The Three Circles of Consciousness

In M. Guillot & M. Garcia-Carpintero (eds.), Self-Experience: Essays on Inner Awareness. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 169-191 (2023)
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Abstract

A widespread assumption in current philosophy of mind is that a conscious state’s phenomenal properties vary with its representational contents. In this paper, I present (rather dogmatically) an alternative picture that recognizes two kinds of phenomenal properties that do not vary concomitantly with content. First, it admits phenomenal properties that vary rather with attitude: what it is like for me to see rain is phenomenally different from what it is like for me to remember (indistinguishable) rain, which is different again from what it is like for me to visualize (indistinguishable) rain – where these differences cannot be traced back to variations in content. Secondly, there is a kind of phenomenal property that varies neither with content nor with attitude but is altogether invariant across all conscious states: a substantive phenomenal commonality among what it is like for me to see, remember, and visualize rain, cats, or dogs. This substantive commonality, I will suggest, is the for-me-ness component of what it is like for me to have any of these experiences. I will close by discussing the interrelations among these three concentric layers of phenomenality: content-based, attitude-based, and for-me-ness.

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Uriah Kriegel
Rice University

Citations of this work

Minimal phenomenal experience.Thomas Metzinger - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-44.
What is Inner Awareness?Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In Davide Bordini, Arnaud Dewalque & Anna Giustina (eds.), Consciousness and Inner Awareness. Cambridge University Press.
Constitutive Self-Consciousness.Raphaël Millière - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
Against an Epistemic Argument for Mineness.Shao-Pu Kang - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-18.

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References found in this work

A Materialist Theory of the Mind.D. M. Armstrong - 1968 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Ted Honderich.
The representational character of experience.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Brian Leiter (ed.), The future for philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 153--181.
The foundations of arithmetic.Gottlob Frege - 1884/1950 - Evanston, Ill.,: Northwestern University Press.

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