Rocco J. Gennaro

Rocco J. Gennaro is Professor and Department Chair of Philosophy at the University of Southern Indiana and the author of The Consciousness Paradox: Consciousness, Concepts, and Higher-Order Thoughts (MIT Press).

  • Disturbed Consciousness

    Disturbed Consciousness

    New Essays on Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness

    Rocco J. Gennaro

    Essays defend, discuss, and critique specific theories of consciousness with respect to various psychopathologies.

    In Disturbed Consciousness, philosophers and other scholars examine various psychopathologies in light of specific philosophical theories of consciousness. The contributing authors—some of them discussing or defending their own theoretical work—consider not only how a theory of consciousness can account for a specific psychopathological condition but also how the characteristics of a psychopathology might challenge such a theory. Thus one essay defends the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness against the charge that it cannot account for somatoparaphrenia (a delusion in which one denies ownership of a limb). Another essay argues that various attempts to explain away such anomalies within subjective theories of consciousness fail.

    Other essays consider such topics as the application of a model of unified consciousness to cases of brain bisection and dissociative identity disorder; prefrontal and parietal underconnectivity in autism and other psychopathologies; self-deception and the self-model theory of subjectivity; schizophrenia and the vehicle theory of consciousness; and a shift in emphasis away from an internal (or brainbound) approach to psychopathology to an interactive one. Each essay offers a distinctive perspective from the intersection of philosophy, consciousness research, and psychiatry.

    Contributors Alexandre Billon, Andrew Brook, Paula Droege, Rocco J. Gennaro, Philip Gerrans, William Hirstein, Jakob Hohwy, Uriah Kriegel, Timothy Lane, Thomas Metzinger, Erik Myin, Inez Myin-Germeys, Myrto Mylopoulos, Gerard O'Brien, Jon Opie, J. Kevin O'Regan, Iuliia Pliushch, Robert Van Gulick

    • Hardcover $48.00 £37.00
  • The Consciousness Paradox

    The Consciousness Paradox

    Consciousness, Concepts, and Higher-Order Thoughts

    Rocco J. Gennaro

    A defense of a version of the higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness with special attention to such topics as concepts and animal consciousness.

    Consciousness is arguably the most important area within contemporary philosophy of mind and perhaps the most puzzling aspect of the world. Despite an explosion of research from philosophers, psychologists, and scientists, attempts to explain consciousness in neurophysiological, or even cognitive, terms are often met with great resistance. In The Consciousness Paradox, Rocco Gennaro aims to solve an underlying paradox, namely, how it is possible to hold a number of seemingly inconsistent views, including higher-order thought (HOT) theory, conceptualism, infant and animal consciousness, concept acquisition, and what he calls the HOT-brain thesis. He defends and further develops a metapsychological reductive representational theory of consciousness and applies it to several importantly related problems. Gennaro proposes a version of the HOT theory of consciousness that he calls the "wide intrinsicality view" and shows why it is superior to various alternatives, such as self-representationalism and first-order representationalism. HOT theory says that what makes a mental state conscious is that a suitable higher-order thought is directed at that mental state.

    Thus Gennaro argues for an overall philosophical theory of consciousness while applying it to other significant issues not usually addressed in the philosophical literature on consciousness. Most cognitive science and empirical works on such topics as concepts and animal consciousness do not address central philosophical theories of consciousness. Gennaro's integration of empirical and philosophical concerns will make his argument of interest to both philosophers and nonphilosophers.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99