, Volume 159, Issue 3, pp 443-445
Date: 25 Jun 2011

Précis of Subjective consciousness: a self-representational theory

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According to self-representationalism, a mental state is phenomenally conscious iff it represents itself in the right way. In Subjective Consciousness: A Self-Representational Theory (henceforth, SC), I develop and defend my own version of self-representationalism. The view, and the case for it, can be profitably divided in two: an account of the explanandum and an account of the explanans.

The explanandum, phenomenal consciousness, is often fixed upon with ‘what it is like’ talk. When I look at the blue sky, and have a conscious experience thereof, there is a bluish way it is like for me to have the experience. This ‘bluish way it is like for me’ is the experience’s phenomenal character. On my view, however, there is more to be said about phenomenal character—there is more structure to it than is typically recognized. In particular, I distinguish two components of the ‘bluish way it is like for me’ to have the experience: the bluish component, which I call qualitative character, and th ...