Self-Representationalism and the Explanatory Gap

In J. Liu & J. Perry (eds.), Consciousness and the Self: New Essays. Cambridge University Press (2011)
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Abstract

According to the self-representational theory of consciousness – self- representationalism for short – a mental state is phenomenally conscious when, and only when, it represents itself in the right way. In this paper, I consider how self- representationalism might address the alleged explanatory gap between phenomenal consciousness and physical properties. I open with a presentation of self- representationalism and the case for it (§1). I then present what I take to be the most promising self-representational approach to the explanatory gap (§2). That approach is threatened, however, by an objection to self-representationalism, due to Levine, which I call the just more representation objection (§3). I close with a discussion of how the self-representationalist might approach the objection (§4).

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Uriah Kriegel
Rice University

Citations of this work

The HOROR Theory of Phenomenal Consciousness.Richard Brown - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1783-1794.
Self-Consciousness.Joel Smith - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
An Acquaintance alternative to Self-Representationalism.Anna Giustina - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (12):3831-3863.
Representation and Regress.Maiya Jordan - 2017 - Husserl Studies 33 (1):19-43.

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