The next seminar in the series Department of Philosophy Research Seminars will be held on Thursday 2 May between 17:30 and 19:00, in Room 326 (Board Room), Old Humanities Building, University of Malta Msida Campus.
Professor Gerhard Preyer, Goethe University Frankfurt, will talk about 'Self-Representationalism: Merits and Critiques'
In the so-called ‘problem situation’ of the philosophy of mind there has been since the beginning of the 1990s a turn to the concept of mental representation and a ‘new wave’ materialism (= physicalism) renewing the type-type identity theory. The lecture will first explore changes in the philosophy of mind from the 1950s to the present. This will be followed by a discussion of how the features of consciousness and the meaning of representation are distinguished with a systematic intent. The claim put forward here is that the concept of representation as an intentional relationship is not the basic feature of mental states and phenomenal consciousness. This will be followed by a sketch of the turn to the Same Order Monitoring Theory (self-representationalism) as a variation of the Higher Order Monitoring Theory, with particular reference to Uriah Kriegel. While examining the merits of Kriegel’s theory, his introduction of representation as the “core necessary condition” of mental states is critiqued.
The critique of the concept of representation as a basic concept of mental states and of self-representationalism is instructive about the re-systematization of the basic concepts of the philosophy of mind and cognitive science because mental states are not an “organ of representation” as an introspection by self-monitoring on different levels of layered self-awareness.
Gerhard Preyer is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Sociology, Goethe-University Frankfurt. He is the editor of ProtoSociology, an international journal of interdisciplinary research, and a member of the editorial board of the Brill series International Comparative Social Studies. His research is situated at the interface between Sociology and Philosophy, and includes sociological theory and comparative sociology, philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. Besides many publications in German, Prof. Preyer is author of Intention and Practical Thought (2011) and Donald Davidson’s Philosophy (2011). He has also edited or co-edited several volumes, including Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth (2005), From Individual to Collective Intentionality: New Essays (2014), Pre-reflective Consciousness: Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind (2015), Social Ontology and Collective Intentionality: Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Raimo Tuomela with His Responses (2018), and Beyond Semantics and Pragmatics (2018).