Phenomenal Consciousness: A Naturalistic Theory

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 30, 2003 - Philosophy - 368 pages
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How can phenomenal consciousness exist as an integral part of a physical universe? How can the technicolour phenomenology of our inner lives be created out of the complex neural activities of our brains? Many have despaired of finding answers to these questions; and many have claimed that human consciousness is inherently mysterious. Peter Carruthers argues, on the contrary, that the subjective feel of our experience is fully explicable in naturalistic (scientifically acceptable) terms. Drawing on a variety of interdisciplinary resources, he develops and defends a novel account in terms of higher-order thought. He shows that this can explain away some of the more extravagant claims made about phenomenal consciousness, while substantively explaining the key subjectivity of our experience. Written with characteristic clarity and directness, and surveying a wide range of extant theories, this book is essential reading for all those within philosophy and psychology interested in the problem of consciousness.
 

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Contents

List of figures
xi
Preface
xiii
Assumptions distinctions and a mapi
1
2 Functionalism and theorytheory
5
kinds of consciousness
9
the tree of consciousness
22
Perspectival subjective and worldly facts
27
2 On facts and properties
32
Higherorder representationalism a first defence
180
2 HOR theory and qualia irrealism
184
3 Of animals infants and the autistic
193
4 Moral consequences?
203
Dispositionalist higherorder thought theory 1 function
210
2 Actualist HOT theory
219
3 Dispositionalist HOT theory
227
4 Dispositional theory and categorical experience
233

3 Necessary identities
39
4 Logical supervenience
49
Explanatory gaps and qualia
59
2 The explanatory gap
64
3 The knowledge argument
71
4 Inverted and absent qualia arguments
76
Naturalisation and narrow content
88
2 Naturalisation by content
95
3 Wide versus narrow content
104
4 Phenomenal consciousness and narrow content
109
Firstorder representationalism
114
defence
122
3 Nonconceptual versus analog content
129
4 More varieties of FOR theory
136
Against firstorder representationalism
147
the scientific case
154
3 A trilemma for FOR theory
168
4 Nonconscious phenomenality?
175
Dispositionalist higherorder thought theory 2 feel
236
2 Actual HOTs and feel
239
3 Consumer semantics and feel
241
4 Elucidations and replies
259
Phenomenal consciousness and language
271
2 Higherorder description HOD theory
278
3 The Joycean machine
282
4 The independence of structured HOTs from language
288
Fragmentary consciousness and the Cartesian theatre
297
2 Fragmenting the Cartesian theatre
307
3 Time as represented versus time of representing
313
4 Objective versus subjective time
318
Conclusion
325
References
330
Author index
341
Subject index
344
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