An Adverbial Theory of Consciousness

Document Type: 
Article
Article Type: 
Theoretical
Disciplines: 
Philosophy
Topics: 
Theory of Consciousness
Keywords: 
consciousness, self-knowledge, adverbialism, identity theory, Brentano, Kant
Deposited by: 
Dr Alan Thomas
Date of Issue: 
2003
Authors: 
Alan Thomas
Journal/Publication Title: 
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Volume: 
2
Issue Number: 
3
Page Range: 
161-185
Abstract: 
Thomas Nagel's criterion for an acceptable theory of conscious awareness, that it address the question of 'what it is like' to be a conscious mental subject has been misunderstood in the light of an implicit act/object model of conscious awareness. Kant's account of conscious experience is an adverbial theory precisely in the sense that it avoid such an act/object interpretation. An 'objectualist' and 'actualist' construal of views of conscious awareness are contrasted. The idea of an adverbial theory of conscious experience is further developed by examining recent re-interpretations of Brentano as an adverbial theorist (Thomasson) or as an identity theorist (Hossack). Identity theory is independently criticised as a free standing account of consciousness. Kant's adverbial view is further developed and extended to an account of self-ascription and self-knowledge.
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