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Acquaintance and the mind-body problem

In Simone Gozzano & Christopher S. Hill (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16-43 (2012)

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  1. An Acquaintance Alternative to Self-Representationalism.Anna Giustina - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (12):3831-3863.
    The primary goal of this paper is to provide substantial motivation for exploring an Acquaintance account of phenomenal consciousness, on which what fundamentally explains phenomenal consciousness is the relation of acquaintance. Its secondary goal is to take a few steps towards such an account. Roughly, my argument proceeds as follows. Motivated by prioritizing naturalization, the debate about the nature of phenomenal consciousness has been almost monopolized by representational theories. Among them, Self-Representationalism is by far the most antecedently promising. However, on (...)
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  • Mind-Body Meets Metaethics: A Moral Concept Strategy.Helen Yetter-Chappell & Richard Yetter Chappell - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):865-878.
    The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between anti-physicalist arguments in the philosophy of mind and anti-naturalist arguments in metaethics, and to show how the literature on the mind-body problem can inform metaethics. Among the questions we will consider are: (1) whether a moral parallel of the knowledge argument can be constructed to create trouble for naturalists, (2) the relationship between such a "Moral Knowledge Argument" and the familiar Open Question Argument, and (3) how naturalists can respond (...)
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  • Circularity in the Conditional Analysis of Phenomenal Concepts.Helen Yetter-Chappell - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):553-572.
    The conditional analysis of phenomenal concepts purports to give physicalists a way of understanding phenomenal concepts that will allow them to (1) accept the zombie intuition, (2) accept that conceivability is generally a good guide to possibility, and yet (3) reject the conclusion that zombies are metaphysically possible. It does this by positing that whether phenomenal concepts refer to physical or nonphysical states depends on what the actual world is like. In this paper, I offer support for the Chalmers/Alter objection (...)
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  • Dualism all the way down: why there is no paradox of phenomenal judgment.Helen Yetter-Chappell - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-24.
    Epiphenomenalist dualists hold that certain physical states give rise to non-physical conscious experiences, but that these non-physical experiences are themselves causally inefficacious. Among the most pressing challenges facing epiphenomenalists is the so-called “paradox of phenomenal judgment”, which challenges epiphenomenalism’s ability to account for our knowledge of our own conscious experiences. According to this objection, we lack knowledge of the very thing that epiphenomenalists take physicalists to be unable to explain. By developing an epiphenomenalist theory of subjects and mental states, this (...)
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  • Dissolving Type‐B Physicalism.Helen Yetter-Chappell - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):469-498.
    The majority of physicalists are type-B physicalists – believing that the phenomenal-physical truths are only knowable a posteriori. This paper aims to show why this view is misguided. The strategy is to design an agent who (1) has full general physical knowledge, (2) has phenomenal concepts, and yet (3) is wired such that she would be in a position to immediately work out the phenomenal-physical truths. I argue that this derivation yields a priori knowledge. The possibility of such a creature (...)
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  • A Posteriori Physicalism and the Discrimination of Properties.Philip Woodward - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (1):121-143.
    According to a posteriori physicalism, phenomenal properties are physical properties, despite the unbridgeable cognitive gap that holds between phenomenal concepts and physical concepts. Current debates about a posteriori physicalism turn on what I call “the perspicuity principle”: it is impossible for a suitably astute cognizer to possess concepts of a certain sort—viz., narrow concepts—without being able to tell whether the referents of those concepts are the same or different. The perspicuity principle tends to strike a posteriori physicalists as implausibly rationalistic; (...)
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  • The Cognitive Significance of Phenomenal Knowledge.Bénédicte Veillet - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2955-2974.
    Knowledge of what it’s like to have perceptual experiences, e.g. of what it’s like to see red or taste Turkish coffee, is phenomenal knowledge; and it is knowledge the substantial or significant nature of which is widely assumed to pose a challenge for physicalism. Call this the New Challenge to physicalism. The goal of this paper is to take a closer look at the New Challenge. I show, first, that it is surprisingly difficult to spell out clearly and neutrally what (...)
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  • Revelation and Physicalism.Kelly Trogdon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2345-2366.
    Discussion of the challenge that acquaintance with the nature of experience poses to physicalism.
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  • Is the Mystery an Illusion? Papineau on the Problem of Consciousness.Pär Sundström - 2008 - Synthese 163 (2):133-143.
    A number of philosophers have recently argued that consciousness properties are identical with some set of physical or functional properties and that we can explain away the frequently felt puzzlement about this claim as a delusion or confusion generated by our different ways of apprehending or thinking about consciousness. This paper examines David Papineau’s influential version of this view. According to Papineau, the difference between our “phenomenal” and “material” concepts of consciousness produces an instinctive but erroneous intuition that these concepts (...)
