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The Consciousness ParadoxConsciousness, Concepts, and Higher-Order Thoughts$
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Rocco J. Gennaro

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016605

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016605.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
The Consciousness Paradox

Rocco J. Gennaro

The MIT Press

This book defends and develops the metapsychological reductive representational theory of consciousness and attempts to apply it to several importantly related problems, including concept acquisition and animal consciousness. The text maintains a higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, which states that a mental state’s consciousness is dependent upon a suitable higher-order thought directed reflexively. HOTs are mental states directed at other mental states, and, therefore, are metapsychological or metacognitive states that are concerned with explaining how conscious mental states differ from unconscious ones. In addition to a defense of HOT theory, this book aims to solve a larger underlying paradox referred to here as the Consciousness Paradox. This paradox and its underlying theses are explained further in the succeeding chapters.

Keywords:   reductive representational theory, consciousness, concept acquisition, animal consciousness, higher-order thought theory, HOT, mental states, Consciousness Paradox

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