Consciousness and its discontents

Abstract
Our heads are full of representations, according to cognitive science. It might seem inevitable that conscious states are a type of brain-based representation, but in this paper I argue that representation and consciousness each form conceptually distinct domains. Representational content depends on context, usually causal, as shown by familiar cases in which context varies while brain states do not -- twin earth cases and brains-in-vats, for example. But these same cases show that conscious content does not depend on context. The vatted brain, for example, enjoys the same experiences as its in vivo counterpart. The structure of experience -- its parts and their distinctive characters -- is the dynamic structure of the brain, viewed "from within." I call this position methodological phenomenalism (MP), and consider its prospects as a foundation for a science of consciousness. I close with a consideration of MP on the subjective "character" of conscious states. Turning away from representation dissolves the perplexity of subjectivity, leaving hopeful prospects for the scientific study of consciousness
Keywords Brain  Cognitive Science  Consciousness  Content  Metaphysics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,727
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Putting Color Back Where It Belongs.Antti Revonsuo - 2001 - Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):78-84.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
A Natural Account of Phenomenal Consciousness.Max Velmans - 2001 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 34 (1):39-59.
Representation and a Science of Consciousness.Andrew R. Bailey - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (1):62-76.
Is There a Ghost in the Cognitive Machinery?Antti Revonsuo - 1993 - Philosophical Psychology 6 (4):387-405.
P-Consciousness Presentation/a-Consciousness Representation.Denise Gamble - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):149-150.
Consciousness Should Not Mean, but Be.Dan Lloyd - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):158-159.
Feeling as Knowing--Part II: Emotion, Consciousness and Brain Activity.Timo Järvilehto - 2001 - Consciousness and Emotion. Special Issue 2 (1):75-102.
How Can We Construct a Science of Consciousness?David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Michael S. Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences Iii. MIT Press. pp. 1111--1119.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
27 ( #195,823 of 2,197,326 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #299,047 of 2,197,326 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature