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(5) The actions required in 3 and 4 typically occupy a temporal exten-
sion of many seconds, minutes, or even hours. [3 and 4]
(6) So processes of awareness are temporally extended [5], scaffolded
[2], and embodied and embedded. [3 and 4]

I take it that the most controversial premise in this argument is 2.
An individualist who concedes 1 (and perhaps 4), might think that she
can embrace the temporally extended nature of processes of awareness,
Thinking Through and Beyond the Body
222

and so a version of 5 and 6, without going externalist. This would be to
concede that consciousness is temporally extended and relies on envi-
ronmental resources, while denying that the beyond-the-head resources
are cognitive.
Traditionally, the mind is conceptualized as beginning and ending
inside the head. We can express this view as implying two things about
the cognitive resources that constitute the mind. First, they lie exclusively
in the head, and second, they do not strictly require bodily action and
worldly engagement to be cognitive resources. Suppose that we attempt to
tackle the argument for the TESEE view of consciousness by staying close
to the traditional view of the mind on just the ¬rst of these two points.
That is, suppose that we have a head-bound view of cognitive resources,
but acknowledge that these internal cognitive resources often interact
with the world beyond the head in their role as cognitive resources. In
effect, this would be to attempt to cede both 1 and 4 in the argument,
while denying 2 and 3. Can such a position be defended?
One reason to think not is that the very processes that 4 concedes
involve resources in the world. If these processes are cognitive, then these
are cognitive resources. Hence 2. What is needed is a way to deny that
processes of awareness are ever themselves embedded. But the range of
examples that we have seen in the previous section makes this prima facie
implausible. The chief and perhaps most obvious way to deny this is to
defend the view that there is a fundamental asymmetry between what is
inside the head and what is outside of it, such that only the former can
constitute processes of awareness. An encoding view of representation
would ¬t the bill, since then resources inside the head would code for
those outside the head, but not vice-versa. But I have argued against such a
view in the previous chapter. I see no nonquestion-begging way to defend
the requisite asymmetry.
On the view of representation as exploitative that I have developed,
individuals or cognitive systems exploitatively represent objects, proper-
ties, events, and propositions, but the boundary of the individual does
not mark the place where representation begins or ends. States inside the
head are caused by, and carry information about, states outside the head,
but they bear this same relation to states of the body. Applying this view
to processes of awareness that operate through bodily action beyond the
limit of milliseconds and seconds makes it particularly dif¬cult to distin-
guish as cognitive resources just those states that occur inside the head.
As we manipulate our relationship to the world through action “ whether
it be through physical grasping with the hands in object manipulation,
Expanding Consciousness 223

head or eye movements in visual attention, talking to oneself or another
in ¬guring out what one thinks “ we also cause changes in those parts
of the beyond-the-head world. Processes of awareness often have a phe-
nomenology, can be “directly” activated or accessed, and have a subjective
dimension. But as both internal and external resources play crucial and
similar roles in these processes, it is arbitrary to assume that the processes
themselves begin and end in the head.
Thus, it is problematic to maintain just the ¬rst part of the traditional
view of the mind, that it lies in the head, while granting that there is some
sense in which processes of awareness are temporally extended and em-
bodied and embedded. So suppose instead that we look to uphold both
parts of the traditional view, conceding less to the TESEE conception. In
terms of the argument for TESEE that I have given this would be to reject
4 as well as 2 (and so 3), or maintain only an individualistic version of 4.
This is clearly possible, but at a price. For then the only processes of aware-
ness the argument encompasses are those that don™t involve bodily action
and worldly engagement. This would exclude much higher-order cogni-
tion and attention, both of which are often worldly directed, and even
large parts of introspective practice, which is seldom purely internally
directed. More importantly, there seems little sense in which processes of
awareness could be temporally extended, rather than a series of tempo-
ral snapshots strung together, since nearly any such process that endures
many seconds, minutes, or hours does involve precisely what the denial
(or modi¬cation) of 4 prohibits. Thus, removing 2, 3, and 4 from the
argument also removes, or at least radically attenuates 5. This reinforces
the sense that the elements of the TESEE conception form a package,
and need to be accepted or rejected as a whole.
Now, to stage 2: The defense of the conception of processes of aware-
ness as temporally extended, scaffolded, and embodied and embedded,
the TESEE conception. There are two chief, general, related desiderata
to appeal to here: to account for as full a range of mental life involving
processes of awareness as possible; and to deliver a conception of such
processes that shows how such processes are integrated with the rest of
cognition.
On the question of integration, how well one thinks this view inte-
grates with the rest of cognition will depend on what one thinks the
rest of cognition is like. In Chapters 7 and 8, I sketched a view of both
computational and noncomputational psychology in which the ideas of
exploitative representation and locational externalism played a central
role. Most relevant for thinking about processes of awareness, is the
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224

