Author: Natsoulas, Thomas
Affiliation: U California, Davis, USA
Title: Appendage theory--pro and con.
Source: Journal of Mind & Behavior, 1992 Fal, 1992. 13 (4): p.371-396
Language: English
Subjects: Thesaurus terms: Consciousness States Theories
Added Keywords: D. M. Rosenthal's Appendage theory of consciousness
Classification Code: Consciousness States (2380)
Population Terms: Human
Abstract: Appendage theory seeks to identify the property of consciousness that makes conscious mental-occurrence instances conscious. D. M. Rosenthal (1990) has proposed such a theory, according to which "state consciousness" is due to a ("higher-order") thought that accompanies, without apparent inference, each conscious mental state and affirms its occurrence. The present article consists of arguments from Rosenthal's writings in support of his theory and arguments against it. It is concluded that Rosenthal's theory needs to be improved in the following respects among others: (1) explaining why we do not seem able to distinguish firsthand our state consciousness from the mental-occurrence instance that is its object; (2) explaining how higher-order thoughts find their target without any reference to themselves; and (3) explaining, not by means of a perception-like process, how higher-order thoughts give state consciousness of sensory qualities. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)