, Volume 159, Issue 3, pp 467-474
Date: 08 Jul 2011

Are conscious states conscious in virtue of representing themselves?

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This is an excellent book, one of the best I have read on consciousness in recent years. It is rigorously argued and contains interesting suggestions as to how to solve the mystery of consciousness. Following the standard literature, Uriah Kriegel takes consciousness to be the “what it is like for me”-ness of conscious mental states. This is also what is sometimes called the ‘phenomenal character’ of conscious mental states. For Kriegel, phenomenal character has two components: qualitative character and subjective character. If I have a red experience, the phenomenal redness of my experience is the qualitative character of my experience, whereas the for-me-ness is the subjective character of the experience. Kriegel states that the qualitative character of conscious mental states is what makes the conscious mental state the kind of conscious experience it is, whereas the for-me-ness of the mental state is what makes it a conscious state in the first place. The mystery of consciousness, ...