The 'of' of intentionality and the 'of' of acquaintance

In S. Miguens, G. Preyer & C. Morando (eds.), Pre-Reflective Consciousness: Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. pp. 317-341 (2015)
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I first provide some background on Sartre’s theory of consciousness and prereflective self-awareness, especially with respect to how it might be favorably compared to my own version of HOT theory. I then critically examine a few initial attempts to understand the ‘acquaintance’ relation and to link it with Sartre’s notion of prereflective self-awareness. I then briefly address a related problem often raised against HOT theory, namely, the problem of misrepresentation. I also critique several further attempts to explain the acquaintance relation and argue that they are inadequate. I then critically evaluate Hellie’s (2007) argument favoring acquaintance theory over higher-order theories. I then argue that the move to “adverbialism” fails to save acquaintance theory and should also be rejected on other grounds. Overall, I argue that many of the properties association with prereflective non-positional consciousness or self-awareness can be best accommodated by a version of HOT theory.

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Rocco J. Gennaro
University of Southern Indiana


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