New Version: May 15th, 2012
A presentation of the paper: (push play in the introduction and conclusion to watch the videos)
In having an experience one is aware of having it. Having an experience requires some form of access to one’s own experience, which distinguishess phenomenally conscious mental states from other kind of mental states.
Until very recently Higher-Order (HO) theories were the only game in town aiming at offering a full-fledged account of this form of awareness within the analitical tradition. Independently of any objections that HO theories face, First-Order (FO) theories need to offer an account of such an access to become a plausible alternative.
My aim in this paper is twofold. In the first place, I want to wide the logical space of the discussion among theories of consciousness by offering a distinction, orthogonal to that between FO and HO theories, between what I will call self-involving and mental-state-involving theories and argue in favor of the former one. In the second place, I will present the basics of a characterization of such a self-involving theory in first-order terms.