•  9
    : This commentary focuses on the scientific status of perceptual projection-a central feature of Pereira’s projective theory of consciousness. In his target article, he draws on my own earlier work to develop an explanatory framework for integrating first-person viewable conscious experience with the third-person viewable neural correlates and antecedent causes that form conscious experience into a bipolar structure that contains both a sense of self and a sense of the world. I stress that perce…Read more
  •  32
    This is the fourth of four online Companions to Velmans, M. (ed.) (2018) Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), a 4-volume collection of Major Works on Consciousness commissioned by Routledge, London. The Companion (and Volume) begins with a review of mental influences on states of the body and brain (psychogenesis), which are often thought of as theoretically problematic for conventional materialist theories of mind. The evidence is nevertheless extensive, for example in psychosomati…Read more
  •  23
    This is the third of four online Companions to Velmans, M. (ed.) (2018) Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), a 4-volume collection of Major Works on Consciousness commissioned by Routledge, London. The Companion to Volume 3 introduces major phases and findings in the search for the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) starting with the time it takes for these to form and the wider research program that might lead to their discovery. This includes the search for mechanisms respon…Read more
  •  35
    This is the second of four online Companions to Velmans, M. (ed.) (2018) Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), a 4-volume collection of Major Works on Consciousness commissioned by Routledge, London. The Companion to Volume 2 Part 1 focuses on the detailed relationship of phenomenal consciousness to mental processing described either functionally (as human information processing) or in terms of neural activity, in the ways typically explored by cognitive psychology and cognitive neur…Read more
  •  28
    This is the first of four online Companions to Velmans, M. (ed.) (2018) Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), a 4-volume collection of Major Works on Consciousness commissioned by Routledge, London. Each of the Companions presents a pre-publication version of the introduction to one of the Volumes and, for Volume 1, it also sets the stage for the entire, printed collection. As the collection forms part of a Critical Concepts in Psychology series, this selection of major works focuses …Read more
  •  56
    This is a 4-volume collection of Major Works on Consciousness commissioned by Routledge, London. As the collection forms part of a Critical Concepts in Psychology series, this selection of major works focuses mainly on works that have a direct psychological relevance. From the mid 19th Century onwards, psychology began to separate itself from philosophy, and the development of psychological thought about consciousness links intimately to the development of psychology itself. In order to trace th…Read more
  •  219
    How to define consciousness—and how not to define consciousness
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (5): 139-156. 2009.
    Definitions of consciousness need to be sufficiently broad to include all examples of conscious states and sufficiently narrow to exclude entities, events and processes that are not conscious. Unfortunately, deviations from these simple principles are common in modern consciousness studies, with consequent confusion and internal division in the field. The present paper gives example of ways in which definitions of consciousness can be either too broad or too narrow. It also discusses some of the…Read more
  •  247
    The following extracts with connecting comments suggest a departure point for a definitions of consciousness that preserves its everyday phenomenology while allowing an understanding of what consciousness is to deepen as scientific investigation proceeds. I argue that current definitions are often theory-driven rather than following the contours of ordinary experience. Consequently they are sometimes too broad, sometimes too narrow, and sometimes not definitions of phenomenal consciousness at al…Read more
  •  155
    A natural account of phenomenal consciousness
    Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 34 (1): 39-59. 2001.
    Physicalists commonly argue that conscious experiences are nothing more than states of the brain, and that conscious qualia are observer-independent, physical properties of the external world. Although this assumes the 'mantle of science,' it routinely ignores the findings of science, for example in sensory physiology, perception, psychophysics, neuropsychology and comparative psychology. Consequently, although physicalism aims to naturalise consciousness, it gives an unnatural account of it. It…Read more
  •  53
    (From the Publisher 2017) Featuring many important updates and revisions, the highly-anticipated second edition of The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness offers a collection of readings that together represent the most thorough and comprehensive survey of the nature of consciousness available today. Chapters delve deeply into the wide variety of scientific and philosophical problems that arise from the study of consciousness—as well as the philosophical, cognitive, neuroscientific, and phenome…Read more
  •  63
    Towards a Deeper Understanding of Consciousness: Selected works of Max Velmans
    Routledge World Library of Psychologists Series. 2017.
