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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

Chapter:
(p.132) (p.133) 5.1 Seeming to Seem
Source:
The Philosophy of Daniel Dennett
Author(s):

David Rosenthal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199367511.003.0009

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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