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  • How Physicalists Can—and Cannot—Explain the Seeming “Absurdity” of Physicalism.Pär Sundström - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):681-703.
    According to a widely held physicalist view, consciousness is identical with some physical or functional phenomenon just as liquidity is identical with loose molecular connection. To many of us, this claim about consciousness seems more problematic than the claim about liquidity. To many—including many physicalists—the identification of consciousness with some physical phenomenon even seems “absurd” or “crazy”. A full defence of physicalism should explain why the allegedly correct hypothesis comes across this way. If physicalism is true and we have reason (...)
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  • Liberal Phenomenal Concepts.Benjamin D. Storer - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (2):95-111.
    In this paper, I offer a third way in debates over the scope of phenomenal consciousness, in the form of a novel synthesis of liberal and conservative introspective observations. My primary claim i...
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  • Modal Rationalism and the Demonstrative Reply to the Scrutability Argument Against Physicalism.Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2107-2134.
    According to the scrutability argument against physicalism, an a priori gap between the physical and conscious experience entails a lack of necessitation and the falsity of physicalism. This paper investigates the crucial premise of the scrutability argument: the inference from an a priori gap to a lack of necessitation. This premise gets its support from modal rationalism, according to which there are important, potentially constitutive, connections between a priori justification and metaphysical modality. I argue against the strong form of modal (...)
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  • Does the Intuition of Distinctness Result from Valid Reasoning? – Reply to Kammerer.Karol Polcyn - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-17.
    According to an influential physicalist view, the intuition of distinctness is a cognitive illusion in the sense that it results from fallacious reasoning: we erroneously infer that the referents of phenomenal and physical concepts are different, from the fact that there is a certain difference between our uses of those concepts. has recently argued, however, that it is psychologically implausible that the intuition of distinctness results from a fallacy: the reasoning process leading to this intuition is, in several psychological respects, (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Desire.Jared Peterson - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3655-3676.
    This paper develops a novel puzzle about desire consisting of three independently plausible but jointly inconsistent propositions: all desires are dispositional states, we have privileged access to some of our desires, and we do not have privileged access to any dispositional state. Proponents of the view that all desires are dispositional states might think the most promising way out of this puzzle is to deny. I argue, however, that such attempts fail because the most plausible accounts of self-knowledge of desires (...)
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  • Panqualityism, Awareness and the Explanatory Gap.Jakub Mihálik - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1423-1445.
    According to panqualityism, a form of Russellian monism defended by Sam Coleman and others, consciousness is grounded in fundamental qualities, i.e. unexperienced qualia. Despite panqualityism’s significant promise, according to David Chalmers panqualityism fails as a theory of consciousness since the reductive approach to awareness of qualities it proposes fails to account for the specific phenomenology associated with awareness. I investigate Coleman’s reasoning against this kind of phenomenology and conclude that he successfully shows that its existence is controversial, and so Chalmers’s (...)
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  • New Wave Pluralism.David Ludwig - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):545-560.
    The aim of this paper is to develop a pluralist interpretation of the phenomenal concept strategy (PCS). My starting point is Horgan and Tienson's deconstructive argument according to which proponents of PCS face the following dilemma: either phenomenal concepts or physical concepts allow us to conceive phenomenal states as they are in themselves. If phenomenal concepts allow us to conceive phenomenal states as they are in themselves, then phenomenal states are non-physical states and physicalism is wrong. If physical concepts allow (...)
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  • Revelation and the Intuition of Dualism.Michelle Liu - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11491-11515.
    In recent literature on the metaphysics of consciousness, and in particular on the prospects of physicalism, there are two interesting strands of discussion. One strand concerns the so-called ‘thesis of revelation’, the claim that the essences of phenomenal properties are revealed in experience. The other strand concerns the intuition of dualism, the intuition that consciousness is nonphysical. With a particular focus on the former, this paper advances two main arguments. First, it argues that the thesis of revelation is intuitive; it (...)
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  • The Sense of Incredibility in Ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):93-115.
    It is often said that normative properties are “just too different” to reduce to other kinds of properties. This suggests that many philosophers find it difficult to believe reductive theses in ethics. I argue that the distinctiveness of the normative concepts we use in thinking about reductive theses offers a more promising explanation of this psychological phenomenon than the falsity of Reductive Realism. To identify the distinctiveness of normative concepts, I use resources from familiar Hybrid views of normative language and (...)
