, Volume 159, Issue 3, pp 447-455
Date: 24 Jun 2011

Conscious states as objects of awareness: on Uriah Kriegel, Subjective consciousness: a self-representational theory

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It is a real pleasure to discuss this book, which makes a significant contribution to consciousness studies. Self-Representationalism is a bold and promising new theory. While the theory builds on some key insights of familiar theories of consciousness, especially higher-order theories, it goes far beyond existing theories in its development of these insights. A particular strength of the book is its sustained focus on phenomenology. Kriegel never loses sight of the real explananda of his theory, and he tirelessly tests the metaphysical and ontological details of the account against the phenomenological data. The combination of technical sophistication and phenomenological sensitivity makes for an exceptionally compelling, nuanced position.

My critical remarks will focus on a thesis that underpins Self-Representationalism: namely, that phenomenally conscious states are states the subject is aware of. This thesis is crucial to Kriegel’s defense of his theory, since the idea t ...