    (Publisher's Description) In the World Library of Psychologists series, international experts themselves present career-long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces - extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, and their major practical theoretical contributions. In this volume Max Velmans reflects on his long-spanning and varied career, considers the highs and lows in a brand new introduction and offers reactions to those who have responded to his published wo…Read more
  •  39
    (for online upload) The readings in Investigating Phenomenal Consciousness (2000) were developed from an International Symposium on Methodologies for the Study of Consciousness: A new Synthesis,” that I organised in April, 1996, funded and hosted by the Fetzer Institute, Wisconsin, USA, with the aim of fostering the development of first-person methods that could be used in conjunction with already well-developed third-person methods for investigating phenomenal consciousness. In this Introductio…Read more
  •  60
    Neural activation, information, and phenomenal consciousness
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1): 172-173. 1999.
    This is an open peer commentary on O’Brien & Opie (1999) “A connectionist theory of phenomenal experience”, published as a target article in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences. O’Brien & Opie defend a “vehicle” rather than a “process” theory of consciousness largely on the grounds that only conscious information is “explicit”. I argue that preconscious and unconscious representations can be functionally explicit (semantically well-formed and causally active). I also suggest that their analysis…Read more
  •  22
    A Thoroughly Empirical First-person Approach To Consciousness: Commentary On Baars On Contrastive Analysis
    PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 1. 1994.
    According to Nagel, bat consciousness is "what it is like to be a bat.'' According to Baars , we will never know what it is like to be bat, so this approach to consciousness does not allow the science of consciousness to progress. Rather, the nature of consciousness as such should be determined empirically, by contrasting processes which are conscious with processes that are not conscious. The present commentary argues that contrastive analysis is appropriate for finding the processes most close…Read more
  •  48
    Intersubjective science
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (2-3): 299-306. 1999.
    The study of consciousness in modern science is hampered by deeply ingrained, dualist presuppositions about the nature of consciousness. In particular, conscious experiences are thought to be private and subjective, contrasting with physical phenomena which are public and objective. In the present article, I argue that all observed phenomena are, in a sense, private to a given observer, although there are some events to which there is public access. Phenomena can be objective in the sense of int…Read more
  •  56
    Are we out of our minds?
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (6): 109-116. 2005.
    This paper is a commentary on Rupert Sheldrake’s analysis of theories of perception (in JCS, 2005, 2006). As Sheldrake points out in his fascinating review of ancient and modern thinking on this subject, theories of vision have ranged from “extramissive” theories that posit some active influence emanating from the eyes that both illuminates and influences the external world, “intramissive” theories that stress the influence of the external world on the (passive) brain, and theories in which intr…Read more
  •  74
    ABSTRACT. The following is an email interchange that took place between Dan Dennett and myself in the period 14th to 28th June, 2001. The discussion tries to clarify some essential features of the "heterophenomenology" developed in his book Consciousness Explained (1996), and how this differs from a form of "critical phenomenology" implicit in my own book Understanding Consciousness (2000), and developed in my edited Investigating Phenomenal Consciousness: new methodologies and maps (2000). The …Read more
  •  234
    Why conscious free will both is and isn't an illusion
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5): 677. 2004.
    Wegner’s analysis of the illusion of conscious will is close to my own account of how conscious experiences relate to brain processes. But our analyses differ somewhat on how conscious will is not an illusion. Wegner argues that once conscious will arises it enters causally into subsequent mental processing. I argue that while his causal story is accurate, it remains a first-person story. Conscious free will is not an illusion in the sense that this first-person story is compatible with and comp…Read more
  •  24
    Die Koevolution von Materie und Bewusstsein
    Synthesis Philosophica 22 (2): 273-282. 2007.