externalist conceptualization of memory, cognitive development, and
folk psychology, introduced in the previous chapter. For a strong case
can be made for seeing continuity between such processes and processes
of awareness. This is in part due to the metarepresentational edge to
these processes, involving, as they often do, the representation of repre-
sentations. The theme developed in that chapter was that there was some
pressure to move from individualistic to externalist conceptions of such
processes as we considered the more sophisticated and real-life forms
that they took. The same is true of processes of awareness.
Take higher-order cognition, which is typically characterized as explic-
itly metarepresentational. The simplest example of such a process is that
of occurrently thinking about or entertaining some other thought you
have. Suppose that you are sitting in a room, eyes closed, and you do
this. The second-order thought is distinct from simply having the corre-
sponding occurrent ¬rst-order thought. Intuitively, it involves something
in addition, some further mental process whose object is that ¬rst-order
thought. There is some pressure to construe such examples of higher-
order cognition as taxonomically externalist; in effect, this was argued
with respect to memory in the previous chapter. But consider more comp-
licated instances of this sort of process that are common in everyday life.
Consider, for example, the higher-order cognition you have when you
are re¬‚ecting on whether your beliefs or opinions are consistent, or en-
gaging in a conversation whose aim is to resolve a dispute over values, or
writing up a sort of informal balance sheet that allows you to explore how
realistic it would be for you to seek to achieve a long-time goal. These
are all processes that typically involve you doing something, from reading
over your diaries, to drawing on the views of others, to making diagrams,
notes, and annotations. As such, they depart from the simple case we be-
gan with and its Cartesian overtones. The something that is done involves
the body™s interactions with cognitive resources beyond the head. This
action is possible only because the relationship between what is inside
the agent and what is beyond its boundary is reliable and systematic, and
thus can be taken for granted in acting.
If this is correct, then this is one respect in which the externalist views
defended here offer a way to treat conscious and unconscious cognitive
processing in an integrated or uni¬ed way. The traditional division be-
tween higher cognition (what I have referred to as “cognition central”),
and processes of awareness as forms that consciousness takes is an arti-
fact of history and of disciplinary orientation. If we adopt this view of
how processes of awareness are integrated with other parts of cognition,
Expanding Consciousness 225

then the issue of integration becomes entwined with that of its range
of application. For now there is no ¬rm boundary between what I have
been calling processes of awareness and “merely” cognitive processes.
The TESEE conception applies to both.
To avoid one misunderstanding of what the TESEE conception of
processes of awareness aims to do, let me locate that view within the
pluralistic view of cognition that is part of my externalism. The aim in
the preceding and present section is not to tout the behavioristic view
that there is nothing internal to conscious experience, or that processes
of awareness are never purely internal. Sometimes they are. Rather, it
is to suggest that such processes more often involve what is inside the
individual insofar as they are integrated into what that individual does
as an embodied and embedded agent. And more so, rather than less,
as we move to more sophisticated, realistic examples of consciousness in
action. What the TESEE conception challenges is the near exclusive focus
on what is inside the head in thinking about processes of awareness, just as
the introduction of context-sensitive realization, wide computationalism,
and exploitative representation challenge a similar focus elsewhere in
our conception of the mind and cognition.


5 global externalism and phenomenal states
Let us now turn from processes of awareness to the other half of con-
sciousness, what I have referred to collectively as phenomenal states: bod-
ily sensations, pain, and visual experience. However plausible the TESEE
conception of processes of awareness is, it is prima facie more problem-
atic to apply it to phenomenal states. Individualism is a natural starting
point for accounts of such states, even if we grant the externalist view of
computation and cognition developed thus far.
Philosophers have generated a variety of views from the idea that phe-
nomenal states are a sort of internal event, one wedged at the interface be-
tween mind proper and world. These include classic empiricist accounts
of the mind, Cartesian skepticism within epistemology, twentieth-century
sense-data theory, and versions of the explanatory gap problem for con-
temporary materialism. Phenomenal states have typically been regarded
as occurring completely within the boundary of the individual. Thus,
they are at least locationally individualistic. Why think that they are also
taxonomically individualistic?
In the case of at least bodily sensations and pain, this has been taken
to imply taxonomic individualism about those conscious states, typically
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226

