On David Chalmers's The Conscious Mind

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "On David Chalmers's The Conscious Mind"

Transcription

1 Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol. LIX, No.2, June 1999 On David Chalmers's The Conscious Mind SYDNEY SHOEMAKER Cornell University One does not have to agree with the main conclusions of David Chalmers's book in order to find it stimulating, instructive, and frequently brilliant. If Chalmers's arguments succeed, his achievement will of course be enormous~ he will have overthrown the materialist orthodoxy that has reigned in philosophy of mind and cognitive science for the last half century. If, as I think, they fail, his achievement is nevertheless considerable. For his arguments draw on, and give forceful and eloquent expression to, widely held intuitions~ seeing how they go astray, if they do, cannot help but deepen our understanding of the issues he is addressing. I shall focus on three points: Chalmers's conceivability argument for the possibility of "zombies," which grounds his dualism about phenomenal consciousness ~ his "paradox of phenomenal judgment" ~ and the "dancing qualia argument" with which he supports his principle of organizational invariance. I Chalmers thinks that we can conceive of a world physically just like the actual world in which there are creatures, "zombies," which despite being physical and functional duplicates of conscious beings.in the actual world are themselves devoid of phenomenal consciousness. The states of these creatures lack phenomenal properties, or qualia. He takes the conceivability of such a world to establish its possibility. He takes this to show that phenomenal consciousness does not "logically supervene" on physical facts. And he takes this to show that it is not itself physical. Let "Q" name some quale, or phenomenal property. Chalmers is certainly right in holding that no matter what physical property "P" names, the statement (S) "If someone has a state with P, she has an experience with Q" will not be a priori true, and will be such that we can conceive of its being false. Since he thinks that in the case of concepts of qualia, the "prin1ary intension" and "secondary intension" are the same, and that this is also true of concepts of physical properties, and since he thinks that "primary propositions" are BOOK SYMPOSIUM 439

2 necessarily true if and only if they are a priori true, he thinks that statement S will not be necessarily true. That of course gives us the possibility of a world in which S is false; and generalizing this gives us the possibility of "Zombie World." But it is easy to see how S could be necessarily true despite not being a priori true. It is compatible with the claim that individual qualia are not functionally definable (because, e.g., functionally equivalent creatures could be qualia inverted relative to each other) that the relationships of qualitative similarity and difference are functionally definable. l The claim that these relationships are in fact functionally definable is of course controversial; but I do not think that it should be more controversial than functionalist claims Chalmers himself accepts, e.g., that judgment, memory, and various other "psychological" states or processes are functionally definable. If these similarity and difference relationships are functionally definable, there is no apparent reason why they should not be physically realizable. If they are physically realizable, then fixing all of the physical facts is at the same time fixing all of the qualitative similarity and difference relations between experiences. Fixing these relationships will involve fixing the qualitative character of experiences, i.e., what qualia they instantiate. And this in turn will involve fixing the truth-value of statements like S; there will be a vast number of such statements that will have the status of being necessary a posteriori. Chalmers claims that "If there were a functional analysis of the notion of experience or phenomenal quality, then the analysis in question would yield functional analyses of specific phenomenal properties..." (p. 23). Since having a functional analysis of qualitative similarity and difference would amount to having a functional analysis of "the notion of experience or phenomenal quality," Chalmers is here asserting in effect that the functional definability of qualitative similarity and difference would require the functional definability of individual qualia. And that seems plainly to be a mistake. In holding that qualitative similarity and difference are functionally definable I am denying Chalmers's claim that Zombie World (a world physically like our~ in which there is no consciousness) is conceivable. Other critics of Chalmers have conceded this conceivability claim but denied the legitilnacy of inferring from it to the metaphysical possibility of Zombie World. 2 I of course agree that the move from conceivability to metaphysical possibility can be questioned, even when the intensions involved are primary-for I think that the falsity of any statement like S can be conceived (i.e., no such statement is a priori), yet I think that some such statements are necessarily I have defended this claim in "Functionalism and Qualia" (Philosophical Studies, 27, 1975, reprinted in my Identity, Cause and Mind, Can1bridge, 1984) and in a number of other papers. E.g., Brian Loar, in his excellent "David Chalmers's The Conscious Mind," delivered at the meetings of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association in SYDNEY SHOEMAKER

3 true. (And since I think that nomological necessity is a special case of metaphysical necessity, I think that there are many other cases in which the move from conceivability to metaphysical possibility is illegitimate.) But while I think, in agreement with other critics, that the claim that Zombie World is conceivable does not get Chalmers what he wants, I also think that it is more than he is entitled to-and it is worth pointing out that (contrary to what he supposes) it is not implied by the conceivability claim he is entitled to, namely that given any "supervenience conditional" such as S, one can conceive of its being false. II I turn to the "paradox of phenomenal judgment." Because he accepts the causal closure of the physical realm, Chalmers concedes that his view makes phenomenal states "explanatorily irrelevant" to the phenomenal judgments that are supposedly about them. He therefore faces the objection that his view cannot account for either our knowledge of such states or our ability to refer to them. His presentation of this objection seemed to me brilliant. His replies struck me as unconvincing. Although Chalmers holds that the explanatory irrelevance of phenomenal states does not strictly imply that they are epiphenomenal, he concedes that his view precludes him from holding that a causal theory of knowledge explains our knowledge of phenomenal states, or that a causal theory of reference explains our ability to refer to them. He thinks, however, that while such theories may have application elsewhere, there is no compelling reason why they should have application here. But one does not have to maintain that such theories have universal application in order to hold that where states do stand in appropriate causal relations to judgments, the judgments are about the states and express knowledge of them. The holding of certain sorts of causal relations could be sufficient for reference and knowledge even if it is not necessary for this. So consider the hypothetical zombie who is an exact physical and functional duplicate of Chalmers. Nothing that Chalmers has argued excludes the possibility that this (supposed) zombie has states, physical or functional ones, whose causal relations to its phenomenal judgments are such as to make it true that those judgments are about those states and express knowledge of them. 3 But what- Chalmers does say that his zombie twin means to refer, in his "clain1s of consciousness," to something other than a functional property, and gives that as a reason for saying that this zombie's claims of consciousness are false, unless understood in a "deflationary" way (p. 204). But this of course cannot provide a good reason for saying that, e.g., the claims of consciousness of my zombie twin are false! And, putting aside the zombie twins, it is not just on a "deflationary" interpretation of claims of consciousness that it would be absurd to say that because Chalmers and I differ in our theoretical views about consciousness, one or the other of us must be wrong in our everyday claims of consciousness. BOOK SYMPOSIUM 441

