anybody who denies the subjectivity of experiences and considers that experiences can be given in a neutralway simply fails to recognize an essential aspect of what it feels like to undergo an experience.
1.4. Pre-reﬂective self-consciousness versus transparency
As just proposed, one way to cash out the notion of pre-reﬂective consciousness of the self-as-subject is bydefending that phenomenal experiences are intrinsically subjective: pre-reﬂective self-consciousness is anintrinsic aspect of phenomenal experience. Insofar as conscious experiences are characterized by a subjective‘feel’, i.e., a certain ‘what it is like’ or what it ‘feels like’ to have them, they also come together with a minimalform of self-consciousness.This description of pre-reﬂective self-consciousness can appear inconsistent with descriptions of experienceas
defended by both externalists and representationalists: ‘‘When we try to introspect the sensationof blue, all we can see is the blue: the other element is as if it were diaphanous’’ (Moore, 1903, p. 25). Thedarkness of a coﬀee and the brightness of the midnight sun are not qualities of experiences, they are qualitiesof the things represented, the coﬀee and the sun. In this view, what it is like to have a certain experience is
to the quality of
is being intentionally represented. The latter is not an intrinsic and non-inten-tional quality of experiences themselves but consists entirely in the qualitative properties of the experiencedobjects (Dretske, 1995, p. 1).These views
intentional experiences to world-presenting components. Therefore, they give no placeto the primary form of self-consciousness that has been described above as being
to intentional expe-riences: ‘‘introspection of your perceptual experiences seems to reveal only aspects of
you experience, fur-ther aspects of the scenes, as represented. Why? The answer, I suggest, is that your perceptual experiences haveno
features over and above those implicated in their intentional contents. So the phenomenalcharacter of such experiences
. . .
is identical with, or contained within, their intentional contents’’ (Tye,1995, p. 136).The externalist attempt to locate the
dimension of experience ‘‘outside’’ is in fact not incompat-ible with the notion of pre-reﬂective self-consciousness. However, considering pre-reﬂective self-consciousnessin its speciﬁcity implies to refute the
of phenomenal experience to its
dimension (Legrand,2005). In other terms, what might be called the ‘‘transparency objection’’ operates with a conception of phe-nomenality that is too impoverished to address speciﬁcally the subjective dimension of experience that thenotion of pre-reﬂective consciousness of the self-as-subject intends to capture.What it is like to be dazzled by the sun diﬀers from what it is like to smell fresh coﬀee, and what it is like to
diﬀers from what it is like to
But what is crucial to account for pre-reﬂectiveself-consciousness is to underline that all these diﬀerent phenomenal experiences are necessarily experiencedby a given subject. These distinct experiences bring
into the presence of diﬀerent intentional objects.Not only am I phenomenally acquainted with various properties of these objects, but also these objects arethere
. Given that this ‘‘for me’’ quality remains constant whatever the intentional object, it makes littlesense to suggest that this ‘‘mineness’’ can be reduced to a qualitative feature of the object experienced. Phe-nomenality is world-presenting but it is also self-involving. To put it diﬀerently, it has an intentional and asubjective component, both being irreducible to each other. The notion of transparency of experience as usedby externalist conceptions of consciousness only concerns the former aspect and does not consider speciﬁcally(nor threaten) the notion of pre-reﬂective self-consciousness.
1.5. Pre-reﬂective self-consciousness versus objectifying consciousness
Considering pre-reﬂective self-consciousness in its speciﬁcity implies to refute the equation of consciousnesswith object-consciousness. For example,Searle (2005)proposed that the conscious ﬁeld should not be con-ceived of as a ﬁeld constituted only by its contents and their arrangements. The contents require a principleof unity, a self that is not a separate entity distinct from the ﬁeld. So far, this claim coheres with the presentaccount of pre-reﬂective self-consciousness. However, Searle further argues that the postulation of a self is likethe postulation of a point of view in visual perception. Just like we cannot make sense of our perceptionsunless we suppose that they occur from a point of view, even though the point of view is not itself perceived,
D. Legrand / Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2007) 583–599