because such states are not thought to have propositional content
(though see below). Thus, the chief feature of mental states that has
been seized on as the basis for viewing them as taxonomically externalist “
their intentionality “ is absent in the case of bodily sensations and pain.
What is pain about? Nothing: It just hurts. There is a distinct feel to
pain, and a distinct phenomenology more generally to bodily sensations,
such as those gained through touch. This “raw feel” to pain and bodily
sensations supervenes on just the intrinsic, physical states of the body.
In the case of visual experience, a version of this view has been thought
to hold because there is an aspect of visual experience “ how things seem
to me visually here and now “ that can be distinguished from the con-
ceptual or propositional content that such experience possesses. Even
if we concede that visual experiences have a (wide) propositional con-
tent, there is some further content they have that is narrow, and so tax-
onomic individualism is plausible for at least this aspect of visual experi-
ence. This has sometimes been expressed by saying that visual experience
has nonconceptual content, that this content is individualistic, and that it
plays an important role in understanding the phenomenology of visual
experience.5
Fred Dretske has defended the view, by contrast, that if one is an exter-
nalist about conceptual or propositional representational mental states,
then one should also be an externalist about all experiential mental states,
particularly those of visual experience. Dretske holds this view as a func-
tion of his endorsement of a representational account of experience that
entails that consciousness is a species of representation. If one is an ex-
ternalist about representation, then one should also be externalist about
consciousness. Dretske recognizes, however, that to avoid the conditional
being run as part of a reductio against externalism, externalism about con-
scious experience requires defense. Why should one be an externalist
about phenomenal states?
Dretske™s chief positive argument for this position can be put suc-
cinctly. What are phenomenal states? If they are or involve conceptual
or thoughtlike entities, then those states are taxonomically externalist:
They inherit their width from that of the concepts or thoughts they in-
volve. In this respect, phenomenal states are like metarepresentational
or higher-order mental states, and the sorts of arguments that motivated
externalism about intentional states apply to them. If, on the other hand,
phenomenal states are completely divorced from conceptual or thought-
like entities, such that (for example) it is possible for two individuals to
have distinct phenomenal states despite their sharing all their intentional
Expanding Consciousness 227

states (including beliefs about those states), then phenomenal states are
unknowable “ even from the ¬rst-person point of view. Apart from run-
ning counter to how phenomenal states are usually thought of, this in
turn removes whatever ground we might have for thinking that such states
of intentional doppelg¨ ngers are different.6
a
Although Dretske is concerned in the ¬rst instance with sensory states,
he views this argument as applying more generally to phenomenal states,
including pains, emotions, and motivational states. The position that
Dretske defends, or sees as defensible, thus might be termed global ex-
ternalism, since it holds, or suggests, that externalism is true of all mental
states. William Lycan and Michael Tye have also defended such a view.
All three philosophers reach their global externalist conclusion via their
endorsement of a representational account of the phenomenal. Here I
want to focus on global externalism itself, and why it should be resisted.7
At the end of the previous section, I located the TESEE conception of
processes of awareness within the over-arching pluralistic view of the mind
and cognition that I have been developing in Parts Two and Three. I have
also said that I am skeptical about the prospects for a general theory of
consciousness in part because of the diversity among the phenomena and
processes considered as falling within its ambit. These points together
suggest at least a certain caution in speaking of “the mental” or “the
conscious” as categories that we might systematically and globally theorize
about. I suspect that the same is true of “the phenomenal” as a category
about which we might have substantive, interesting, true generalizations.
I include here Dretske™s complex generalization that all such states are
externalist if language- or thoughtlike, and unknowable if not. While
Dretske™s dilemma argument identi¬es something correct about some
phenomenal states, both horns of the dilemma can be resisted.
This resistance is easiest to mount in the case of pain and bodily sen-
sations, and it turns on the fact that we have ways to individuate such
states other than via whatever propositional content they have. (This
is the truth, I assume, in the idea that such states are not representa-
tional at all.) Intuitively, one such way is by an appeal to their phenom-
enal character, but Dretske™s dilemma argument suggests that there is a
fragility to this sort of appeal, one that may well call into question our
¬rst-person knowledge of the nature of our phenomenal states. Let me
explain.
Some phenomenal states, such as pain or the bodily sensations gen-
erated by touch, have an aspect to them that is only distantly related
to language. Subsequently, they have a content that may be dif¬cult to
Thinking Through and Beyond the Body
228

express in language. I feel a dull, gnawing pain in my knee area, and
thus come to believe that I have a pain here, but what has been called
the phenomenological content of the former state is not identical to the

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