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Causality-Dependent Consciousness and Consciousness-Dependent Causality

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This paper has two main goals. First, it asks whether causality is an adequate foundation for those theories of cognition and consciousness that are built upon it. The externalist revolution has reconceived all three dimensions of cognition -- the semantic, the epistemological, and the mental -- upon a foundation of 'causal connections of the appropriate type'. Yet these new theories almost completely ignore the long-standing controversies surrounding the very nature of causality, and the very real threat that 'causality' may be ill-equipped to do the work required of it. The second goal is to defend a kind of causality, largely ignored, that is grounded in the phenomenally conscious states of cognitive agents. While it is popular to try to reduce consciousness to causality, this is a kind of causality that ultimately reduces to (phenomenal) consciousness.

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: January 1, 2012


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