4 ever case there is for holding that the phenomenal judgments of the zombie are about physical or functional states of it will also apply to Chalmers and his phenomenal judgments-for Chalmers and the zombie are physical and functional duplicates. And in that case (a) the "zombie" will not be a zombie, and (b) Chalmers's nonphysical phenomenal states, supposing he has such, will be irrelevant to the truth of the phenomenal judgments he makes about himself-either that or, weirdly, some of Chalmers's assertive utterances express two different judgments, one self-ascribing the sort of phenomenal state his zombie counterpart self-ascribes, and the other (somehow) selfascribing a phenomenal state that is explanatorily irrelevant to it. Since Chalmers thinks that the zombie's phenomenal judgments are false (or perhaps in some cases without truth value, owing to reference failure), and since he thinks that what is required to justify a phenomenal judgment is the subject's having the phenomenal property it ascribes, this being the evidence required for such a judgment, he thinks that the zombie's phenomenal judgments are without evidence and unjustified. But this cuts the notions of justification and evidence loose from their moorings. There is obviously no way in which the zombie is epistemically culpable in making the phenomenal judgments it makes. His making them does not display any failure of rationality. There is nothing that anyone could point out to him that should convince him that he should repress these judgments-nor is it in his power to do so. Insofar as the notions of justification and evidence are normative ones, notions having to do with what it is reasonable or rational for a creature to do or to judge, it seems that there could be no difference between their application to the zombie and their application to one of us. III While Chalmers thinks that it is logically possible for there to be creatures physically indistinguishable from us who are qualia inverted (e.g., spectrum inverted) relative to us, he thinks that it is "naturally" impossible for there to be creatures who are functionally like us (at a fine grained level) and qualia inverted relative to us. What he thinks is logically possible I think is logically impossible, for the same reasons I think that Zombie World is a logical impossibility. And what he thinks is naturally impossible I think is naturally possible-or, more guardedly, I think we have no reason, and in particular no a priori reason, to think that it is not. His case for the natural impossibility of qualia inversion is his "Dancing Qualia Argument." One assumes for purposes of reductio that one has a functional isomorph who is qualia inverted relative to one. One constructs a series of cases intermediate between oneself and one's isomorph. In the first case one of one's neurons is replaced with silicon, in the next two are replaced, and so on. The changes preserve fine-grained functional organization. If one's isomorph is qualia inverted relative to one, the series must include "two sys- 442 SYDNEY SHOEMAKER

5 terns that differ in at most 10 percent of their internal makeup, but that have significantly different experiences" p. 267). Chalmers lets one of these be himself, and the other someone he calls "Bill"-Bill is the one in which more neurons have been replaced with silicon. He then imagines that we install in him a silicon "backup circuit" just like one in Bill that is functionally identical to a neural circuit that is already in his head. And we install a switch that can switch between these circuits. When we flip the switch, the silicon circuit takes over from the neural circuit, and he becomes in essential respects like Bill. So (on our assumption) his experience will be qualitatively different from what it was. As we flip the switch back and forth, his experience will change, or "dance," before his eyes. But, since functional organization is unchanged, he will not notice any change. Chalmers says that "on any functional construal of belief, it is clear that I cannot acquire any new beliefs as the flip takes place" p. 269), and that it is extremely implausible that a single replacement of a neural circuit by a silicon circuit could be responsible for the addition of significant new beliefs such as "My qualia just flipped." He sums up the reductio ad absurdum as follows: "It seems entirely implausible to suppose that my experiences could change in such a significant way, with my paying full attention to them, without my being able to notice the change. It would suggest...a radical dissociation between consciousness and cognition" (p. 269). Let me first observe that Chalmers's denial that there can be change of belief "as the flip takes place" is question-begging. It is apparent that anyone who thinks that qualia inversion is possible must hold that not only are individual qualia not functionally definable but also that individual qualitative beliefs (beliefs ascribing specific qualia to experiences) are not functionally definable. 4 Presumably it is part of the functional role of qualia that the instantiation of a quale produces or tends to produce the qualitative belief that it is instantiated. So if the flip changes the qualia, it will also change the qualitative beliefs. But Chalmers is right, though for the wrong reason, in thinking that in this case there will be an unnoticed dancing of qualia. If functional organization is preserved, beliefs about the similarity and difference relations of current qualia to past qualia must be preserved. So in changing the qualia and beliefs about current qualia, the flip must also, in order to preserve functional organization, induce false memory beliefs about past qualia. So it is true that the subject will not notice the flip. Is this consequence absurd in a way that refutes the claim that qualia inversion is possible? No. If it seems so at first, this may come from the unthinking assumption that since functional organi- This point was made in my "Functionalism and Qualia," op. cit.; also in n1y "Absent Qualia are Impossible-A Reply to Block" (The Philosophical Review, 90, 1981, reprinted in my Identity, Cause and Mind). BOOK SYMPOSIUM 443

