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Disturbed ConsciousnessNew Essays on Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness$
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Rocco J. Gennaro

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029346

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029346.001.0001

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Consciousness, Action, and Pathologies of Agency

Consciousness, Action, and Pathologies of Agency

Chapter:
(p.75) 4 Consciousness, Action, and Pathologies of Agency
Source:
Disturbed Consciousness
Author(s):

Myrto Mylopoulos

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029346.003.0004

Myrto Mylopoulos discusses the traditionally neglected phenomenon of action consciousness and its breakdowns in pathological conditions. She introduces a novel framework for understanding action consciousness, which parallels one that is used to discuss state consciousness. In particular, she distinguishes between first-order and higher-order theories of action consciousness, where the former deny, but the latter affirm the claim that an action is conscious only if one is aware of it in some suitable way. Mylopoulos argues that higher-order theories of action consciousness enjoy significant advantages when it comes to making progress on understanding pathological cases in which action consciousness is impaired or disrupted. She focuses on anarchic hand syndrome, utilization behavior, and delusions of control in schizophrenia. Furthermore, while theorizing about action consciousness has typically proceeded independently from theorizing about state consciousness, she highlights some ways in which theorizing about consciousness as applied to these different phenomena, actions and mental states, may be fruitfully merged.

Keywords:   Action, Consciousness, Higher-Order Theory, First-Order Theory, Anarchic hand syndrome, Utilization behaviour, Delusions, Schizophrenia

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