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The Philosophy of Daniel Dennett$
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Bryce Huebner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199367511.001.0001

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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: 14 May 2021

Seeming to Seem

Seeming to Seem

(p.132) (p.133) 5.1 Seeming to Seem
The Philosophy of Daniel Dennett

David Rosenthal

Oxford University Press

Dennett’s account of consciousness starts from third-person considerations. I argue this is wise, since beginning with first-person access precludes accommodating the third-person access we have to others’ mental states. But Dennett’s first-person operationalism, which seeks to save the first person in third-person, operationalist terms, denies the occurrence of folk-psychological states that one doesn’t believe oneself to be in, and so the occurrence of folk-psychological states that aren’t conscious. This conflicts with Dennett’s intentional-stance approach to the mental, on which we discern others’ mental states independently of those states’ being conscious. We can avoid this conflict with a higher-order theory of consciousness, which saves the spirit of Dennett’s approach, but enables us to distinguish conscious folk-psychological states from nonconscious ones. The intentional stance by itself can’t do this, since it can’t discern a higher-order awareness of a psychological state. But we can supplement the intentional stance with the higher-order theoretical apparatus.

Keywords:   consciousness, first-person access, higher order theory, intentional stance, Daniel Dennett

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