Monthly Phenomenology: Anna Giustina on Self-Representationalism

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Anna Giustina (University of Liège) at the Monthly Phenomenology series of talks, Network for Phenomenological Research, Online, Friday, 7 May.

An online forum of discussion on recent work in phenomenology

Description: This series of talks gathers together scholars interested in phenomenology and its relation to contemporary issues in philosophy, especially in the philosophy of mind. It establishes a forum of discussion where people can meet on a regular basis and present their work-in-progress or recent publications. The topics addressed stretch from the history of early phenomenology to the systematic application of phenomenological insights to recent debates in analytic philosophy.

Schedule: The talks take place once a month on a Friday for 8 months (with a break in March). Time: 10:15am EST/EDT, 3:15pm GMT, 4:15pm CET. Talks last 90 minutes, including a 45 minutes Q&A.

Participation: Talks are held on zoom. To participate, please send an email to [email protected] with the heading “Registration Monthly Phenomenology”. You will be registered to our mailing list and a zoom link will be sent to you the day preceding each talk.

Anna Giustina (University of Liège)
An Acquaintance Alternative to Self-Representationalism
Friday, 7 May 2021
10:15am EDT, 3:15pm GMT, 4:15pm CET

Abstract: The primary goal of this paper is to provide substantial motivation for exploring an Acquaintance account of phenomenal consciousness, on which what fundamentally explains phenomenal consciousness is the relation of acquaintance. Its secondary goal is to take a few steps towards such an account. Roughly, my argument proceeds as follows. Motivated by prioritizing naturalization, the debate about the nature of phenomenal consciousness has been almost monopolized by representational theories (first-order and meta-representational). Among them, Self-Representationalism is by far the most antecedently promising (or so I argue). However, on thorough inspection, Self-Representationalism turns out not explanatorily or theoretically better than the Acquaintance account. Indeed, the latter seems to be superior in at least some important respects. Therefore, at the very least, there are good reasons to take the Acquaintance account into serious consideration as an alternative to representational theories. The positive contribution of this paper is a sketch of an account of consciousness on which phenomenal consciousness is explained partly in representationalist terms, but where a crucial role is played by the relation of acquaintance.

Upcoming talks

Joel Smith (University of Manchester)
Perceptual Demonstratives in the Logical Investigations
25 June 2021

Matt Bower (Texas State University)
The Problem of Objectual Phenomenology
9 July 2021

Guillaume Fréchette (University of Geneva)
Alessandro Salice (University College Cork)
Hamid Taieb (Humboldt University Berlin)
Íngrid Vendrell-Ferran (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Organized on behalf of the Network for Phenomenological Research