Jesse J. Prinz

in The Conscious Brain

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195314595
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979059 | DOI:

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series


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This chapter evaluates the AIR theory (attended intermediate-level representations) against the desiderata presented in Chapter 1. The AIR theory explains the subjective character by appeal to vectorwaves. It explains the fact that consciousness arises at the first-order, by appeal to attention, which does not require meta-representation. It explains the fact that consciousness does not rely on central systems, because attention involves availability to working memory, but not necessarily encoding. It explains unity by attentional resonance. It explains the possibility of selfless experience, by denying a phenomenal self. It relates the function of consciousness to action selection. It integrates levels of explanation by appeal to neurofunctionalism. And it appeals to the nature of working memory encodings to explain phenomenal knowledge. The AIR theory does a better job with these desiderata than some other theories.

Keywords: The AIR theory of consciousness; desiderata on theory of consciousness; attention

Chapter.  5312 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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