    Theorien über die Bewusstseinsevolution stehen in engem Zusammenhang mit Theorien über die Präsenz von Bewusstsein. Entsprechende Auffassungen bewegen sich zwischen dem Standpunkt, dass nur menschliche Wesen ein Bewusstsein haben, und der These, dass jegliche Materie in gewisser Weise über ein Bewusstsein verfügt. Allgemein formuliert, können diese Theorien in Diskontinuitäts- und Kontinuitätstheorien eingeteilt werden. Gemäß den Diskontinuitätstheorien ist das Bewusstsein erst dann in Erscheinu…Read more
  •  1
    The evolution of consciousness
    In Michel Weber & Anderson Weekes (eds.), Process Approaches to Consciousness in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy of Mind, State University of New York Press. pp. 261-272. 2009.
  •  98
    Consciousness, brain, and the physical world
    Philosophical Psychology 3 (1): 77-99. 1990.
    Dualist and Reductionist theories of mind disagree about whether or not consciousness can be reduced to a state of or function of the brain. They assume, however, that the contents of consciousness are separate from the external physical world as-perceived. According to the present paper this assumption has no foundation either in everyday experience or in science. Drawing on evidence for perceptual projection in both interoceptive and exteroceptive sense modalities, the case is made that the ph…Read more
  •  215
    Reflexive monism
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (2): 5-50. 2008.
    Reflexive monism is, in essence, an ancient view of how consciousness relates to the material world that has, in recent decades, been resurrected in modern form. In this paper I discuss how some of its basic features differ from both dualism and variants of physicalist and functionalist reductionism, focusing on those aspects of the theory that challenge deeply rooted presuppositions in current Western thought. I pay particular attention to the ontological status and seeming “out-thereness” of t…Read more
  •  55
    Is the world in the brain, or the brain in the world?
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (4): 427-429. 2003.
    Lehar provides useful insights into spatially extended phenomenology that may have major consequences for neuroscience. However, Lehar's biological naturalism leads to counterintuitive conclusions, and he does not give an accurate account of preceding and competing work. This commentary compares Lehar's analysis with that of Velmans, which addresses similar issues but draws opposite conclusions. Lehar argues that the phenomenal world is in the brain and concludes that the physical skull is beyon…Read more
  •  75
    An epistemology for the study of consciousness
    In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, Blackwell. pp. 711--725. 2007.
    This is a prepublication version of the final chapter from the Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. In it I re-examine the basic conditions required for a study of conscious experiences in the light of progress made in recent years in the field of consciousness studies. I argue that neither dualist nor reductionist assumptions about subjectivity versus objectivity and the privacy of experience versus the public nature of scientific observations allow an adequate understanding of how studies of …Read more
  •  28
    In daily life we take it for granted that our minds have conscious control of our actions, at least for most of the time. But many scientists and philosophers deny that this is really the case, because there is no generally accepted theory of how the mind interacts with the body. Max Velmans presents a non-reductive solution to the problem, in which ‘conscious mental control’ includes ‘voluntary’ operations of the preconscious mind. On this account, biological determinism is compatible with expe…Read more
  •  27
    This paper summarised the main arguments presented in "Consciousness, brain and the physical world" Philosophical Psychology (1990) to introduce a symposium on that paper. This was the first symposium on Velmans' Reflexive Model of Perception (the departure point for Reflexive Monism). This summary of the 1990 paper was followed by three critiques (by Robert Rentoul, Norman Wetherick, and Grant Gillett) followed by two replies. At the time of this upload (25 years later) many of the points in th…Read more
  •  62
    Could phenomenal consciousness function as a cognitive unconscious?
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3): 357-358. 2002.
    Evidence for unconscious semantic representation suggests that a cognitive unconscious exists. Phenomenal consciousness cannot easily be shown to deal with complex cognitive operations such as those involved in language translation and creativity. A self-organising phenomenal consciousness that controls brain functions also runs into mind/body problems (well recognised in the consciousness studies literature) that Perruchet & Vinter must address.
  •  25
    Synopsis of 'consciousness, brain and the physical world'
    Philosophical Psychology 5 (2): 153-157. 1992.
    (1992). Synopsis of ‘consciousness, brain and the physical world’. Philosophical Psychology: Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 153-157. doi: 10.1080/09515089208573049