Representational Theories of Consciousness

Authored by: Rocco J. Gennaro

The Routledge Handbook Of Consciousness

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138936218
eBook ISBN: 9781315676982
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



A question that should be answered by any theory of consciousness is: What makes a mental state a conscious mental state? The focus of this chapter is on “representational theories of consciousness,” which attempt to reduce consciousness to “mental representations” instead of directly to neural states. Examples of representational theories include first-order representationalism (FOR), which attempts to explain conscious experience primarily in terms of world-directed (or first-order) intentional states, and higher-order representationalism (HOR), which holds that what makes a mental state M conscious is that a HOR is directed at M. A related view, often called “self-representationalism,” is also critically discussed in this chapter.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.