An Adverbial Theory of Consciousness
Topics:Theory of Consciousness
Keywords:consciousness, self-knowledge, adverbialism, identity theory, Brentano, Kant
Deposited by:Dr Alan Thomas
Date of Issue:2003
Journal/Publication Title:Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
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.