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  • Imagining Experiences.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2016 - Noûs:561-586.
    It is often held that in imagining experiences we exploit a special imagistic way of representing mentality—one that enables us to think about mental states in terms of what it is like to have them. According to some, when this way of thinking about the mind is paired with more objective means, an explanatory gap between the phenomenal and physical features of mental states arises. This paper advances a view along those lines, but with a twist. What many take for (...)
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  • The Illusion of Conscious Experience.François Kammerer - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Illusionism about phenomenal consciousness is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, even though it seems to exist. This thesis is widely judged to be uniquely counterintuitive: the idea that consciousness is an illusion strikes most people as absurd, and seems almost impossible to contemplate in earnest. Defenders of illusionism should be able to explain the apparent absurdity of their own thesis, within their own framework. However, this is no trivial task: arguably, none of the illusionist theories currently on (...)
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  • How can you be so sure? Illusionism and the obviousness of phenomenal consciousness.François Kammerer - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (9):2845-2867.
    Illusionism is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Many opponents to the thesis take it to be obviously false. They think that they can reject illusionism, even if they conceded that it is coherent and supported by strong arguments. David Chalmers has articulated this reaction to illusionism in terms of a “Moorean” argument against illusionism. This argument contends that illusionism is false, because it is obviously true that we have phenomenal experiences. I argue (...)
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  • Does the Explanatory Gap Rest on a Fallacy?François Kammerer - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):649-667.
    Many philosophers have tried to defend physicalism concerning phenomenal consciousness, by explaining dualist intuitions within a purely physicalist framework. One of the most common strategies to do so consists in interpreting the alleged “explanatory gap” between phenomenal states and physical states as resulting from a fallacy, or a cognitive illusion. In this paper, I argue that the explanatory gap does not rest on a fallacy or a cognitive illusion. This does not imply the falsity of physicalism, but it has consequences (...)
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  • Can You Believe It? Illusionism and the Illusion Meta-Problem.François Kammerer - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (1):44-67.
    Illusionism about consciousness is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Embracing illusionism presents the theoretical advantage that one does not need to explain how consciousness arises from purely physical brains anymore, but only to explain why consciousness seems to exist while it does not. As Keith Frankish puts it, illusionism replaces the “hard problem of consciousness” with the “illusion problem.” However, a satisfying version of illusionism has to explain not only why the illusion (...)
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  • Blocking Kripke’s Argument Against the Type-Identity Theory of Mind.Simone Gozzano - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-21.
    In this paper, I present a two-pronged argument devoted to defending the type-identity theory of mind against the argument presented by Kripke in Naming and Necessity. In the first part, the interpersonal case, I show that since it is not possible to establish the metaphysical conditions for phenomenal identity, it is not possible to argue that there can be physical differences between two subjects despite their phenomenal identity. In the second part, the intrapersonal case, I consider the possibility of imagining (...)
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  • Fundamentality and the Mind-Body Problem.Philip Goff - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (4):881-898.
    In the recent metaphysics literature, a number of philosophers have independently endeavoured to marry sparse ontology to abundant truth. The aim is to keep ontological commitments minimal, whilst allowing true sentences to quantify over a vastly greater range of entities than those which they are ontologically committed to. For example, an ontological commitment only to concrete, microscopic simples might be conjoined with a commitment to truths such as ‘There are twenty people working in this building’ and ‘There are prime numbers (...)
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  • Introspective Knowledge by Acquaintance.Anna Giustina - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    Introspective knowledge by acquaintance is knowledge we have by being directly aware of our phenomenally conscious states. In this paper, I argue that introspective knowledge by acquaintance is a sui generis kind of knowledge: it is irreducible to any sort of propositional knowledge and is wholly constituted by a relationship of introspective acquaintance. My main argument is that this is the best explanation of some epistemic facts about phenomenal consciousness and introspection. In particular, it best explains the epistemic asymmetry between (...)
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  • Are Phenomenal Concepts Perspectival?Andreas Elpidorou - 2012 - Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1):43-53.
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  • A Posteriori Physicalism and Introspection.Andreas Elpidorou - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1):474-500.
    Introspection presents our phenomenal states in a manner otherwise than physical. This observation is often thought to amount to an argument against physicalism: if introspection presents phenomenal states as they essentially are, then phenomenal states cannot be physical states, for we are not introspectively aware of phenomenal states as physical states. In this article, I examine whether this argument threatens a posteriori physicalism. I argue that as along as proponents of a posteriori physicalism maintain that phenomenal concepts present the nature (...)
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  • We Are Acquainted with Ourselves.Matt Duncan - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2531-2549.
