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Caging the Beast: A Theory of Sensory Consciousness

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A major obstacle for materialist theories of the mind is the problem of sensory consciousness. How could a physical brain produce conscious sensory states that exhibit the rich and luxurious qualities of red velvet, a Mozart concerto or fresh-brewed coffee? Caging the Beast: A Theory of Sensory Consciousness offers to explain what these conscious sensory states have in common, by virtue of being conscious as opposed to unconscious states. After arguing against accounts of consciousness in terms of higher-order ...
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Overview

A major obstacle for materialist theories of the mind is the problem of sensory consciousness. How could a physical brain produce conscious sensory states that exhibit the rich and luxurious qualities of red velvet, a Mozart concerto or fresh-brewed coffee? Caging the Beast: A Theory of Sensory Consciousness offers to explain what these conscious sensory states have in common, by virtue of being conscious as opposed to unconscious states. After arguing against accounts of consciousness in terms of higher-order representation of mental states, the theory claims that sensory consciousness is a special way we have of representing the world. The book also introduces a way of thinking about subjectivity as separate and more fundamental than consciousness, and considers how this foundational notion can be developed into more elaborate varieties. An appendix reviews the connection between consciousness and attention with an eye toward providing a neuropsychological instantiation of the proposed theory. (Series A)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 On sensory consciousness 1
1.1 Caging the beast 7
1.2 Internal sense: A good trap 17
1.3 Second sense: A better trap 21
1.4 Purely verbal? 25
Ch. 2 On higher-order theories of consciousness 31
2.1 The higher-order explanation of state consciousness 32
2.2 Formulating an alternative: A flat theory of sensory consciousness 52
Ch. 3 Solving the problem of Spot-sight 65
3.1 Coordinating sensory consciousness 66
3.2 What good is a second sense? 86
3.3 Spot-sight again 95
Ch. 4 Subjectivity 99
4.1 Subjective authority 101
4.2 Special facts or special access? 105
4.3 Subjectivity as the view from here 110
4.4 Deflating (and re-inflating) subjectivity 120
Ch. 5 Testing the theory 123
5.1 Troubles with functionalism 123
5.2 The hard problem 128
5.3 On Rosenthal 132
5.4 Dealing with Dennett 135
App A Speculative Hypothesis 141
Notes 157
References 169
Index 179
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