6 zation is preserved in the envisaged changes, we must have here a case of normal cognitive dynamics-together with the correct assumption that where the cognitive dynamics is normal, a marked change in qualitative character cannot go unnoticed. But the unthinking assumption is incorrect because the normal cognitive dynamics requires the functional organization to change when there is a change in qualia. Keeping the functional organization unchanged while changing the qualia requires a highly unnatural tampering with the cognitive dynamics, one which preserves beliefs (about similarity of present qualia to past qualia) in circumstances in which preserving them makes them false, and does so in part by inserting false beliefs about past qualia. Of course, such tampering would not be possible at all if individual qualitative beliefs were functionally definable. But as already noted, anyone who thinks that qualia inversion between functional isomorphs is possible will also think that qualitative belief inversion between functional isomorphs is possible; the latter implies that qualitative beliefs are not functionally definable, and Chalmers cannot assume otherwise without begging the question. 5 Thanks to David Barnett and Susanna Siegel for comments on an earlier draft. 444 SYDNEY SHOEMAKER

IN THIS PAPER I will examine and criticize the arguments David

IN THIS PAPER I will examine and criticize the arguments David A MATERIALIST RESPONSE TO DAVID CHALMERS THE CONSCIOUS MIND PAUL RAYMORE Stanford University IN THIS PAPER I will examine and criticize the arguments David Chalmers gives for rejecting a materialistic

More information

THE TWO-DIMENSIONAL ARGUMENT AGAINST MATERIALISM AND ITS SEMANTIC PREMISE

THE TWO-DIMENSIONAL ARGUMENT AGAINST MATERIALISM AND ITS SEMANTIC PREMISE Diametros nr 29 (wrzesień 2011): 80-92 THE TWO-DIMENSIONAL ARGUMENT AGAINST MATERIALISM AND ITS SEMANTIC PREMISE Karol Polcyn 1. PRELIMINARIES Chalmers articulates his argument in terms of two-dimensional

More information

The UCD community has made this article openly available. Please share how this access benefits you. Your story matters!

The UCD community has made this article openly available. Please share how this access benefits you. Your story matters! Provided by the author(s) and University College Dublin Library in accordance with publisher policies., Please cite the published version when available. Title Zombies and their possibilities Authors(s)

More information

Chalmers, "Consciousness and Its Place in Nature"

Chalmers, Consciousness and Its Place in Nature http://www.protevi.com/john/philmind Classroom use only. Chalmers, "Consciousness and Its Place in Nature" 1. Intro 2. The easy problem and the hard problem 3. The typology a. Reductive Materialism i.

More information

Introduction: Taking Consciousness Seriously. 1. Two Concepts of Mind I. FOUNDATIONS

Introduction: Taking Consciousness Seriously. 1. Two Concepts of Mind I. FOUNDATIONS Notes on David Chalmers The Conscious Mind (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996) by Andrew Bailey, Philosophy Department, University of Guelph (abailey@uoguelph.ca) Introduction: Taking Consciousness Seriously...

More information

Tony Chadwick Essay Prize 2006 Winner Can we Save Qualia? (Thomas Nagel and the Psychophysical Nexus ) By Eileen Walker

Tony Chadwick Essay Prize 2006 Winner Can we Save Qualia? (Thomas Nagel and the Psychophysical Nexus ) By Eileen Walker Tony Chadwick Essay Prize 2006 Winner Can we Save Qualia? (Thomas Nagel and the Psychophysical Nexus ) By Eileen Walker 1. Introduction: The problem of causal exclusion If our minds are part of the physical

More information

Property Dualism and the Knowledge Argument: Are Qualia Really a Problem for Physicalism? Ronald Planer Rutgers Univerity

Property Dualism and the Knowledge Argument: Are Qualia Really a Problem for Physicalism? Ronald Planer Rutgers Univerity Property Dualism and the Knowledge Argument: Are Qualia Really a Problem for Physicalism? Ronald Planer Rutgers Univerity Abstract: Where does the mind fit into the physical world? Not surprisingly, philosophers

More information

The knowledge argument

The knowledge argument Michael Lacewing The knowledge argument PROPERTY DUALISM Property dualism is the view that, although there is just one kind of substance, physical substance, there are two fundamentally different kinds

More information

Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness

Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness The MIT Faculty has made this article openly available. Please share how this access benefits you. Your story matters. Citation As Published Publisher Levine, Joseph.

More information

Review of David J. Chalmers Constructing the World (OUP 2012) David Chalmers burst onto the philosophical scene in the mid-1990s with his work on

Review of David J. Chalmers Constructing the World (OUP 2012) David Chalmers burst onto the philosophical scene in the mid-1990s with his work on Review of David J. Chalmers Constructing the World (OUP 2012) Thomas W. Polger, University of Cincinnati 1. Introduction David Chalmers burst onto the philosophical scene in the mid-1990s with his work

More information

CHALMERS ON THE ADDITION OF CONSCIOUSNESS TO THE PHYSICAL WORLD

CHALMERS ON THE ADDITION OF CONSCIOUSNESS TO THE PHYSICAL WORLD 1 CHALMERS ON THE ADDITION OF CONSCIOUSNESS TO THE PHYSICAL WORLD 1 Introduction In The Conscious Mind, David Chalmers argues that the facts about the distribution and character of conscious experiences

More information

Overcoming Cartesian Intuitions: A Defense of Type-Physicalism

Overcoming Cartesian Intuitions: A Defense of Type-Physicalism Indiana Undergraduate Journal of Cognitive Science 4 (2009) 81-96 Copyright 2009 IUJCS. All rights reserved Overcoming Cartesian Intuitions: A Defense of Type-Physicalism Ronald J. Planer Rutgers University

More information

The Possibility of Materialism

The Possibility of Materialism The Possibility of Materialism Mike Holliday Final version: 3 June 2016 1: Introduction Is a materialist account of conscious experience even possible? David Chalmers famously answered No, setting out

