Mental States, Conscious and Nonconscious



I discuss here the nature of nonconscious mental states and the ways in which they may differ from their conscious counterparts. I first survey reasons to think that mental states can and often do occur without being conscious. Then, insofar as the nature of nonconscious mentality depends on how we understand the nature of consciousness, I review some of the major theories of consciousness and explore what restrictions they may place on the kinds of states that can occur nonconsciously. I close with a discussion of what makes a state mental, if consciousness is not the mark of the mental.