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Waking, Knowing and Being Conscious

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numberII
Pages (from-to)137-160
JournalProceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes
Volume93
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jun 2019
DOIs
Accepted/In press13 Feb 2019
E-pub ahead of print20 Jun 2019
Published20 Jun 2019

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Abstract

Being conscious, in the sense in which this state is associated with being awake as opposed to dreaming or sleepwalking, has a distinctive experiential character and epistemic role. The former is reflected in the experience of waking up, the latter in traditional problems about perceptual knowledge. I outline a conception of being wakefully conscious which identifies this state in terms of its role in explaining knowledge about one’s environment and oneself. I suggest that this dual epistemic role may be grounded, in part, in the control of attention. I argue that this conception has some advantages over Matthew Soteriou’s (2019) account of the state in question in terms of a temporal point of view. These advantages are brought out by examining the experience of waking up, a traditional problem about perceptual knowledge, and folk attitudes to sleepwalking and infant consciousness.

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