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  1. added 2018-06-26
    How the Brain Makes Up the Mind: A Heuristic Approach to the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Dan Bruiger - manuscript
    A solution to the “hard problem” requires taking the point of view of the organism and its sub- agents. The organism constructs phenomenality through acts of fiat, much as we create meaning in language, through the use of symbols that are assigned meaning in the context of an embodied evolutionary history. Phenomenality is a virtual representation, made to itself by an executive agent (the conscious self), which is tasked with monitoring the state of the organism and its environment, planning future (...)
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  2. added 2018-02-17
    Three Laws of Qualia: What Neurology Tells Us About the Biological Functions of Consciousness.Vilayanur S. Ramachandran & William Hirstein - 1997 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (5-6):429-457.
    Neurological syndromes in which consciousness seems to malfunction, such as temporal lobe epilepsy, visual scotomas, Charles Bonnet syndrome, and synesthesia offer valuable clues about the normal functions of consciousness and ‘qualia’. An investigation into these syndromes reveals, we argue, that qualia are different from other brain states in that they possess three functional characteristics, which we state in the form of ‘three laws of qualia’ based on a loose analogy with Newton's three laws of classical mechanics. First, they are irrevocable: (...)
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  3. added 2017-03-10
    Explaining the Qualitative Dimension of Consciousness: Prescission Instead of Reification: Dialogue.Marc Champagne - 2009 - Dialogue 48 (1):145-183.
    This paper suggests that it is largely a want of notional distinctions which fosters the “explanatory gap” that has beset the study of consciousness since T. Nagel’s revival of the topic. Modifying Ned Block’s controversial claim that we should countenance a “phenomenal-consciousness” which exists in its own right, we argue that there is a way to recuperate the intuitions he appeals to without engaging in an onerous reification of the facet in question. By renewing with the full type/token/tone trichotomy developed (...)
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  4. added 2017-01-16
    Recognitional Identification and the Knowledge Argument.Erhan Demircioglu - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (3):325-340.
    Frank Jackson’s famous Knowledge Argument moves from the premise that complete physical knowledge about experiences is not complete knowledge about experiences to the falsity of physicalism. Some physicalists (e.g., John Perry) have countered by arguing that what Jackson’s Mary, the perfect scientist who acquires all physical knowledge about experiencing red while being locked in a monochromatic room, lacks before experiencing red is merely a piece of recognitional knowledge of an identity, and that since lacking a piece of recognitional knowledge of (...)
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  5. added 2016-10-22
    Review of Philosophy in a New Century by John Searle (2008).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Before commenting on the book, I offer comments on Wittgenstein and Searle and the logical structure of rationality. The essays here are mostly already published during the last decade (though some have been updated), along with one unpublished item, and nothing here will come as a surprise to those who have kept up with his work. Like W, he is regarded as the best standup philosopher of his time and his written work is solid as a rock and groundbreaking throughout. (...)
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  6. added 2016-01-11
    De Se Attitudes and Semiotic Aspects of Cognition.Erich Rast - 2015 - In J. Fonseca & J. Gonçalves (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on the Self. Peter Lang. pp. 121-146.
    Typical puzzles for de se attitudes by Perry and Lewis are laid out and contrasted with the original version of Jackson's Knowledge Argument. It is argued, from an epistemic perspective, that de se attitudes can be explained by looking at the way internal/introspective knowledge is formed without resorting to acquaintance or making assumptions about the Mind/Body problem.
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  7. added 2015-10-22
    Tying the Knot: Why Representationalists Should Endorse the Sensorimotor Theory of Conscious Feel.David Silverman - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly (263):pqv097.
    The sensorimotor theory of perception and consciousness is frequently presented as a variety of anti-representationalist cognitive science, and there is thus a temptation to suppose that those who take representation as bedrock should reject the approach. This paper argues that the sensorimotor approach is compatible with representationalism, and moreover that representationalism about phenomenal qualities, such as that advocated by Tye, would be more complete and less vulnerable to criticism if it incorporated the sensorimotor account of conscious feel. The paper concludes (...)
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  8. added 2015-08-13
    Yet Another Objection to Fading and Dancing Qualia.Nir Aides - manuscript
    In this paper I present objections to the Fading Qualia and Dancing Qualia thought experiments, which David Chalmers uses to argue that functional organization fully determines conscious experience.
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  9. added 2014-10-22
    What Panpsychists Should Reject: On the Incompatibility of Panpsychism and Organizational Invariantism.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1833-1846.
    Some philosophers, like David Chalmers, have either shown their sympathy for, or explicitly endorsed, the following two principles: Panpsychism—roughly the thesis that the mind is ubiquitous throughout the universe—and Organizational Invariantism—the principle that holds that two systems with the same fine-grained functional organization will have qualitatively identical experiences. The purpose of this paper is to show the tension between the arguments that back up both principles. This tension should lead, or so I will argue, defenders of one of the principles (...)
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  10. added 2014-03-30
    Let's Dance! The Equivocation in Chalmers' Dancing Qualia Argument.B. van Heuveln, Eric Dietrich & M. Oshima - 1998 - Minds and Machines 8 (2):237-249.
