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[Related Event] The 41th meeting of Tokyo Colloquium of Cognitive Philosophy

17:30-19:30, Friday, June 7, 2013
Room 710, Bld 14, The University of Tokyo, Komaba

Department of History and Philosophy of Science will hold the 41st Tokyo Colloquium of Cognitive Philosophy. Everyone is welcome.

Date & Time: June 7th (Fri), 2013, 17:30-19:30
Venue: the 14th Building, Room 710 on the 7th floor, Komaba Campus

Presenter: Adriana Renero (The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
Title: The Higher Order Approach to Consciousness is Alive*

*Pace Block, N. (2011). The higher order approach to consciousness is defunct. Analysis, 71 (3), 419–431.

How are we conscious of our auditory sensations and perceptions? Recent philosophical theories of sound and auditory perception tend not to discuss this important question. Prevalent philosophical theories on consciousness have constantly neglected the auditory modality. Moreover, philosophers typically approach to consciousness by referring to first-order representations and in the context of visual modality. My goal is to provide an account of auditory subjective experience and to show how consciousness about one’s auditory experience is triggered. I examine a range of auditory mental phenomena with their particular properties to show that one is able to capture qualitative distinctions of auditory sensations. I argue that one’s consciousness of auditory states consists in having thoughts that organize one’s auditory experience. I elaborate on David Rosenthal’s high-order-thought theory of consciousness and the so-called quality-space theory, and show its significance for analyzing subjective auditory experience. I use quality-space theory to account for the qualities of pitch, timbre, and dynamics. I further show that one’s high-order-thoughts capture qualitative distinctions of one’s auditory sensations. I conclude by demonstrating how a hypothetical experienced listener in possession of a refined vocabulary describes and reports her high-order-thoughts about her musical experience.

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