Consciousness and its function

  title={Consciousness and its function},
  author={David M. Rosenthal},
  • D. Rosenthal
  • Published 31 December 2008
  • Psychology, Philosophy
  • Neuropsychologia
The utility of conscious thinking on higher-order theory
Higher-order theories of consciousness posit that a mental state is conscious by virtue of being represented by another mental state, which is therefore a higher-order representation (HOR). Whether
Giving Up on Consciousness as the Ghost in the Machine
In arguing for the counter-intuitive epiphenomenal perspective, it is suggested that a scientific approach considers all mental aspects of mind including consciousness in terms of their underlying, preceding biological changes, in the realization that most brain processes are not accompanied by any discernible change in subjective awareness.
Consciousness: a neural capacity for objectivity, especially pronounced in humans
This paper argues that neither view sufficiently acknowledges that consciousness may refer to the brain’s most adaptive property: its capacity to produce states of objectivity, and proposes that this capacity relies on multiple sensorimotor networks for internally representing objects and their properties in terms of expectancies.
Causal Exclusion and Consciousness
Causal Exclusion and Consciousness George Seli ( Department of Philosophy, 365 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10016-4309 USA Abstract I examine the question whether state consciousness
Dual-process theories and consciousness: the case for ‘Type Zero’ cognition
A pair of distinctions between conscious and non-conscious representations are used to illuminate some existing experimental results and to resolve the puzzle about whether consciousness helps or hinders accurate information processing.
Consciousness and confidence
Mental States, Conscious and Nonconscious
I discuss here the nature of nonconscious mental states and the ways in which they may differ from their conscious counterparts. I first survey reasons to think that mental states can and often do
Perceptual Justification Outside of Consciousness
It is often assumed that rationality and consciousness share some sort of essential connection. Thus some theorists build rationality into their accounts of consciousness. Ned Block, for example,
Consciousness, free will, and moral responsibility: Taking the folk seriously
Evidence that folk views of free will and moral responsibility accord a central place to consciousness is offered, and results indicate that conscious action production is considered much more important for free will than is concordance with motivations, values, and character traits.
Consciousness and Theory of Mind: a Common Theory?
Many philosophers and scientists have argued that the difference between phenomenally conscious states and other kind of states lies in the implicit self-awareness that conscious states have.


How many kinds of consciousness?
  • D. Rosenthal
  • Philosophy, Psychology
    Consciousness and Cognition
  • 2002
On a confusion about a function of consciousness
  • N. Block
  • Psychology, Biology
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 1995
This target article uses as an example a form of reasoning about a function of “consciousness” based on the phenomenon of blindsight, where an obvious function of the machinery of accessconsciousness is illicitly transferred to phenomenal consciousness.
What Good is Consciousness?
If consciousness is good for something, conscious things must differ in some causally relevant way from unconscious things. If they do not, then, as Davies and Humphreys conclude, too bad for
The illusion of conscious will
Wegner (Wegner, D. (2002). The illusion of conscious will. MIT Press) argues that conscious will is an illusion, citing a wide range of empirical evidence. I shall begin by surveying some of his
Higher-order theories of consciousness
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.
What is it like to be a Bat
Consciousness is what makes the mind-body problem really intractable. Perhaps that is why current discussions of the problem give it little attention or get it obviously wrong. The recent wave of
A cognitive theory of consciousness
List of figures and tables Preface Part I. Introduction: 1. What is to be explained some preliminaries Part II. The Basic Model: 2. Model 1: conscious representations are internally consistent and
The mind's best trick: how we experience conscious will
  • D. Wegner
  • Philosophy, Psychology
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 2003