More information

ZOMBIES AND THE CASE OF THE PHENOMENAL PICKPOCKET

ZOMBIES AND THE CASE OF THE PHENOMENAL PICKPOCKET M.P. LYNCH ZOMBIES AND THE CASE OF THE PHENOMENAL PICKPOCKET ABSTRACT. A prevailing view in contemporary philosophy of mind is that zombies are logically possible. I argue, via a thought experiment, that

More information

THE TROUBLE WITH MARY

THE TROUBLE WITH MARY Blackwell Oxford, PAPQ Pacific 0031-5621 December 84 41000 Original THE PACIFIC 2003 TROUBLE Philosophical University UK Article PHILOSOPHICAL Publishing 2003 WITH of Quarterly Southern LtdMARY QUARTERLY

More information

Materialism and the Metaphysics of Modality

Materialism and the Metaphysics of Modality Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol. LIX, No.2, June 1999 Materialism and the Metaphysics of Modality DAVID J. CHALMERS University ofarizona Contents 1 Introduction 2 A priori entailment (Shoemaker)

More information

Physicalism and Conceptual Analysis * Esa Díaz-León.

Physicalism and Conceptual Analysis * Esa Díaz-León. Physicalism and Conceptual Analysis * Esa Díaz-León pip01ed@sheffield.ac.uk Physicalism is a widely held claim about the nature of the world. But, as it happens, it also has its detractors. The first step

More information

Varieties of Apriority

Varieties of Apriority S E V E N T H E X C U R S U S Varieties of Apriority T he notions of a priori knowledge and justification play a central role in this work. There are many ways in which one can understand the a priori,

More information

AGAINST NEURAL CHAUVINISM*

AGAINST NEURAL CHAUVINISM* Against Neural Chauvinism Author(s): Tom Cuda Reviewed work(s): Source: Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition, Vol. 48, No. 1 (Jul., 1985), pp. 111-127

More information

Behavior and Other Minds: A Response to Functionalists

Behavior and Other Minds: A Response to Functionalists Behavior and Other Minds: A Response to Functionalists MIKE LOCKHART Functionalists argue that the "problem of other minds" has a simple solution, namely, that one can ath'ibute mentality to an object

More information

Seeing Through The Veil of Perception *

Seeing Through The Veil of Perception * Seeing Through The Veil of Perception * Abstract Suppose our visual experiences immediately justify some of our beliefs about the external world, that is, justify them in a way that does not rely on our

More information

BonJour Against Materialism. Just an intellectual bandwagon?

BonJour Against Materialism. Just an intellectual bandwagon? BonJour Against Materialism Just an intellectual bandwagon? What is physicalism/materialism? materialist (or physicalist) views: views that hold that mental states are entirely material or physical in

More information

Chapter 11 CHALMERS' THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS. and yet non-reductive approach to consciousness. First, we will present the hard problem

Chapter 11 CHALMERS' THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS. and yet non-reductive approach to consciousness. First, we will present the hard problem Chapter 11 CHALMERS' THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS 1. Introduction: In this chapter we will discuss David Chalmers' attempts to formulate a scientific and yet non-reductive approach to consciousness. First,

More information

David Chalmers on Mind and Consciousness Richard Brown Forthcoming in Andrew Bailey (ed) Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers.

David Chalmers on Mind and Consciousness Richard Brown Forthcoming in Andrew Bailey (ed) Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. David Chalmers on Mind and Consciousness Richard Brown Forthcoming in Andrew Bailey (ed) Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. Continuum Press David Chalmers is perhaps best known for his argument against

More information

BOOK REVIEWS. The Philosophical Review, Vol. 111, No. 4 (October 2002)

BOOK REVIEWS. The Philosophical Review, Vol. 111, No. 4 (October 2002) The Philosophical Review, Vol. 111, No. 4 (October 2002) John Perry, Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001. Pp. xvi, 221. In this lucid, deep, and entertaining book (based

More information

Subjective Character and Reflexive Content

Subjective Character and Reflexive Content Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol. LXVIII, No. 1, January 2004 Subjective Character and Reflexive Content DAVID M. ROSENTHAL City University of New York Graduate Center Philosophy and Cognitive

More information

COULD WE EXPERIENCE THE PASSAGE OF TIME? Simon Prosser

COULD WE EXPERIENCE THE PASSAGE OF TIME? Simon Prosser Ratio, 20.1 (2007), 75-90. Reprinted in L. Nathan Oaklander (ed.), Philosophy of Time: Critical Concepts in Philosophy. New York/London: Routledge, 2008. COULD WE EXPERIENCE THE PASSAGE OF TIME? Simon

More information

Realism and instrumentalism

Realism and instrumentalism Published in H. Pashler (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of the Mind (2013), Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, pp. 633 636 doi:10.4135/9781452257044 mark.sprevak@ed.ac.uk Realism and instrumentalism Mark Sprevak

More information

Is Truth the Primary Epistemic Goal? Joseph Barnes

Is Truth the Primary Epistemic Goal? Joseph Barnes Is Truth the Primary Epistemic Goal? Joseph Barnes I. Motivation: what hangs on this question? II. How Primary? III. Kvanvig's argument that truth isn't the primary epistemic goal IV. David's argument

More information

Content and Modality: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker, edited by

Content and Modality: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker, edited by Content and Modality: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker, edited by Judith Thomson and Alex Byrne. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006. Pp. viii + 304. H/b 40.00. The eleven original essays in this

More information

Please remember to sign-in by scanning your badge Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Please remember to sign-in by scanning your badge Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds AS A COURTESY TO OUR SPEAKER AND AUDIENCE MEMBERS, PLEASE SILENCE ALL PAGERS AND CELL PHONES Please remember to sign-in by scanning your badge Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds James M. Stedman, PhD.

