- This article replies to the main objections raised by the commentators on "Carruthers (Peter) - Natural theories of consciousness" (1998).
- It discusses the question of what evidence is relevant to the assessment of dispositional higher-order thought (HOT) theory;
- it explains how the actual properties of phenomenal consciousness can be dispositionally constituted;
- it discusses the case of pains and other bodily sensations in non-human animals and young children;
- it sketches the case for preferring higher-order to first-order theories of phenomenal consciousness; and
- it replies to some miscellaneous points and objections.
- My guess is that readers of this journal will not want a blow-by-blow response to every detail in the ten commentaries in my target paper "Carruthers (Peter) - Natural theories of consciousness". I shall concentrate on three general themes which figure in many of the papers:
- the role of empirical data, and an attendant charge that I have been engaged in bare a priori theorising;
- a challenge to explain how mere dispositions to entertain higher-order thoughts (HOTs) about one's experiences could confer actual subjectivity on the latter; and
- an argument that small children and other animals surely feel their bodily sensations, contrary to the (alleged) implications of HOT theory.
- I shall then
- say something about the reasons for preferring higher-order to first-order accounts of phenomenal consciousness, before
- closing with some miscellaneous defensive remarks.
See Link (Defunct).
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