Ned Block has recently pressed a new criticism of the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness. HOT proponents have responded in turn. The exchange affords a chance to find some clarity concerning the essential commitments of HOT, as well as a chance to find clarity on the issues that divide Block and HOT proponents. In this paper I discuss the recent exchange, and I draw some lessons. First, I side with HOT proponents in arguing that the new criticism presents no new problem for HOT. Second, I argue that the issues separating Block and HOT proponents suggest that two separate debates are being conflated, and I suggest that keeping them distinct will yield progress for consciousness studies.

Additional Metadata
Journal Journal of Consciousness Studies
Citation
Shepherd, J. (2013). Why Block can't stand the HOT. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 20(3-4), 183–195.