Moravcsik and the contents of consciousness

Abstract
There is a doctrine in the theory of consciousness known as representationalism, or intentionalism. According to this doctrine, what it feels like to be in a particular state of consciousness — the qualitative character of that state — is identical to the content of some mental representation(s) For instance, the state of consciousness I am enjoying just now as I see a pattern of sunlight and shadow falling on my wall is, in part, a state of consciousness that presents to me a patch of light grey shadow just there, straight ahead of me and just above eye-level. According to representationalism, what it is like to be in this very specific state of consciousness is for it to seem to me that there is a patch of light grey shadow there, straight ahead of me and just above eye-level. And for it to seem so to me is just for that to be the content of one of my mental representations.2 Representationalism gives a central role to content when explaining consciousness. What content is, though, is contested. For every theory of content on offer, there can be generated a corresponding representationalist theory of consciousness. In a series of publications, Julius Moravcsik has defended a novel theory of meaning that a representationalist can take as a theory of the content of consciousness.3 In this paper, I investigate the possibility of the representationalist doing just this. Is this a hostile co-optation of Moravcsik’s theory of meaning? Is it a friendly extension of Moravcsik’s theory to a new domain? Or something more equivocal? This particular question I leave to one side. But there are a number of interesting consequences of investigating the intersection of representationalism and his theory of meaning in any case, as I hope to show in what follows.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-12-16

    Total downloads

    29 ( #50,818 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.