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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
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jun 2019
Accepted/In press13 Feb 2019
E-pub ahead of print20 Jun 2019
Published20 Jun 2019


King's Authors


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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