•  1271
    The unity of consciousness and the split-brain syndrome
    Journal of Philosophy 105 (6): 277-300. 2008.
    According to conventional wisdom, the split-brain syndrome puts paid to the thesis that consciousness is necessarily unified. The aim of this paper is to challenge that view. I argue both that disunity models of the split-brain are highly problematic, and that there is much to recommend a model of the split-brain—the switch model—according to which split-brain patients retain a fully unified consciousness at all times. Although the task of examining the unity of consciousness through the lens of…Read more
  •  1238
    The Phenomenology of Agency
    Philosophy Compass 3 (1): 182-202. 2008.
    The phenomenology of agency has, until recently, been rather neglected, overlooked by both philosophers of action and philosophers of consciousness alike. Thankfully, all that has changed, and of late there has been an explosion of interest in what it is like to be an agent. 1 This burgeoning field crosses the traditional boundaries between disciplines: philosophers of psychopathology are speculating about the role that unusual experiences of agency might play in accounting for disorders of thou…Read more
  •  963
    Perception and the reach of phenomenal content
    Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236): 385-404. 2009.
    The phenomenal character of perceptual experience involves the representation of colour, shape and motion. Does it also involve the representation of high-level categories? Is the recognition of a tomato as a tomato contained within perceptual phenomenality? Proponents of a conservative view of the reach of phenomenal content say ’No’, whereas those who take a liberal view of perceptual phenomenality say ’Yes’. I clarify the debate between conservatives and liberals, and argue in favour of the l…Read more
  •  603
    What is the unity of consciousness?
    In Axel Cleeremans (ed.), The Unity of Consciousness, Oxford University Press. 2003.
    At any given time, a subject has a multiplicity of conscious experiences. A subject might simultaneously have visual experiences of a red book and a green tree, auditory experiences of birds singing, bodily sensations of a faint hunger and a sharp pain in the shoulder, the emotional experience of a certain melancholy, while having a stream of conscious thoughts about the nature of reality. These experiences are distinct from each other: a subject could experience the red book without the singing…Read more
  •  536
    Representationalism and the problem of vagueness
    Philosophical Studies 162 (1): 71-86. 2013.
    This paper develops a novel problem for representationalism (also known as "intentionalism"), a popular contemporary account of perception. We argue that representationalism is incompatible with supervaluationism, the leading contemporary account of vagueness. The problem generalizes to naive realism and related views, which are also incompatible with supervaluationism
  •  517
    Explanation does not exist in a metaphysical vacuum. Conceptions of the structure of a phenomenon play an important role in guiding attempts to explain it, and erroneous conceptions of a phenomenon may direct investigation in misleading directions. I believe that there is a case to be made for thinking that much work on the neural underpinnings of consciousness—what is often called the neural correlates of consciousness—is driven by an erroneous conception of the structure of consciousness. The …Read more
  •  426
    The Unity of Consciousness
    Oxford University Press UK. 2010.
    Tim Bayne draws on philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience in defence of the claim that consciousness is unified. He develops an account of what it means to say that consciousness is unified, and then applies this account to a variety of cases - drawn from both normal and pathological forms of experience - in which the unity of consciousness is said to break down. He goes on to explore the implications of the unity of consciousness for theories of consciousness, for the sense of embodiment, and…Read more
  •  397
    Libet and the case for free will scepticism
    In Richard Swinburne (ed.), Free Will and Modern Science, Oup/british Academy. 2011.
    Free will sceptics claim that we do not possess free will—or at least, that we do not possess nearly as much free will as we think we do. Some free will sceptics hold that the very notion of free will is incoherent, and that no being could possibly possess free will (Strawson this volume). Others allow that the notion of free will is coherent, but hold that features of our cognitive architecture prevent us from possessing free will. My concern in this chapter is with views of the second kind. Ac…Read more
  •  351
    Bottom-Up or Top-Down: Campbell's Rationalist Account of Monothematic Delusions
    Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (1): 1-11. 2004.
    A popular approach to monothematic delusions in the recent literature has been to argue that monothematic delusions involve broadly rational responses to highly unusual experiences. Campbell calls this the empiricist approach to monothematic delusions, and argues that it cannot account for the links between meaning and rationality. In place of empiricism Campbell offers a rationalist account of monothematic delusions, according to which delusional beliefs are understood as Wittgensteinian framew…Read more
  •  340
    Self-consciousness and the unity of consciousness
    The Monist 87 (2): 219-236. 2004.
