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Chapter 2 - Self-representationalism and the explanatory gap

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2011

JeeLoo Liu
Affiliation:
California State University, Fullerton
John Perry
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
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Summary

According to self-representationalism, a mental state is phenomenally conscious when it represents itself in the right way. The motivation for this view is a conception of phenomenal consciousness as involving essentially a subtle, primordial kind of self-consciousness. A consequence of this conception is that the alleged explanatory gap between phenomenal consciousness and physical properties is eo ipso an explanatory gap between self-consciousness and physical properties. This chapter first explains how self-representationalism can address this explanatory gap. It opens with a presentation of self-representationalism and the motivation for it. Then, it describes the most promising self-representational approach to the explanatory gap. This approach is threatened by an objection to self-representationalism, raised by Levine, which the author calls the "just more representation" objection. Finally, the chapter shows how the self-representationalist might approach the objection.
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Chapter
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Consciousness and the Self
New Essays
, pp. 51 - 75
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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