As it has been pointed out in the literature, a Theory of Consciousness should satisfy two desiderata: i) account for the particular qualitative character of any particular conscious state, and ii) account for the fact that a conscious state is conscious ‘for the subject’.. Many have claimed that the RepresentationaI Theory of Consciousness can satisfy the first desideratum. It obviously fails, however, to meet the second desideratum. Higher-Order Approaches to Consciouness satisfy the second desideratum straightforwardly, but it remains unclear whether they satisfy the first desideratum. In the first section, I underscore some problems indicating that RTC fails to satisfy the first desideratum. These problems suggest that qualitative character should be understood not as a non-mental represented feature of the world, as RTC suggests, but as a represented feature of the very conscious state itself. This suggests that HOAC are, after all, in a better position than RTC to satisfy the first desideratum, and hence both desiderata. I argue, however, that insofar as HOAC are supposed to satisfy the first desideratum, they are faced with an intolerable vicious regress. I propose that an alternative approach, the Self-Representational Theory of Consciousness is in a better position than HOAC to satisfy both desiderata.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 978-1-63435-038-9
DOI 10.5840/wcp232018571210
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