    Consciousness has a number of puzzling features. One such feature is its unity: the experiences and other conscious states that one has at a particular time seem to occur together in a certain way. I am currently enjoying visual experiences of my computer screen, auditory experiences of bird-song, olfactory experiences of coffee, and tactile experiences of feeling the ground beneath my feet. Conjoined with these perceptual experiences are proprioceptive experiences, experiences of agency, affect…Read more
  •  338
    In _Consciousness and persons_, Michael Tye. Consciousness and persons. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.) develops and defends a novel approach to the unity of consciousness. Rather than thinking of the unity of consciousness as involving phenomenal relations between distinct experiences, as standard accounts do, Tye argues that we should regard the unity of consciousness as involving relations between the contents of consciousness. Having developed an account of what it is for consciousness to be unif…Read more
  •  327
    Phenomenology and delusions: Who put the 'alien' in alien control?
    with Elisabeth Pacherie and Melissa Green
    Consciousness and Cognition 15 (3): 566-577. 2006.
    Current models of delusion converge in proposing that delusional beliefs are based on unusual experiences of various kinds. For example, it is argued that the Capgras delusion (the belief that a known person has been replaced by an impostor) is triggered by an abnormal affective experience in response to seeing a known person; loss of the affective response to a familiar person’s face may lead to the belief that the person has been replaced by an impostor (Ellis & Young, 1990). Similarly, the Co…Read more
  •  316
    This paper contrasts two approaches to agentive self-awareness: a high-level, narrative-based account, and a low-level comparator-based account. We argue that an agent's narrative self-conception has a role to play in explaining their agentive judgments, but that agentive experiences are explained by low-level comparator mechanisms that are grounded in the very machinery responsible for action-production
  •  312
    The Vegetative State and the Science of Consciousness
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3): 459. 2010.
    Consciousness in experimental subjects is typically inferred from reports and other forms of voluntary behaviour. A wealth of everyday experience confirms that healthy subjects do not ordinarily behave in these ways unless they are conscious. Investigation of consciousness in vegetative state patients has been based on the search for neural evidence that such broad functional capacities are preserved in some vegetative state patients. We call this the standard approach. To date, the results of t…Read more
  •  305
    In defence of the doxastic conception of delusions
    with Timothy J. Bayne and Elisabeth Pacherie
    Mind and Language 20 (2): 163-88. 2005.
    In this paper we defend the doxastic conception of delusions against the metacognitive account developed by Greg Currie and collaborators. According to the metacognitive model, delusions are imaginings that are misidentified by their subjects as beliefs: the Capgras patient, for instance, does not believe that his wife has been replaced by a robot, instead, he merely imagines that she has, and mistakes this imagining for a belief. We argue that the metacognitive account is untenable, and that th…Read more
  •  295
    Consciousness as a guide to personal persistence
    with Barry Dainton
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4): 549-571. 2005.
    Mentalistic (or Lockean) accounts of personal identity are normally formulated in terms of causal relations between psychological states such as beliefs, memories, and intentions. In this paper we develop an alternative (but still Lockean) account of personal identity, based on phenomenal relations between experiences. We begin by examining a notorious puzzle case due to Bernard Williams, and extract two lessons from it: first, that Williams's puzzle can be defused by distinguishing between the …Read more
  •  267
    Hypnosis and the unity of consciousness
    In Graham Jamieson (ed.), Hypnosis and Conscious States: The Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective, Oxford University Press. pp. 93-109. 2007.
    Hypnosis appears to generate unusual—and sometimes even astonishing—changes in the contents of consciousness. Hypnotic subjects report perceiving things that are not there, they report not perceiving things that are there, and they report unusual alterations in the phenomenology of agency. In addition to apparent alterations in the contents of consciousness, hypnosis also appears to involve alterations in the structure of consciousness. According to many theorists—most notably Hilgard—hypnosis d…Read more
  •  264
    Delusions as Doxastic States: Contexts, Compartments, and Commitments
    Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (4): 329-336. 2010.
    Although delusions are typically regarded as beliefs of a certain kind, there have been worries about the doxastic conception of delusions since at least Bleuler’s time. ‘Anti-doxasticists,’ as we might call them, do not merely worry about the claim that delusions are beliefs, they reject it. Reimer’s paper weighs into the debate between ‘doxasticists’ and ‘anti-doxasticists’ by suggesting that one of the main arguments given against the doxastic conception of delusions—what we might call the fu…Read more
  •  260
    One of the central problems in the study of consciousness concerns the ascription of consciousness. We want to know whether certain kinds of creatures—such as non-human animals, artificially created organisms, and even members of our own species who have suffered severe brain-damage—are conscious, and we want to know what kinds of conscious states these creatures might be in if indeed they are conscious. The identification of accurate markers of consciousness is essential if the science of consc…Read more
  •  258
    Given its ubiquitous presence in everyday experience, it is surprising that the phenomenology of doing—the experience of being an agent—has received such scant attention in the consciousness literature. But things are starting to change, and a small but growing literature on the content and causes of the phenomenology of first-person agency is beginning to emerge.2 One of the most influential and stimulating figures in this literature is Daniel Wegner. In a series of papers and his book The Illu…Read more
  •  248
    The grounds of worship
    Religious Studies 42 (3): 299-313. 2006.
