THE STORY SO FAR: An account of consciousness needs, to get rolling, a credible answer to the question, â€œwhat makes this account an account of consciousness?â€ and appeals to (Deflated) Transitivity, (Deflated) Transparency, and WIL seem to best get us in the ball park. A physicalist account of consciousness is going to need to be a reductive physicalist account of consciousness. And if the reductive-physicalist account in question is going to make any kind of use of representation, it better do so in ways that donâ€™t run afoul of unicorns and their inexistent brethren. It increasingly looks like we need a physicalistic representational account of consciousness that is internalistic. What internal things matter most? My bet is on brains. Time to start making good on the bet.
In this chapter I now turn to examine sample neurophilosophical theories of consciousness. I will raise problems for them to be solved in subsequent chapters where I develop my own neurophilosophical account.
In keeping with the remarks in chapter zero on the definition of neurophilosophy as well as the three questions of consciousness (the question of state consciousness, the question of transitive consciousness, and the question of phenomenal character), the discussion of this chapter will be centered on philosophical accounts of state consciousness, transitive consciousness, and phenomenal character that make heavy use of contemporary neuroscientific research in the premises of their arguments.
There are three philosophers whose work on the Neurophilosophy of consciousness I find especially illuminating to examine in concert: Paul Churchland, Jesse Prinz, and Michael Tye. Sections 1,2, and 3 will be devoted to them, respectively. Section 4 is devoted to initial contrasts and comparisons of the three thinkers. Section 5 is dedicated specifically to contrasts and comparisons regarding phenomenal character and section 6 discusses problems to be solved in subsequent chapters.