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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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In Defense of the HOT Thesis

In Defense of the HOT Thesis

(p.11) 2 In Defense of the HOT Thesis
The Consciousness Paradox

Rocco J. Gennaro

The MIT Press

This chapter begins with a defense of the HOT Thesis, stating that a version of the HOT theory is true and thus a version of reductive representationalism is true. Current theories of consciousness attempt to reduce it to mental representations of some kind, which philosophers often refer to as intentional states; these states have representational content, i.e. mental states that are “about” or “directed at” something. Before a defense can be established, it is important to explain several iterations of representationalism and make a case for the reductionist approach to consciousness. Searle’s well-known Connection Principle is examined as well and its critical examination used to argue the point that intentionality is partly prior to consciousness. The chapter concludes with an exploration into the nature of mental content in light of the HOT theory.

Keywords:   reductive representationalism, HOT Thesis, theories of consciousness, mental representations, intentional states, representational content, reductionist approach, Searle, Connection Principle

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