- Copyright Page
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: What is the Philosophy of Consciousness?
- The Problem of Consciousness
- Visual Experience
- Non-Visual Perception
- Bodily Feelings: Presence, Agency, and Ownership
- Emotional Experience: Affective Consciousness and its Role in Emotion Theory
- Imaginative Experience
- Conscious Thought
- The Experience of Agency
- Temporal Consciousness
- The Phenomenal Unity of Consciousness
- The Neural Correlates of Consciousness
- Beyond the Neural Correlates of Consciousness
- Dualism: How Epistemic Issues Drive Debates about the Ontology of Consciousness
- Russellian Monism
- Idealism: Putting Qualia To Work
- Eliminativism About Consciousness
- A Priori Physicalism
- A Posteriori Physicalism: Type-B Materialism and the Explanatory Gap
- Representationalism about Consciousness
- Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness
- Self-Representationalist Theories of Consciousness
- The Epistemic Approach to the Problem of Consciousness
- Consciousness and Attention
- Consciousness and Memory
- Consciousness and Action: Contemporary Empirical Arguments for Epiphenomenalism
- Consciousness and Intentionality
- Consciousness and Knowledge
- Consciousness, Introspection, and Subjective Measures
- Consciousness and Selfhood: Getting Clearer on For-Me-Ness and Mineness
- Consciousness and Morality
- Embodied Consciousness
Abstract and Keywords
Higher-order (HO) theories of consciousness hold that a mental state is conscious when it is appropriately represented by a ‘higher-order’ state, a state about another mental state. The higher-order perception (HOP) theory holds that HO representation is best modeled on perceptual processes, while the higher-order thought (HOT) theory holds that it is best modeled on thought. In addition, some HO theories hold that to be conscious, a state must be actively represented by an HO state, while others maintain that the mere disposition to be represented by an HO state is enough. The HO theory, if successful, offers a reductive explanation of mental state consciousness in terms of nonconscious HO representation. This chapter first spells out the general motivation for the HO view and the differences between HOP and HOT before considering key objections to the approach, as well as possible empirical support. Finally it looks at how the view addresses the explanatory gap and the hard problem of consciousness.
Keywords: Higher-order theory, higher-order perception, higher-order thought, consciousness, theories of consciousness, sensory qualities, phenomenal consciousness, hard problem of consciousness, explanatory gap
Josh Weisberg is associate professor in philosophy at the University of Houston. He is the author of Consciousness (Polity 2014).
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