    David Chalmers' dancing qualia argument is intended to show that phenomenal experiences, or qualia, are organizational invariants. The dancing qualia argument is a reductio ad absurdum, attempting to demonstrate that holding an alternative position, such as the famous inverted spectrum argument, leads one to an implausible position about the relation between consciousness and cognition. In this paper, we argue that Chalmers' dancing qualia argument fails to establish the plausibility of qualia being organizational invariants. Even stronger, we will argue that the (...)
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  11. added 2014-03-21
    The Mind-Body Problem and Explanatory Dualism.Nicholas Maxwell - 2000 - Philosophy 75 (291):49-71.
    An important part of the mind-brain problem arises because sentience and consciousness seem inherently resistant to scientific explanation and understanding. The solution to this dilemma is to recognize, first, that scientific explanation can only render comprehensible a selected aspect of what there is, and second, that there is a mode of explanation and understanding, the personalistic, quite different from, but just as viable as, scientific explanation. In order to understand the mental aspect of brain processes - that aspect we know (...)
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  12. added 2014-03-09
    On the Coherence of Inversion.Clayton Littlejohn - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (2):127-137.
    In this paper, I shall evaluate a strategy recently used to try to demonstrate the impossibility of behaviorally undetectable spectrum inversion. After showing that the impossibility proof proves too much, I shall identify where it goes wrong. In turn, I shall explain why someone attracted to functionalist and representationalist assumptions might rightly remain agnostic about the possibility of inversion.
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  13. added 2013-09-16
    Are Mental States Reducible to Brain States? Or The Quale is Dead: Long Live the Quale!Richard Loosemore - manuscript
    Each of the various philosophical positions on the mind-body problem has grown out of the perceived shortcomings of one or more of its predecessors. One fertile source of aggravation to many of the -isms has been the problem of qualia: the ostensibly irreducible, qualitative character of many of our mental states. An argument is presented here that solves the qualia problem within the context of a otherwise functionalist theory of mind. The proposed solution is unusual in that it both resolves (...)
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  14. added 2013-09-16
    Naturalizing Phenomenology? Dretske on Qualia.Ronald McIntyre - 1999 - In Jean Petitot, Francisco Varela, Bernard Pachoud & Jean-Michel Roy (eds.), Naturalizing Phenomenology: Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science. Stanford University Press. pp. 429--439.
    First, I briefly characterize Dretske’s particular naturalization project, emphasizing his naturalistic reconstruction of the notion of representation. Second, I note some apparent similarities between his notion of representation and Husserl’s notion of intentionality, but I find even more important differences. Whereas Husserl takes intentionality to be an intrinsic, phenomenological feature of thought and experience, Dretske advocates an “externalist” account of mental representation. Third, I consider Dretske’s treatment of qualia, because he takes it to show that his representational account of mind (...)
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  15. added 2013-04-27
    Toward a Well-Innervated Philosophy of Mind (Chapter 4 of The Peripheral Mind).István Aranyosi - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    The “brain in a vat” thought experiment is presented and refuted by appeal to the intuitiveness of what the author informally calls “the eye for an eye principle”, namely: Conscious mental states typically involved in sensory processes can conceivably successfully be brought about by direct stimulation of the brain, and in all such cases the utilized stimulus field will be in the relevant sense equivalent to the actual PNS or part of it thereof. In the second section, four classic problems (...)
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  16. added 2013-04-05
    De Se Puzzles, the Knowledge Argument, and the Formation of Internal Knowledge.Erich Rast - 2012 - Analysis and Metaphysics 11:106-132.
    ABSTRACT. Thought experiments about de se attitudes and Jackson’s original Knowledge Argument are compared with each other and discussed from the perspective of a computational theory of mind. It is argued that internal knowledge, i.e. knowledge formed on the basis of signals that encode aspects of their own processing rather than being intentionally directed towards external objects, suffices for explaining the seminal puzzles without resorting to acquaintance or phenomenal character as primitive notions. Since computationalism is ontologically neutral, the account also (...)
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  17. added 2012-05-26
    Painful Reasons: Representationalism as a Theory of Pain.Brendan O'Sullivan & Robert Schroer - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):737-758.
    It is widely thought that functionalism and the qualia theory are better positioned to accommodate the ‘affective’ aspect of pain phenomenology than representationalism. In this paper, we attempt to overturn this opinion by raising problems for both functionalism and the qualia theory on this score. With regard to functionalism, we argue that it gets the order of explanation wrong: pain experience gives rise to the effects it does because it hurts, and not the other way around. With regard to the (...)
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  18. added 2011-03-16
    Understanding Sensations.Nicholas Maxwell - 1968 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):127-146.
    My aim in this paper is to defend a version of the brain process theory, or identity thesis, which differs in one important respect from the theory put forward by J.J.C. Smart. I shall argue that although the sensations which a person experiences are, as a matter of contingent fact, brain processes, nonetheless there are facts about sensations which cannot be described or understood in terms of any physical theory. These 'mental' facts cannot be described by physics for the simple (...)
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  19. added 2008-12-31
    What is a Mind?Arnold Zuboff - 1994 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):183-205.
    My visual cortex at the back of my brain processes the stimulation to my eyes and then causes other parts of the brain - like the speech centre and the areas involved in thought and movement - to be properly responsive to vision. According to functionalism the whole mental character of vision - the whole of how things look - is fixed purely in the pattern of responses to vision and not in any of the initial processing of vision in (...)
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