More information

Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol. 73, No. 1; March 1995

Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol. 73, No. 1; March 1995 Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol. 73, No. 1; March 1995 SHOULD A MATERIALIST BELIEVE IN QUALIA? David Lewis Should a materialist believe in qualia? Yes and no. 'Qualia' is a name for the occupants

More information

Experiences Don t Sum

Experiences Don t Sum Philip Goff Experiences Don t Sum According to Galen Strawson, there could be no such thing as brute emergence. If weallow thatcertain x s can emergefromcertain y s in a way that is unintelligible, even

More information

The Unsoundness of Arguments From Conceivability

The Unsoundness of Arguments From Conceivability The Unsoundness of Arguments From Conceivability Andrew Bailey Department of Philosophy The University of Guelph Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada (519) 824-4120 x3227 abailey@uoguelph.ca 14 June 2007 ABSTRACT

More information

DECONSTRUCTING NEW WAVE MATERIALISM

DECONSTRUCTING NEW WAVE MATERIALISM In C. Gillett & B. Loewer, eds., Physicalism and Its Discontents (Cambridge University Press, 2001) DECONSTRUCTING NEW WAVE MATERIALISM Terence Horgan and John Tienson University of Memphis. In the first

More information

Metaphysics & Consciousness. A talk by Larry Muhlstein

Metaphysics & Consciousness. A talk by Larry Muhlstein Metaphysics & Consciousness A talk by Larry Muhlstein A brief note on philosophy It is about thinking So think about what I am saying and ask me questions And go home and think some more For self improvement

More information

On the Conceivability of Zombies

On the Conceivability of Zombies On the Conceivability of Zombies By BRENT SILBY Department Of Philosophy, University of Canterbury, New Zealand Copyright (c) Brent Silby 1998 www.def-logic.com/articles Introduction Consciousness lies

More information

the aim is to specify the structure of the world in the form of certain basic truths from which all truths can be derived. (xviii)

the aim is to specify the structure of the world in the form of certain basic truths from which all truths can be derived. (xviii) PHIL 5983: Naturalness and Fundamentality Seminar Prof. Funkhouser Spring 2017 Week 8: Chalmers, Constructing the World Notes (Introduction, Chapters 1-2) Introduction * We are introduced to the ideas

More information

BOOK REVIEWS. Duke University. The Philosophical Review, Vol. XCVII, No. 1 (January 1988)

BOOK REVIEWS. Duke University. The Philosophical Review, Vol. XCVII, No. 1 (January 1988) manner that provokes the student into careful and critical thought on these issues, then this book certainly gets that job done. On the other hand, one likes to think (imagine or hope) that the very best

More information

EPIPHENOMENALISM. Keith Campbell and Nicholas J.J. Smith. December Written for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

EPIPHENOMENALISM. Keith Campbell and Nicholas J.J. Smith. December Written for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. EPIPHENOMENALISM Keith Campbell and Nicholas J.J. Smith December 1993 Written for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Epiphenomenalism is a theory concerning the relation between the mental and physical

More information

Private Language and Mind-Body Dualism

Private Language and Mind-Body Dualism Dette paper er publiceret på www.hum.au.dk/filosofi/wittgenstein. Det indgik på konferencen: "Sprog, verden, livsform arrangeret af The Wittgenstein Network, 4. og 5. april 2003. Offentliggørelse må ikke

More information

spring 05 topics in philosophy of mind session 7

spring 05 topics in philosophy of mind session 7 24.500 spring 05 topics in philosophy of mind session 7 teatime self-knowledge 24.500 S05 1 plan self-blindness, one more time Peacocke & Co. immunity to error through misidentification: Shoemaker s self-reference

More information

In Defense of Radical Empiricism. Joseph Benjamin Riegel. Chapel Hill 2006

In Defense of Radical Empiricism. Joseph Benjamin Riegel. Chapel Hill 2006 In Defense of Radical Empiricism Joseph Benjamin Riegel A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

More information

THE ANTI-ZOMBIE ARGUMENT

THE ANTI-ZOMBIE ARGUMENT The Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 57, No. 229 October 2007 ISSN 0031 8094 doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.510.x THE ANTI-ZOMBIE ARGUMENT BY KEITH FRANKISH The zombie argument has come to occupy a central

More information

A Review of Neil Feit s Belief about the Self

A Review of Neil Feit s Belief about the Self A Review of Neil Feit s Belief about the Self Stephan Torre 1 Neil Feit. Belief about the Self. Oxford GB: Oxford University Press 2008. 216 pages. Belief about the Self is a clearly written, engaging

More information

Grounding and Analyticity. David Chalmers

Grounding and Analyticity. David Chalmers Grounding and Analyticity David Chalmers Interlevel Metaphysics Interlevel metaphysics: how the macro relates to the micro how nonfundamental levels relate to fundamental levels Grounding Triumphalism

More information

The Hard Problem of Consciousness & The Progressivism of Scientific Explanation

The Hard Problem of Consciousness & The Progressivism of Scientific Explanation The Hard Problem of Consciousness & The Progressivism of Scientific Explanation Several philosophers believe that with phenomenal consciousness and neural-biological properties, there will always be some

More information

Minds and Machines spring Hill and Nagel on the appearance of contingency, contd spring 03

Minds and Machines spring Hill and Nagel on the appearance of contingency, contd spring 03 Minds and Machines spring 2003 Hill and Nagel on the appearance of contingency, contd. 1 can the physicalist credibly deny (1)? 1. If I can clearly and distinctly conceive a proposition p to be true, then

More information

Putnam: Meaning and Reference

Putnam: Meaning and Reference Putnam: Meaning and Reference The Traditional Conception of Meaning combines two assumptions: Meaning and psychology Knowing the meaning (of a word, sentence) is being in a psychological state. Even Frege,