    I am aware of the rain outside, but only in virtue of looking at a weather report. I am aware of my friend, but only because I hear her voice through my phone. Thus, there are some things that I’m aware of, but only indirectly. Many philosophers believe that there are also some things of which I am directly aware. The most plausible candidates are experiences such as pains, tickles, visual sensations, etc. In fact, the philosophical consensus seems to be (...)
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  • Two Russellian Arguments for Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):461-474.
    Bertrand Russell [1912] argued that we are acquainted with our experiences. Although this conclusion has generated a lot of discussion, very little has been said about Russell's actual arguments for it. This paper aims to remedy that. I start by spelling out two Russellian arguments for acquaintance. Then I show that these arguments cannot both succeed. For if one is sound, the other isn't. Finally, I weigh our options with respect to these arguments, and defend one option in particular. I (...)
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  • Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12727.
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  • Embodied Conceivability: How to Keep the Phenomenal Concept Strategy Grounded.Guy Dove & Andreas Elpidorou - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):580-611.
    The Phenomenal Concept Strategy offers the physicalist perhaps the most promising means of explaining why the connection between mental facts and physical facts appears to be contingent even though it is not. In this article, we show that the large body of evidence suggesting that our concepts are often embodied and grounded in sensorimotor systems speaks against standard forms of the PCS. We argue, nevertheless, that it is possible to formulate a novel version of the PCS that is thoroughly in (...)
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  • Physicalism and Phenomenal Concepts.Erhan Demircioglu - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):257-277.
    Frank Jackson’s famous Knowledge Argument moves from the premise that complete physical knowledge is not complete knowledge about experiences to the falsity of physicalism. In recent years, a consensus has emerged that the credibility of this and other well-known anti-physicalist arguments can be undermined by allowing that we possess a special category of concepts of experiences, phenomenal concepts, which are conceptually independent from physical/functional concepts. It is held by a large number of philosophers that since the conceptual independence of phenomenal (...)
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  • Quotational Higher-Order Thought Theory.Sam Coleman - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2705-2733.
    Due to their reliance on constitutive higher-order representing to generate the qualities of which the subject is consciously aware, I argue that the major existing higher-order representational theories of consciousness insulate us from our first-order sensory states. In fact on these views we are never properly conscious of our sensory states at all. In their place I offer a new higher-order theory of consciousness, with a view to making us suitably intimate with our sensory states in experience. This theory relies (...)
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  • Fred’s red: on the objectivity and physicality of mental qualities.Sam Coleman - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-27.
    Frank Jackson's case of Mary the colour scientist, and the knowledge argument against physicalism built upon it, are well known. This paper starts from Jackson's other, more neglected, thought experiment, about Fred, who sees a unique shade of red. It explores two senses in which properties are said to be 'objective', roughly corresponding to the ideas of a property's being intersubjectively accessible, on the one hand, and its being knowable without the need for special experiences, on the other. These senses (...)
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  • Anti-individualism and Phenomenal Content.Darragh Byrne - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1733-1755.
    The paper addresses a prima facie tension between two popular views about concepts. The first is the doctrine that some concepts are constitutively perceptual/experiential, so that they can be possessed only by suitably experienced subjects. This is a classic empiricist theme, but its most conspicuous recent appearance is in literature on phenomenal concepts. The second view is anti-individualism: here, the view that concept possession depends not only on a thinker’s internal states and relations to the concepts’ referents, but also on (...)
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  • Revelation and Phenomenal Relations.Antonin Broi - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (278):22-42.
    Revelation, or the view that the essence of phenomenal properties is presented to us, is as intuitively attractive as it is controversial. It is notably at the core of defences of anti-physicalism. I propose in this paper a new argument against Revelation. It is usually accepted that low-level sensory phenomenal properties, like phenomenal red, loudness or brightness, stand in relation of similarity and quantity. Furthermore, these similarity and quantitative relations are taken to be internal, that is, to be fixed by (...)
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  • How to Be a Type-C Physicalist.Adrian Boutel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):301-320.
    This paper advances a version of physicalism which reconciles the “a priori entailment thesis” (APET) with the analytic independence of our phenomenal and physical vocabularies. The APET is the claim that, if physicalism is true, the complete truths of physics imply every other truth a priori. If so, “cosmic hermeneutics” is possible: a demon having only complete knowledge of physics could deduce every truth about the world. Analytic independence is a popular physicalist explanation for the apparent “epistemic gaps” between phenomenal (...)
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  • Luminosity Guaranteed.Wolfgang Barz - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):480-496.
