Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cognitive Phenomenology$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Tim Bayne and Michelle Montague

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199579938

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579938.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 January 2022

Phenomenal Thought

Phenomenal Thought

(p.236) Phenomenal Thought
Cognitive Phenomenology

Charles Siewert

Oxford University Press

Does phenomenal consciousness include conceptual thought, or is it limited to merely sensory features? The answer can significantly affect theories of consciousness. This article's case for including conceptual thought (“inclusivism”) starts with historical background meant to show that the opposite “exclusivist” position enjoys no default status. The notion of phenomenal consciousness is then clarified by proposing an interpretation of the crucial phrase “there is something that it's like for one.” This allows a relatively precise and unpredjudicial statement of the issue. It is largely decided by whether what it is like for one to have occurrent conceptual thought is entirely derivative from what it is like to have sensory features one could have in its absence. Detailed examination of three situations of occurrent understanding furnishes three arguments that this is not the case, and thus that an inclusivist position is correct. The three involve: (i) what it is like to read a passage with and without following the meaning; (ii) what it is like to have a delayed understanding of what someone said; (iii) what it is like to switch one's interpretation of a phrase. Finally, it is argued that the inclusivism advocated is compatible with certain forms of content externalism; these do not refute it.

Keywords:   phenomenal consciousness, phenomenal features, occurrent thought, experience of understanding, thought content, content externalism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .