Philosophical Studies 164 (2):357-370 (2013)

Neil Mehta
Yale-NUS College
In his 2009 article “Self-Representationalism and Phenomenology,” Uriah Kriegel argues for self-representationalism about phenomenal consciousness primarily on phenomenological grounds. Kriegel’s argument can naturally be cast more broadly as an argument for higher-order representationalism. I examine this broadened version of Kriegel’s argument in detail and show that it is unsuccessful for two reasons. First, Kriegel’s argument (in its strongest form) relies on an inference to the best explanation from the claim that all experiences of normal adult human beings are accompanied by peripheral awareness of those very experiences to the claim that all experiences are accompanied by peripheral awareness of those very experiences. This inference is inadequately defended, for the explanandum may also be given a straightforward evolutionary explanation. Second, contra Kriegel, I argue that phenomenological investigation does not support the thesis that we are always peripherally aware of our experiences. Instead, it delivers no verdict on this thesis. Kriegel’s phenomenological mistake may be explained via a highly diluted version of the famous transparency thesis about experience
Keywords Higher-order representationalism  Phenomenology  Peripheral awareness  Introspection  Uriah Kriegel  Transparency
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9859-x
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On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.

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Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Peter Carruthers - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Editorial: Consciousness and Inner Awareness.Jonathan Farrell & Tom McClelland - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (1):1-22.

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