    Although worship has a pivotal place in religious thought and practice, philosophers of religion have had remarkably little to say about it. In this paper we examine some of the many questions surrounding the notion of worship, focusing on the claim that human beings have obligations to worship God. We explore a number of attempts to ground our supposed duty to worship God, and argue that each is problematic. We conclude by examining the implications of this result, and suggest that it might be …Read more
  •  245
    Where in cognitive architecture do experiences of agency lie? This chapter defends the claim that such states qualify as a species of perception. Reference to ‘the sense of agency’ should not be taken as a mere façon de parler but picks out a genuinely perceptual system. The chapter begins by outlining the perceptual model of agentive experience before turning to its two main rivals: the doxastic model, according to which agentive experience is really a species of belief, and the telic model, ac…Read more
  •  232
    Closing the gap? Some questions for neurophenomenology
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (4): 349-64. 2004.
    In his 1996 paper Neurophenomenology: A methodological remedy for the hard problem, Francisco Varela called for a union of Husserlian phenomenology and cognitive science. Varela''s call hasn''t gone unanswered, and recent years have seen the development of a small but growing literature intent on exploring the interface between phenomenology and cognitive science. But despite these developments, there is still some obscurity about what exactly neurophenomenology is. What are neurophenomenologist…Read more
  •  224
    After being sorely neglected for some time, consciousness is well and truly back on the philosophical and scientific agenda. This entry provides a whistle-stop tour of some recent debates surrounding consciousness, with a particular focus on issues relevant to the scientific study of consciousness. The first half of this entry (the first to fourth sections) focuses on clarifying the explanandum of a science of consciousness and identifying constraints on an adequate account of consciousness; the…Read more
  •  211
    Experience, belief, and the interpretive fold
    Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (1): 81-86. 2004.
    Elisabeth Pacherie is a research fellow in philosophy at Institut Jean Nicod, Paris. Her main research and publications are in the areas of philosophy of mind, psychopathology and action theory. Her publications include a book on intentionality (_Naturaliser_ _l'intentionnalité_, Paris, PUF, 1993) and she is currently preparing a book on action and agency
  •  203
    Chalmers on the Justification of Phenomenal Judgments
    Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 62 (2): 407-419. 2001.
    We seem to enjoy a very special kind of epistemic relation to our own conscious states. In The Conscious Mind, David Chalmers argues that our phenomenal judgments are fully-justified or certain because we are acquainted with the phenomenal states that are the objects of such judgments. Chalmers holds that the acquaintance account of phenomenal justification is superior to reliabilist accounts of how it is that our PJs are justified, because it alone can underwrite the certainty of our phenomenal…Read more
  •  202
    The papers in this volume are drawn from a workshop on delusion and self-deception, held at Macquarie University in November of 2004. Our aim was to bring together theorists working on delusions and self-deception with an eye towards identifying and fostering connections—at both empirical and conceptual levels—between these domains. As the contributions to this volume testify, there are multiple points of contact between delusion and self-deception. This introduction charts the conceptual space …Read more
  •  169
    Resisting ruthless reductionism: A commentary on Bickle
    with Jordi FernÁndez
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3): 239-48. 2005.
    Philosophy and Neuroscience is an unabashed apologetic for reductionism in philosophy of mind. Bickle chides his fellow philosophers for their ignorance of mainstream neuroscience, and promises them that a subscription to Cell, Neuron, or any other journal in mainstream neuroscience will be amply rewarded. Rather than being bogged down in the intricacies of two-dimensional semantics or the ontology of properties, philosophers of mind need to get neuroscientifically informed and ruthlessly reduct…Read more
  •  164
    Are There Levels of Consciousness?
    with Jakob Hohwy and Adrian M. Owen
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (6): 405-413. 2016.
    The notion of a level of consciousness is a key construct in the science of consciousness. Not only is the term employed to describe the global states of consciousness that are associated with post-comatose disorders, epileptic absence seizures, anaesthesia, and sleep, it plays an increasingly influential role in theoretical and methodological contexts. However, it is far from clear what precisely a level of consciousness is supposed to be. This paper argues that the levels-based framework for c…Read more
  •  161
    The Oxford Companion to Consciousness (edited book)
    with Patrick Wilken and Axel Cleeremans
    Oxford University Press. 2009.
    Five years in the making and including over 250 concise entries written by leaders in the field, the volume covers both fundamental knowledge as well as more recent advances in this rapidly changing domain.