TSC 2010 Pre-Conference Workshop

Session 3, Tuesday Morning (9:00am-1:00pm)        TCC - GREENLEE

Half Day, $125


Philosophical Theories of Consciousness


Uriah Kriegel and Joshua Weisberg


This workshop will survey current approaches to consciousness in Western philosophy. It will focus on six approaches: (1) mysterianism, (2) dualism, (3) functionalism, (4) representationalism, (5) higher-order theory, and (6) the self-representational theory. With each approach, we will present in order (i) the leading account of consciousness along its line, (ii) the case for the approach, and (iii) the case against the approach. An interactive discussion of the merits and demerits of each approach will follow the presentation of these three aspects. The specific accounts we will include David Chalmers’ dualism, Daniel Dennett’s functionalism, and David Rosenthal’s higher-order theory. The purpose of the tutorial is not to issue a final verdict on any approach, but rather to get a clearer picture of the logical geography of the issue and of the logical interconnections between the various theoretical approaches.


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Josh Weisberg is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Houston.  He received his PhD from CUNY in 2007, where he wrote on consciousness with David Rosenthal.  His research focuses on philosophical challenges to a scientific explanation of consciousness. 

Uriah Kriegel   

is assistant professor of philosophy and associate director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona. He has published widely on philosophical theories of consciousness.