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Authors: Williford, Kenneth
Title: Representationalisms, subjective character, and self-acquaintance
Online publication date: 1-Dec-2016
Year of first publication: 2015
Language: english
Abstract: In this study I argue for the following claims: First, it’s best to think of subjective character as the self-acquaintance of each instance of consciousness—its acquaintance with itself. Second, this entails that all instances of consciousness have some intrinsic property in virtue of which they, and not other things, bear this acquaintance relation to themselves. And, third, this is still compatible with physicalism as long as we accept something like in re structural universals; consciousness is a real, multiply instantiable, natural universal or form, but it likely has a highly complex, articulated structure, and “lives” only in its instances. In order to make these cases, I give a characterization of subjective character that accounts for the intuition that phenomenal consciousness is relational in some sense (or involves a subject-object polarity), as well as the competing and Humean intuition that one of the supposed relata, the subject-relatum, is not phenomenologically accessible. By identifying the subject with the episode or stream of consciousness itself and maintaining that consciousness is immediately self-aware (“reflexively” aware), these competing intuitions can be reconciled. I also argue that it is a serious confusion to identify subjective character with one’s individuality or particularity. i argue that deeper reflection on the fact that consciousness has only incomplete self-knowledge will allow us to see that certain problems afflicting acquaintance theories, like the one i defend, are not the threats to certain forms of physicalism that they might seem to be. in particular, i briefly consider the grain problem and the apparent primitive simplicity of the acquaintance relation itself in this light.},
DDC: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-publ-553485
Version: Published version
Publication type: Buchbeitrag
License: In Copyright
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Citation: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Pages or article number: Kap. 39(T)
Publisher: MIND Group
Publisher place: Frankfurt am Main
Issue date: 2015
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.15502/9783958570054
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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