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Imogen Dickie

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755616

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755616.001.0001

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Thought and Consciousness

Thought and Consciousness

(p.273) 8 Thought and Consciousness
Fixing Reference

Imogen Dickie

Oxford University Press

This chapter defends the flagship claim of non-naturalist approaches to the intentionality of thought: a subject who lacks subjective awareness—who has no states with phenomenal character—cannot ‘think’ in the sense we do. A defence of this claim must show what a non-naturalist account of the intentionality of thought can have that a naturalist one cannot. The chapter argues for a distinction between the causal significance each kind of framework can accord to aboutness facts. In a non-naturalist framework, aboutness facts feature in ‘triggering cause’ explanations of why subjects behave as they do. In a naturalist framework, they feature at best in ‘structuring cause’ explanations. The final part of the chapter addresses the more specific question of the role of perceptual phenomenal character in securing the aboutness of perceptual demonstrative thoughts, and includes a discussion of why such thoughts are not available in cases of blindsight (or superblindsight).

Keywords:   intentionality of thought, subjective awareness, phenomenal character, naturalist, non-naturalist, triggering cause, structuring cause, blindsight, superblindsight

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