Chapter

Do We Really Need Another Theory of Consciousness?

Jesse J. Prinz

in The Conscious Brain

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195314595
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979059 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314595.003.0001

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

Do We Really Need Another Theory of Consciousness?

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This chapter critically surveys some of the leading philosophical and scientific theories of consciousness. The philosophical theories include dualism, representationalism, and higher-order accounts. Scientific theories include the global workspace, the left-brain interpreter, temporal binding, and accounts that link consciousness to the experience of a self. All these theories are found to be wanting, but they are used to develop a set of desiderata that an adequate theory of consciousness should meet. A theory should provide an account of subjective character, the fact that consciousness arises at the first-order, the fact that consciousness does not rely on central systems, the unity of consciousness, the possibility of selfless experience, the function of consciousness, the way different levels of explanation are integrated in consciousness, and puzzle-producing nature of phenomenal knowledge.

Keywords: representationalism; dualism; higher-order theories of consciousness; temporal binding; split-brains; the self

Chapter.  21521 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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