    This article aims to show that Williamson's anti-luminosity argument does not succeed if we presuppose a constitutive connection between the phenomenal and the doxastic. In contrast to other luminists, however, my strategy is not to critically focus on the refined safety condition in terms of degrees of confidence that anti-luminists typically use in this context. Instead, I will argue that, given a certain conception of what Chalmers calls ‘direct phenomenal concepts,’ luminosity is guaranteed even if the refined safety condition in (...)
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  • Infallibility, Acquaintance, and Phenomenal Concepts.Wolfgang Barz - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (2):139-168.
    In recent literature, there is a strong tendency to endorse the following argument: There are particular judgments about one's current phenomenal experiences that are infallible; if there are particular judgments about one's current phenomenal experiences that are infallible, then the infallibility of those judgments is due to the relation of acquaintance; therefore, acquaintance explains why those particular judgments about one's current phenomenal experiences are infallible. The aim of this paper is to examine critically both the first and the second premise (...)
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  • In Defense of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy1.Katalin Balog - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):1-23.
    During the last two decades, several different anti-physicalist arguments based on an epistemic or conceptual gap between the phenomenal and the physical have been proposed. The most promising physicalist line of defense in the face of these arguments – the Phenomenal Concept Strategy – is based on the idea that these epistemic and conceptual gaps can be explained by appeal to the nature of phenomenal concepts rather than the nature of non-physical phenomenal properties. Phenomenal concepts, on this proposal, involve unique (...)
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  • The Recent Renaissance of Acquaintance.Thomas Raleigh - 2019 - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    This is the introductory essay to the collection of essays: 'Acquaintance: New Essays' (eds. Knowles & Raleigh, forthcoming, OUP). In this essay I provide some historical background to the concept of acquaintance. I examine various Russellian theses about acquaintance that contemporary acquaintance theorists may wish to reject. I consider a number of questions that acquaintance theorists face. I provide a survey of current debates in philosophy where acquaintance has recently been invoked. And I also provide brief summaries of the other (...)
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  • Hard, Harder, Hardest.Katalin Balog - 2020 - In Arthur Sullivan (ed.), Sensations, Thoughts, and Language: Essays in Honor of Brian Loar. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 265-289.
    In this paper I discuss three problems of consciousness. The first two have been dubbed the “Hard Problem” and the “Harder Problem”. The third problem has received less attention and I will call it the “Hardest Problem”. The Hard Problem is a metaphysical and explanatory problem concerning the nature of conscious states. The Harder Problem is epistemological, and it concerns whether we can know, given physicalism, whether some creature physically different from us is conscious. The Hardest Problem is a problem (...)
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  • Introspection.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Qualia: The Knowledge Argument.Martine Nida-Rumelin - 2002 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Representational Theories of Consciousness.William G. Lycan - 2000 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The idea of representation has been central in discussions of intentionality for many years. But only more recently has it begun playing a wider role in the philosophy of mind, particularly in theories of consciousness. Indeed, there are now multiple representational theories of consciousness, corresponding to different uses of the term "conscious," each attempting to explain the corresponding phenomenon in terms of representation. More cautiously, each theory attempts to explain its target phenomenon in terms of _intentionality_, and assumes that intentionality (...)
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  • Knowledge by Acquaintance Vs. Description.Ali Hasan & Richard Fumerton - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Knowledge by Acquaintance Vs. Description.Richard Fumerton - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • What We Can Learn About Phenomenal Concepts From Wittgenstein’s Private Language.Roberto Sá Pereira - 2016 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 5 (2):125-152.
    This paper is both systematic and historical in nature. From a historical viewpoint, I aim to show that to establish Wittgenstein’s claim that “an ‘inner process’ stands in need of outward criteria” there is an enthymeme in Wittgenstein’s private language argument overlooked in the literature, namely Wittgenstein’s suggestion that both perceptual and bodily experiences are _transparent_ in the relevant sense that one cannot point to a mental state and wonder “What is that?” From a systematic viewpoint, I aim to show (...)
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  • Phenomenal Experience and the Thesis of Revelation.Michelle Liu - 2019 - In Dena Shottenkirk, Manuel Curado & Steven S. Gouveia (eds.), Perception, Cognition and Aesthetics. New York: Routledge. pp. 227-251.
    In the philosophy of mind, revelation is the claim that the nature of qualia is revealed in phenomenal experience. In the literature, revelation is often thought of as intuitive but in tension with physicalism. While mentions of revelation are frequent, there is room for further discussion of how precisely to formulate the thesis of revelation and what it exactly amounts to. Drawing on the work of David Lewis, this paper provides a detailed discussion on how the thesis of revelation, as (...)
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