Consciousness and Cognition

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Oxford University Press, Jan 10, 2002 - Philosophy - 296 pages
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Our thinking about consciousness and cognition is dominated by a certain very natural conception. This conception dictates what we take the fundamental questions about consciousness and cognition to be as well as the form that their answers must take. In this book, Michael Thau shows that, despite its naturalness, this conception begins with and depends upon a few fundamental errors. Exorcising these errors requires that we completely reconceive the nature of both consciousness and cognition as well as the fundamental problems each poses. Thau proceeds by discussing three famous and important philosophical puzzles - Spectrum Inversion, Frege's Puzzle, and Black-and-White Mary - each of which concerns some aspect of either consciousness or cognition. It has gone unnoticed that at a certain important level of generality, each of these puzzles presents the very same problem and, in bringing out this common problem, the errors in our natural conception of consciousness and cognition are also brought out. Thau's book will appeal to the casual reader interested in the proper solution of these puzzles and the nature of consciousness and cognition. The discussion of Frege's puzzle also contains important insights about the nature of linguistic communication and, hence, anyone interested in the fundamental questions in philosophy of language will also want to read the book.
 

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Contents

Two false assumptions
132
Conclusion
135
The Structure of Linguistic Communication
137
The philosophical importance of implicature
140
The Gricean paradox and two ways of generating it
143
The accessibility of Gricean inferences
147
The underdetermination of the inferences
149
Dispensing with the inferences
153

Generalized usemention confusion
35
Pain and other sensations
37
Shoemakers view
41
Conclusion
45
The Structure of Belief and Perceptual Representation
49
Intentionality and sensedata theory
52
The link to truth and falsity
55
The relational nature of belief
58
Instantial states vs internal states
60
Against internal belief states
62
The possible worlds account of propositions
68
Saying and believing
70
Perceptual representation
74
Perception and the particularizing fallacy
80
Intentionality revisited
81
The FregeanMillian distinction and the whathow distinction
83
Descriptive Fregeanism and nondescriptive Fregeanism
84
Guise Millianism and pure Millianism
86
Singular propositions
88
Explaining the whathow distinction
95
Conclusion
97
Freges Puzzle
98
Four ways of generating Freges puzzle
99
The way that appeals to reasons for behavior
104
Two ways the triadist can explain the differences in information conveyed Differencesinthehow and differencesaboutthehow
107
Representaional content qualia and nondescriptive modes of presentation
112
Against differencesaboutthehow
117
Against differencesinthehow
126
Semantic value as a theoretical entity
159
The opacity of semantic value
162
Trivial but informative sentences
166
True identity statements belief ascriptions containing true identity statements etc
168
A kind of conventional implicature
172
Conclusion
175
BlackandWhite Mary
178
A first pass at the argument
180
A response to the argument
182
A qualification Conveying vs registering
187
Reformulating the argument
191
First response Mary gains only nonpropositional knowledge
194
The relation between Marys new propositional and nonpropositional knowledge
197
Seeing objects vs seeing properties
198
Second response Mary learns about red
200
Third response Mary lacks the concept red
208
Toward the heart of the argument Dumbing Mary down
214
Toward the heart of the argument Setting Mary free
216
At the heart of the argument
219
Why we cant name the properties represented in perception
222
Looking some color
226
The intuition that colors are represented in perception
231
Perceptual representation and dispositionalism about color
235
Conclusion
236
Notes
239
Works Cited
271
Index
277
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François Recanati
Limited preview - 2004
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About the author (2002)

Michael Thau teaches Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles. He works in Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, and Epistemology.

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