Consciousness and Mind
    Oxford University Press UK. 2005.
    Consciousness and Mind presents David Rosenthal's influential work on the nature of consciousness. Central to that work is Rosenthal's higher-order-thought theory of consciousness, according to which a sensation, thought, or other mental state is conscious if one has a higher-order thought that one is in that state. The first four essays develop various aspects of that theory. The next three essays present Rosenthal's homomorphism theory of mental qualities and qualitative consciousness, and sho…Read more
  •  248
    A touchstone of much modern theorizing about the mind is the idea, still tac- itly accepted by many, that a state's being mental implies that it's conscious. This view is epitomized in the dictum, put forth by theorists as otherwise di-.
  •  235
    I begin by considering Ned Block's widely accepted distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness. I argue that on Block's official characterization a mental state's being access conscious is not a way the state's being conscious in any intuitive sense; that if phenomenal consciousness itself corresponds to an intuitive way of a state's being conscious, it literally implies access consciousness; and that Block misconstrues the theoretical significance of the commonsense distinction. The…Read more
  •  221
    Unity of consciousness and the self
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3): 325-352. 2003.
    The so-called unity of consciousness consists in the compelling sense we have that all our conscious mental states belong to a single conscious subject. Elsewhere I have argued that a mental state's being conscious is a matter of our being conscious of that state by having a higher-order thought (HOT) about it. Contrary to what is sometimes argued, this HOT model affords a natural explanation of our sense that our conscious states all belong to a single conscious subject. HOTs often group states…Read more
  •  212
    Self-knowledge and Moore's paradox
    Philosophical Studies 77 (2-3). 1995.
    As G. E. Moore famously observed, sentences such as 'It's raining but I don't think it is', though they aren't contradictory, cannot be used to make coherent assertions.' The trouble with such sentences is not a matter of their truth conditions; such sentences can readily be true. Indeed, it happens often enough with each of us that we think, for example, that it isn't raining even though it is. This shows that such sentences are not literally contradictory. But even though such sentences have u…Read more
  •  203
    Measuring away an attentional confound?
    with Jorge Morales, Yasha Mouradi, Claire Sergent, Ned Block, Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel, Piercesare Grimaldi, and Hakwan Lau
    Neuroscience of Consciousness 3 (1): 1-3. 2017.
    A recent fMRI study by Webb et al. (Cortical networks involved in visual awareness independent of visual attention, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016;113:13923–28) proposes a new method for finding the neural correlates of awareness by matching atten- tion across awareness conditions. The experimental design, however, seems at odds with known features of attention. We highlight logical and methodological points that are critical when trying to disentangle attention and awareness.
  •  198
    The main goal of Deborah Modrak's penetrating and compelling discussion is to show that Aristotle subscribed "to an integrated model of perceptual and noetic functions" (268). Using Aristotle's phrase (Γ4, 429b13, 21), Modrak describes the integrated model as the view that "the noetic faculty is the perceptual faculty differently disposed" (283). She notes that this interpretation faces certain difficulties, but argues forcefully and incisively that it can nonetheless be sustained.
  •  197
    Consciousness, content, and metacognitive judgments
    Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2): 203-214. 2000.
    Because metacognition consists in our having mental access to our cognitive states and mental states are conscious only when we are conscious of them in some suitable way, metacognition and consciousness shed important theoretical light on one another. Thus, our having metacognitive access to information carried by states that are not conscious helps con?rm the hypothesis that a mental state
  •  191
    Intentionality
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10 (1): 151-184. 1986.
    At the level of our platitudinous background knowledge about things, speech is the expression of thought. And understanding what such expressing involves is central to understanding the relation between thinking and speaking. Part of what it is for a speech act to express a mental state is that the speech act accurately captures the mental state and can convey to others what mental state it is. And for this to occur, the speech act at least must have propositional content that somehow reflects t…Read more
  •  190
    Metacognition and higher-order thoughts
    Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2): 231-242. 2000.
    Because there is a fair amount of overlap in the points by Balog and Rey, I will organize this response topically, referring specifically to each commentator as rele- vant. And, because much of the discussion focuses on my higher-order-thought hypothesis independent of questions about metacognition, I will begin by addressing a cluster of issues that have to do with the status, motivation, and exact formulation of that hypothesis.