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Erkenntnis

, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 239–263 | Cite as

Are Our Concepts conscious state and conscious creature Vague?

  • Michael V. Antony
Original Article

Abstract

Intuitively it has seemed to many that our concepts conscious state and conscious creature are sharp rather than vague, that they can have no borderline cases. On the other hand, many who take conscious states to be identical to, or realized by, complex physical states are committed to the vagueness of those concepts. In the paper I argue that conscious state and conscious creature are sharp by presenting four necessary conditions for conceiving borderline cases in general, and showing that some of those conditions cannot be met with conscious state. I conclude that conscious state is sharp, and the conclusion is then extended to conscious creature. The paper ends with a brief discussion of some implications.

Keywords

Consciousness Phenomenal consciousness Conscious state Conscious creature Phenomenology Vagueness Borderline case Concept Conception 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Many people have helped with discussion or written comments, both brief and extended. Special thanks to Ned Block, Berel Lerner, Ruth Manor, Michael Martin, Michael Morreau, David Papineau, and several anonymous referees. Earlier versions of this paper were presented in 2003 at meetings of the Israeli Philosophical Society and the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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