Is There a Simple Argument for Higher-Order Representation Theories of Awareness Consciousness?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

William Lycan has articulated “a simple argument” for higher-order representation (HOR) theories of a variety of consciousness sometimes labeled ‘awareness consciousness’ (Lycan, Analysis 61.1, January 3–4, 2001). The purpose of this article is to critically assess the influential argument-strategy of the simple argument. I argue that, as stated, the simple argument fails since it is invalid. Moreover, I argue that an obvious “quick fix” would beg the question against competing same-order representation (SOR) theories of awareness consciousness. I then provide a reconstruction of the argument and argue that although the reconstructed argument deserves consideration, it is also too simple as stated. In particular, it raises several controversial questions about the nature of mental representation. These questions must be addressed before a verdict as to the cogency of the HOR argument-strategy can be reached. But since the questions are controversial, a cogent argument for HOR theories of awareness consciousness is unlikely to be simple.
Original languageEnglish
JournalErkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy
Volume69
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)243-259
ISSN0165-0106
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Representation Theory
Higher Order
Awareness
Consciousness

Cite this

@article{2d9356bcfa7e476da75d4847ee652696,
title = "Is There a Simple Argument for Higher-Order Representation Theories of Awareness Consciousness?",
abstract = "William Lycan has articulated “a simple argument” for higher-order representation (HOR) theories of a variety of consciousness sometimes labeled ‘awareness consciousness’ (Lycan, Analysis 61.1, January 3–4, 2001). The purpose of this article is to critically assess the influential argument-strategy of the simple argument. I argue that, as stated, the simple argument fails since it is invalid. Moreover, I argue that an obvious “quick fix” would beg the question against competing same-order representation (SOR) theories of awareness consciousness. I then provide a reconstruction of the argument and argue that although the reconstructed argument deserves consideration, it is also too simple as stated. In particular, it raises several controversial questions about the nature of mental representation. These questions must be addressed before a verdict as to the cogency of the HOR argument-strategy can be reached. But since the questions are controversial, a cogent argument for HOR theories of awareness consciousness is unlikely to be simple.",
author = "Mikkel Gerken",
year = "2008",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1007/s10670-008-9116-z",
language = "English",
volume = "69",
pages = "243--259",
journal = "Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy",
issn = "0165-0106",
publisher = "Heinemann",
number = "2",

}

Is There a Simple Argument for Higher-Order Representation Theories of Awareness Consciousness? / Gerken, Mikkel.

In: Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy, Vol. 69, No. 2, 09.2008, p. 243-259.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Is There a Simple Argument for Higher-Order Representation Theories of Awareness Consciousness?

AU - Gerken, Mikkel

PY - 2008/9

Y1 - 2008/9

N2 - William Lycan has articulated “a simple argument” for higher-order representation (HOR) theories of a variety of consciousness sometimes labeled ‘awareness consciousness’ (Lycan, Analysis 61.1, January 3–4, 2001). The purpose of this article is to critically assess the influential argument-strategy of the simple argument. I argue that, as stated, the simple argument fails since it is invalid. Moreover, I argue that an obvious “quick fix” would beg the question against competing same-order representation (SOR) theories of awareness consciousness. I then provide a reconstruction of the argument and argue that although the reconstructed argument deserves consideration, it is also too simple as stated. In particular, it raises several controversial questions about the nature of mental representation. These questions must be addressed before a verdict as to the cogency of the HOR argument-strategy can be reached. But since the questions are controversial, a cogent argument for HOR theories of awareness consciousness is unlikely to be simple.

AB - William Lycan has articulated “a simple argument” for higher-order representation (HOR) theories of a variety of consciousness sometimes labeled ‘awareness consciousness’ (Lycan, Analysis 61.1, January 3–4, 2001). The purpose of this article is to critically assess the influential argument-strategy of the simple argument. I argue that, as stated, the simple argument fails since it is invalid. Moreover, I argue that an obvious “quick fix” would beg the question against competing same-order representation (SOR) theories of awareness consciousness. I then provide a reconstruction of the argument and argue that although the reconstructed argument deserves consideration, it is also too simple as stated. In particular, it raises several controversial questions about the nature of mental representation. These questions must be addressed before a verdict as to the cogency of the HOR argument-strategy can be reached. But since the questions are controversial, a cogent argument for HOR theories of awareness consciousness is unlikely to be simple.

U2 - 10.1007/s10670-008-9116-z

DO - 10.1007/s10670-008-9116-z

M3 - Journal article

VL - 69

SP - 243

EP - 259

JO - Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy

JF - Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy

SN - 0165-0106

IS - 2

ER -