More information

ALTERNATIVE SELF-DEFEAT ARGUMENTS: A REPLY TO MIZRAHI

ALTERNATIVE SELF-DEFEAT ARGUMENTS: A REPLY TO MIZRAHI ALTERNATIVE SELF-DEFEAT ARGUMENTS: A REPLY TO MIZRAHI Michael HUEMER ABSTRACT: I address Moti Mizrahi s objections to my use of the Self-Defeat Argument for Phenomenal Conservatism (PC). Mizrahi contends

More information

Philosophical Zombies Don t Share Our Epistemic Situation. John Curtis Wright

Philosophical Zombies Don t Share Our Epistemic Situation. John Curtis Wright Philosophical Zombies Don t Share Our Epistemic Situation John Curtis Wright Thesis submitted to the faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements

More information

The readings for the course are separated into the following two categories:

The readings for the course are separated into the following two categories: PHILOSOPHY OF MIND (5AANB012) Tutor: Dr. Matthew Parrott Office: 603 Philosophy Building Email: matthew.parrott@kcl.ac.uk Consultation Hours: Thursday 1:30-2:30 pm & 4-5 pm Lecture Hours: Thursday 3-4

More information

Skepticism and Internalism

Skepticism and Internalism Skepticism and Internalism John Greco Abstract: This paper explores a familiar skeptical problematic and considers some strategies for responding to it. Section 1 reconstructs and disambiguates the skeptical

More information

Is phenomenal character out there in the world?

Is phenomenal character out there in the world? Is phenomenal character out there in the world? Jeff Speaks November 15, 2013 1. Standard representationalism... 2 1.1. Phenomenal properties 1.2. Experience and phenomenal character 1.3. Sensible properties

More information

McCLOSKEY ON RATIONAL ENDS: The Dilemma of Intuitionism

McCLOSKEY ON RATIONAL ENDS: The Dilemma of Intuitionism 48 McCLOSKEY ON RATIONAL ENDS: The Dilemma of Intuitionism T om R egan In his book, Meta-Ethics and Normative Ethics,* Professor H. J. McCloskey sets forth an argument which he thinks shows that we know,

More information

Searle vs. Chalmers Debate, 8/2005 with Death Monkey (Kevin Dolan)

Searle vs. Chalmers Debate, 8/2005 with Death Monkey (Kevin Dolan) Searle vs. Chalmers Debate, 8/2005 with Death Monkey (Kevin Dolan) : Searle says of Chalmers book, The Conscious Mind, "it is one thing to bite the occasional bullet here and there, but this book consumes

More information

There are two explanatory gaps. Dr Tom McClelland University of Glasgow

There are two explanatory gaps. Dr Tom McClelland University of Glasgow There are two explanatory gaps Dr Tom McClelland University of Glasgow 1 THERE ARE TWO EXPLANATORY GAPS ABSTRACT The explanatory gap between the physical and the phenomenal is at the heart of the Problem

More information

Title II: The CAPE International Conferen Philosophy of Time )

Title II: The CAPE International Conferen Philosophy of Time ) Against the illusion theory of temp Title (Proceedings of the CAPE Internatio II: The CAPE International Conferen Philosophy of Time ) Author(s) Braddon-Mitchell, David Citation CAPE Studies in Applied

More information

'Bridge Out' on the Road to a Theory of Consciousness Review of The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory by David J.

'Bridge Out' on the Road to a Theory of Consciousness Review of The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory by David J. 'Bridge Out' on the Road to a Theory of Consciousness Review of The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory by David J. Chalmers Gregory R. Mulhauser University of Glasgow Department of Philosophy

More information

Elements of Mind (EM) has two themes, one major and one minor. The major theme is

Elements of Mind (EM) has two themes, one major and one minor. The major theme is Summary of Elements of Mind Tim Crane Elements of Mind (EM) has two themes, one major and one minor. The major theme is intentionality, the mind s direction upon its objects; the other is the mind-body

More information

Does the exclusion argument put any pressure on dualism? Christian List and Daniel Stoljar To appear in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy

Does the exclusion argument put any pressure on dualism? Christian List and Daniel Stoljar To appear in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form will be published in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. The Journal is available online at: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/ 1 Does

More information

The Qualiafications (or Lack Thereof) of Epiphenomenal Qualia

The Qualiafications (or Lack Thereof) of Epiphenomenal Qualia Francesca Hovagimian Philosophy of Psychology Professor Dinishak 5 March 2016 The Qualiafications (or Lack Thereof) of Epiphenomenal Qualia In his essay Epiphenomenal Qualia, Frank Jackson makes the case

More information

Wright on response-dependence and self-knowledge

Wright on response-dependence and self-knowledge Wright on response-dependence and self-knowledge March 23, 2004 1 Response-dependent and response-independent concepts........... 1 1.1 The intuitive distinction......................... 1 1.2 Basic equations

More information

Some Good and Some Not so Good Arguments for Necessary Laws. William Russell Payne Ph.D.

Some Good and Some Not so Good Arguments for Necessary Laws. William Russell Payne Ph.D. Some Good and Some Not so Good Arguments for Necessary Laws William Russell Payne Ph.D. The view that properties have their causal powers essentially, which I will here call property essentialism, has

More information

Review of Torin Alter and Sven Walter (eds.) Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism

Review of Torin Alter and Sven Walter (eds.) Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism Review of Torin Alter and Sven Walter (eds.) Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism James Trafford University of East London jamestrafford1@googlemail.com

More information

Zombies and Consciousness Kirk, Robert University of Nottingham

Zombies and Consciousness Kirk, Robert University of Nottingham Zombies and Consciousness Kirk, Robert University of Nottingham Abstract: By definition, zombies would be behaviourally and physically just like us, but not conscious. If a zombie world is possible, then

More information

Review of Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind

Review of Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind Volume 10 Issue 1 Dirty Hands Article 1 1-2009 Review of Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind Candace L. Shelby University of Colorado, Denver Follow this and additional works at: https://commons.pacificu.edu/eip

More information

DUALISM VS. MATERIALISM I

DUALISM VS. MATERIALISM I DUALISM VS. MATERIALISM I The Ontology of E. J. Lowe's Substance Dualism Alex Carruth, Philosophy, Durham Emergence Project, Durham, UNITED KINGDOM Sophie Gibb, Durham University, Durham, UNITED KINGDOM

More information

Objections to the two-dimensionalism of The Conscious Mind

Objections to the two-dimensionalism of The Conscious Mind Objections to the two-dimensionalism of The Conscious Mind phil 93515 Jeff Speaks February 7, 2007 1 Problems with the rigidification of names..................... 2 1.1 Names as actually -rigidified descriptions..................

