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The Conscious Brain$
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Jesse Prinz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314595.001.0001

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Do We Really Need Another Theory of Consciousness?

Do We Really Need Another Theory of Consciousness?

(p.3) 1 Do We Really Need Another Theory of Consciousness?
The Conscious Brain

Jesse J. Prinz

Oxford University Press

This chapter critically surveys some of the leading philosophical and scientific theories of consciousness. The philosophical theories include dualism, representationalism, and higher-order accounts. Scientific theories include the global workspace, the left-brain interpreter, temporal binding, and accounts that link consciousness to the experience of a self. All these theories are found to be wanting, but they are used to develop a set of desiderata that an adequate theory of consciousness should meet. A theory should provide an account of subjective character, the fact that consciousness arises at the first-order, the fact that consciousness does not rely on central systems, the unity of consciousness, the possibility of selfless experience, the function of consciousness, the way different levels of explanation are integrated in consciousness, and puzzle-producing nature of phenomenal knowledge.

Keywords:   representationalism, dualism, higher-order theories of consciousness, temporal binding, split-brains, the self

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