Lauener Foundation for Analytical Philosophy


Thursday 22 June - Friday 23 June 2006
Bern, Switzerland

2nd International Lauener Symposium on Analytical Philosophy
in honour of Professor Dagfinn Føllesdal

Prof. Dr. David Woodruff Smith

(University of California, Irvine)

Consciousness, Modality, and Inner Awareness

The structure of self-consciousness, or inner awareness of experience, may be explicated in a phenomenological description of the form: 'Phenomenally in this very experience I see that jumping frog'. (i) The mode of presentation of the object of consciousness is reflected in the sense (Sinn) of the experience (per Husserl, Frege, Føllesdal). Indeed, the sense may prescribe a particular object that can be re-identified in further experiences (per Husserl, Føllesdal, Smith and McIntyre). (ii) The presentation of the object is further modified or modalized by the characters of visuality, attentiveness, certitude, etc. (thetic characters, per Husserl). (iii) The modality of presentation in consciousness, on my analysis, includes not only such thetic characters, but also the specific characters of egocentricity, reflexivity, and phenomenality. These three characters, I propose, define the form of awareness we have of our performing or living through mental activities. (Husserl speaks of modalities of judgment as opposed to modalities of being. I want to appropriate the notion of intentional modalities introduced by Jaakko Hintikka, but I want to parse the modality of an experience into the several characters indicated above.) The themes of intentionality and modality are prominent in the work of Dagfinn Føllesdal. Recently, philosophers of mind have returned to self-consciousness, seeking models of higher-order monitoring of mental states. The concept of intentional modalities offers a more promising line of analysis as indicated above.

Prof. Dr.  David Woodruff  Smith

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