More information

Why Isn t Consciousness Real? (3) (translated by Shogo SHIMIZU)

Why Isn t Consciousness Real? (3) (translated by Shogo SHIMIZU) Philosophia OSAKA No. 8 Offprint March 2013 Why Isn t Consciousness Real? (3) (translated by Shogo SHIMIZU) Hitoshi NAGAI Philosophia OSAKA No.8, 2013 37 Hitoshi NAGAI (Nihon University) Why Isn t Consciousness

More information

THE STUDY OF UNKNOWN AND UNKNOWABILITY IN KANT S PHILOSOPHY

THE STUDY OF UNKNOWN AND UNKNOWABILITY IN KANT S PHILOSOPHY THE STUDY OF UNKNOWN AND UNKNOWABILITY IN KANT S PHILOSOPHY Subhankari Pati Research Scholar Pondicherry University, Pondicherry The present aim of this paper is to highlights the shortcomings in Kant

More information

Explaining Consciousness: an Argument against Physicalism and an Argument for Theism

Explaining Consciousness: an Argument against Physicalism and an Argument for Theism Bowling Green State University ScholarWorks@BGSU Honors Projects Honors College Spring 4-25-2015 Explaining Consciousness: an Argument against Physicalism and an Argument for Theism Benjamin Dobler bdobler@bgsu.edu

More information

Lecture 6 Objections to Dualism Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia Correspondence between Descartes Gilbert Ryle The Ghost in the Machine

Lecture 6 Objections to Dualism Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia Correspondence between Descartes Gilbert Ryle The Ghost in the Machine Lecture 6 Objections to Dualism Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia Correspondence between Descartes Gilbert Ryle The Ghost in the Machine 1 Agenda 1. Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia 2. The Interaction Problem

More information

Ayer s linguistic theory of the a priori

Ayer s linguistic theory of the a priori Ayer s linguistic theory of the a priori phil 43904 Jeff Speaks December 4, 2007 1 The problem of a priori knowledge....................... 1 2 Necessity and the a priori............................ 2

More information

Reply to Kirk and Melnyk

Reply to Kirk and Melnyk SWIF Philosophy of Mind, 09 May 2003 http://www.swif.uniba.it/lei/mind/forums/papineau.htm Forums Forum 4 Reply to Kirk and Melnyk David Papineau Department of Philosophy King's College London I am lucky

More information

Cosmic Hermeneutics vs. Emergence: The Challenge of the Explanatory Gap*

Cosmic Hermeneutics vs. Emergence: The Challenge of the Explanatory Gap* Donald chap02.tex V1 - November 19, 2009 7:06pm Page 22 2 Cosmic Hermeneutics vs. Emergence: The Challenge of the Explanatory Gap* Tim Crane 1. THE EXPLANATORY GAP FN:1 Joseph Levine is generally credited

More information

A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge

A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge Leuenberger, S. (2012) Review of David Chalmers, The Character of Consciousness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 90 (4). pp. 803-806. ISSN 0004-8402 Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis A copy can be downloaded

More information

Putnam on Methods of Inquiry

Putnam on Methods of Inquiry Putnam on Methods of Inquiry Indiana University, Bloomington Abstract Hilary Putnam s paradigm-changing clarifications of our methods of inquiry in science and everyday life are central to his philosophy.

More information

Chapter 5: Freedom and Determinism

Chapter 5: Freedom and Determinism Chapter 5: Freedom and Determinism At each time t the world is perfectly determinate in all detail. - Let us grant this for the sake of argument. We might want to re-visit this perfectly reasonable assumption

More information

Against Phenomenal Conservatism

Against Phenomenal Conservatism Acta Anal DOI 10.1007/s12136-010-0111-z Against Phenomenal Conservatism Nathan Hanna Received: 11 March 2010 / Accepted: 24 September 2010 # Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010 Abstract Recently,

More information

All philosophical debates not due to ignorance of base truths or our imperfect rationality are indeterminate.

All philosophical debates not due to ignorance of base truths or our imperfect rationality are indeterminate. PHIL 5983: Naturalness and Fundamentality Seminar Prof. Funkhouser Spring 2017 Week 11: Chalmers, Constructing the World Notes (Chapters 6-7, Twelfth Excursus) Chapter 6 6.1 * This chapter is about the

More information

24.09 Minds and Machines spring an inconsistent tetrad. argument for (1) argument for (2) argument for (3) argument for (4)

24.09 Minds and Machines spring an inconsistent tetrad. argument for (1) argument for (2) argument for (3) argument for (4) 24.09 Minds and Machines spring 2006 more handouts shortly on website Stoljar, contd. evaluations, final exam questions an inconsistent tetrad 1) if physicalism is, a priori physicalism is 2) a priori

More information

A Review of The Consciousness by David Chalmers, Oxford Univ. Press, Eric Dietrich Philosophy Dept. Binghamton Univ., Binghamton NY 13902

