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The Concept of Consciousness and the Bogeyman of Conflation

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Many philosophers of mind believe that the term 'consciousness' is ambiguous and charge that theoretical work on consciousness is often guilty of conflating distinct concepts of consciousness. I criticize the best arguments for this view -- what I call the multiple concepts view -- and I offer some preliminary support for a new brand of univocalism according to which the concept of consciousness is a cluster concept. In particular I address three lines of evidence for the multiple concepts view: (1) Rosenthal's distinctions between creature consciousness, state consciousness, and transitive consciousness, (2) the argument from theoretical diversity (as I call it), and (3) Block's distinction between access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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