The Explanatory Status of the Sensorimotor Approach to Phenomenal Consciousness, and Its Appeal to Cognition

Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 15)

Abstract

This paper starts by providing a succinct overview of the sensorimotor approach to phenomenal consciousness, describing its two parts: the part that concerns the quality of sensations, and the part that concerns whether or not such qualities are (consciously) experienced. The paper goes on to discuss the explanatory status of the approach, claiming that the approach does not simply “explain away” qualia, but that on the contrary, it provides a way of thinking about qualia that explains why they are the way they are, stimulates scientific paradigms and produces testable predictions. A final part of the paper examines the relation of the theory to radical enactivism, claiming that some kind of “higher order” cognitive mechanism similar to that used in Higher Order Thought theories of consciousness is needed to account for what is usually meant by being conscious of something.

Keywords

Qualia phenomenal consciousness radical enactivism Higher Order Thought sensorimotor theory 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    O’Regan, J.K.: Why red doesn’t sound like a bell: Understanding the feel of consciousness. Oxford University Press, New York (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    O’Regan, J.K., Noë, A.: A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness. Behav. Brain Sci. 24(5), 883–917 (2001)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nagel, T.: What is it like to be a bat? Philos. Rev. 83, 435–456 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    O’Regan, J.K., Myin, E., Noë, A.: Towards an analytic phenomenology: the concepts of ‘bodiliness’ and ‘grabbiness’. In: Carsetti, A. (ed.) Proceedings of the International Colloquium: Seeing and Thinking. Reflections on Kanizsa’s Studies in Visual Cognition, University Tor Vergata, Rome, June 8-9, pp. 103–114. Kluwer (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rosenthal, D.M.: From Rocco Gennaro (ed). In: Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness: An Anthology, pp. 17–44. Johns Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carruthers, P.: Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness. In: Zalta, E.N. (ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2011 Edition) (2011)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ryle, G.: The concept of mind. University of Chicago Press (1949)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hutto, D.D., Myin, E.: Radicalizing enactivism: Basic minds without content. MIT Press, Cambridge (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    O’Regan, J.K., Block, N.: Discussion of J. Kevin O’Regan’s ‘Why Red Doesn’t Sound Like a Bell: Understanding the Feel of Consciousness’. Rev. Philos. Psychol., 1–20 (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gallagher, S.: Philosophical conceptions of the self: implications for cognitive science. Trends Cogn. Sci. 4(1), 14–21 (2000)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Thompson, E.: Mind in life: Biology, phenomenology, and the sciences of mind, vol. xiv. Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, Cambridge (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rosenthal, D.M.: Consciousness and mind. Oxford University Press (2005)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Clark, A.: A Case where Access Implies Qualia. Analysis 60(265), 30–37 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Psychologie de la PerceptionUniversité Paris DescartesParisFrance

Personalised recommendations