RuCCS Colloquia

Consciousness and Speaking One's Mind

Dr. David Rosenthal

Tuesday, November 15, 2005, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

The City University Graduate Center

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Whenever we say something, the thought our speech act expressesis conscious. But when we express a thought nonverbally, bydoing something, that thought often fails to be conscious.Moreover, remarks like 'I think it's raining' arguably expressthe thought that one thinks it's raining; but such thoughts neednot be conscious when one expresses them verbally, by making suchremarks. I argue for the higher-order-thought theory of what itis for a mental state to be conscious, and deploy that theory toexplain both the generalization about verbal expressing andconsciousness and its exceptions. The explanation trades on theautomatic performance-conditional equivalence between saying thatp and saying that one thinks that p, which I argue is natural forcreatures with our descriptive abilities and folk-psychologicalconception of speech and thinking.

Dr. David Rosenthal


The RuCCS Colloquia Series is organized by Dr. Julien Musolino and Dr. Sara Pixley. The talks are held on Tuesdays in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on the Busch Campus from 1:00-2:30pm.

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