Robert Alan and Kathryn Dunlevie Hayes Professor of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Rice University

9. Phenomenality and Self-Consciousness

Forthcoming in Phenomenal Intentionality, edited by Uriah Kriegel, Oxford University Press.

From the Introduction:

Does consciousness essentially include self-consciousness? How you
answer may determine your basic view of consciousness and its relation to
intentionality. For example, if you say yes, you may think this paves the way to
accounting for consciousness in terms of a self-directed, inward-pointing
intentionality: consciousness not only includes but is exhausted by a kind of selfconsciousness—
that is, a way in which a mind refers to or represents itself. On
the other hand, you may object that consciousness—at least in the phenomenal
sense—either does not necessarily involve self-consciousness at all, or else not
in a way that licenses us to absorb consciousness into self-representation; if
anything, self-consciousness is to be understood as a form of phenomenal
consciousness. These matters need more spelling out. But it’s fairly clear that
how we deal with them will significantly shape our approach to the subject of this
volume. Other broad issues are at stake as well, such as: how to conceive of the
basis of self-knowledge; and in what sense, if any, one is conscious of or
experiences one’s “self.”

© 2020 Charles Siewert. All Rights Reserved.