A Review of The Consciousness by David Chalmers, Oxford Univ. Press, Eric Dietrich Philosophy Dept. Binghamton Univ., Binghamton NY 13902 Dietrich, E. (1998). Zombies only seem logically possible: or How consciousness hides the truth of Materialism: A Critical Review of The Consciousness Mind by David Chalmers. Minds and Machines, 8 (3),

More information

Minds and Machines spring The explanatory gap and Kripke s argument revisited spring 03

Minds and Machines spring The explanatory gap and Kripke s argument revisited spring 03 Minds and Machines spring 2003 The explanatory gap and Kripke s argument revisited 1 preliminaries handouts on the knowledge argument and qualia on the website 2 Materialism and qualia: the explanatory

More information

Panpsychism and Panprotopsychism

Panpsychism and Panprotopsychism Panpsychism and Panprotopsychism David J. Chalmers 1 Introduction Panpsychism, taken literally, is the doctrine that everything has a mind. In practice, people who call themselves panpsychists are not

More information

Philosophy Epistemology Topic 5 The Justification of Induction 1. Hume s Skeptical Challenge to Induction

Philosophy Epistemology Topic 5 The Justification of Induction 1. Hume s Skeptical Challenge to Induction Philosophy 5340 - Epistemology Topic 5 The Justification of Induction 1. Hume s Skeptical Challenge to Induction In the section entitled Sceptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding

More information

Department of Philosophy TCD. Great Philosophers. Dennett. Tom Farrell. Department of Surgical Anatomy RCSI Department of Clinical Medicine RCSI

Department of Philosophy TCD. Great Philosophers. Dennett. Tom Farrell. Department of Surgical Anatomy RCSI Department of Clinical Medicine RCSI Department of Philosophy TCD Great Philosophers Dennett Tom Farrell Department of Philosophy TCD Department of Surgical Anatomy RCSI Department of Clinical Medicine RCSI 1. Socrates 2. Plotinus 3. Augustine

More information

Could Anyone Justiably Believe Epiphenomenalism?

Could Anyone Justiably Believe Epiphenomenalism? Could Anyone Justiably Believe Epiphenomenalism? Richard Swinburne [Swinburne, Richard, 2011, Could Anyone Justiably Believe Epiphenomenalism?, Journal of Consciousness Studies, vol 18, no 3-4, 2011, pp.196-216.]

More information

Consciousness, Theories of

Consciousness, Theories of Philosophy Compass 1/1 (2006): 58 64, 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2006.00008.x Consciousness, Theories of Uriah Kriegel University of Arizona/University of Sydney Abstract Phenomenal consciousness is the property

More information

Contextual two-dimensionalism

Contextual two-dimensionalism Contextual two-dimensionalism phil 93507 Jeff Speaks November 30, 2009 1 Two two-dimensionalist system of The Conscious Mind.............. 1 1.1 Primary and secondary intensions...................... 2

More information

Rule-Following and the Ontology of the Mind Abstract The problem of rule-following

Rule-Following and the Ontology of the Mind Abstract The problem of rule-following Rule-Following and the Ontology of the Mind Michael Esfeld (published in Uwe Meixner and Peter Simons (eds.): Metaphysics in the Post-Metaphysical Age. Papers of the 22nd International Wittgenstein Symposium.

More information

Nagel, Naturalism and Theism. Todd Moody. (Saint Joseph s University, Philadelphia)

Nagel, Naturalism and Theism. Todd Moody. (Saint Joseph s University, Philadelphia) Nagel, Naturalism and Theism Todd Moody (Saint Joseph s University, Philadelphia) In his recent controversial book, Mind and Cosmos, Thomas Nagel writes: Many materialist naturalists would not describe

More information

The Phenomenal Concept Strategy

The Phenomenal Concept Strategy Peter Carruthers and Bénédicte Veillet 1 The Phenomenal Concept Strategy A powerful reply to a range of familiar anti-physicalist arguments has recently been developed. According to this reply, our possession

More information

Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity

Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity 24.09x Minds and Machines Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity Excerpt from Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity (Harvard, 1980). Identity theorists have been concerned with several distinct types of identifications:

More information

1/12. The A Paralogisms

1/12. The A Paralogisms 1/12 The A Paralogisms The character of the Paralogisms is described early in the chapter. Kant describes them as being syllogisms which contain no empirical premises and states that in them we conclude

More information

Primitive Concepts. David J. Chalmers

Primitive Concepts. David J. Chalmers Primitive Concepts David J. Chalmers Conceptual Analysis: A Traditional View A traditional view: Most ordinary concepts (or expressions) can be defined in terms of other more basic concepts (or expressions)

More information

The Zombies Among Us. Eric T. Olson To appear in Nous.

The Zombies Among Us. Eric T. Olson To appear in Nous. The Zombies Among Us Eric T. Olson To appear in Nous. abstract Philosophers disagree about whether there could be zombies : beings physically identical to normal human people but lacking consciousness.

More information

The Irreducibility of Consciousness

The Irreducibility of Consciousness Claremont Colleges Scholarship @ Claremont CMC Faculty Publications and Research CMC Faculty Scholarship 1-1-2005 The Irreducibility of Consciousness Claremont McKenna College Recommended Citation Kind,

More information

III Knowledge is true belief based on argument. Plato, Theaetetus, 201 c-d Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Edmund Gettier

III Knowledge is true belief based on argument. Plato, Theaetetus, 201 c-d Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Edmund Gettier III Knowledge is true belief based on argument. Plato, Theaetetus, 201 c-d Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Edmund Gettier In Theaetetus Plato introduced the definition of knowledge which is often translated

More information

On Dispositional HOT Theories of Consciousness

On Dispositional HOT Theories of Consciousness On Dispositional HOT Theories of Consciousness Higher Order Thought (HOT) theories of consciousness contend that consciousness can be explicated in terms of a relation between mental states of different

More information