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  1. The Hard Problem Isn’T Getting Any Easier: Thoughts on Chalmers’ “Meta-Problem”.Ben White - 2021 - Philosophia 49:495-506.
    Chalmers’ meta-problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining “problem reports”; i.e. reports to the effect that phenomenal consciousness has the various features that give rise to the hard problem. Chalmers suggests that solving the meta-problem will likely “shed significant light on the hard problem.” Against this, I argue that work on the meta-problem will likely fail to make the hard problem any easier. For each of the main stances on the hard problem can provide an account of problem reports, (...)
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  • Panpsychism and the Combination Problem.Rodrigo Coin Curvo - 2020 - Dissertation, KU Leuven
    The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining the existence of subjective experience in a world that is purely physical. As the usual theories fail to provide an adequate explanation, many philosophers started looking for alternatives. One of such alternatives is panpsychism, which has been increasingly gaining attention in the past few decades. Panpsychism is the view that fundamental entities of the world—fundamental particles, for example—have some form of very simple consciousness. And, in the theory, it is that (...)
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  • Have we Lost Spacetime on the Way? Narrowing the Gap between General Relativity and Quantum Gravity.Baptiste Le Bihan & Niels Siegbert Linnemann - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 65:112-121.
    Important features of space and time are taken to be missing in quantum gravity, allegedly requiring an explanation of the emergence of spacetime from non-spatio-temporal theories. In this paper, we argue that the explanatory gap between general relativity and non-spatio- temporal quantum gravity theories might significantly be reduced with two moves. First, we point out that spacetime is already partially missing in the context of general relativity when understood from a dynamical perspective. Second, we argue that most approaches to quantum (...)
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  • Space Emergence in Contemporary Physics: Why We Do Not Need Fundamentality, Layers of Reality and Emergence.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (49):71-95.
    ‘Space does not exist fundamentally: it emerges from a more fundamental non-spatial structure.’ This intriguing claim appears in various research programs in contemporary physics. Philosophers of physics tend to believe that this claim entails either that spacetime does not exist, or that it is derivatively real. In this article, I introduce and defend a third metaphysical interpretation of the claim: reductionism about space. I argue that, as a result, there is no need to subscribe to fundamentality, layers of reality and (...)
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  • Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12727.
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  • Certainty and Our Sense of Acquaintance with Experiences.François Kammerer - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    Why do we tend to think that phenomenal consciousness poses a hard problem? The answer seems to lie in part in the fact that we have the impression that phenomenal experiences are presented to us in a particularly immediate and revelatory way: we have a sense of acquaintance with our experiences. Recent views have offered resources to explain such persisting impression, by hypothesizing that the very design of our cognitive systems inevitably leads us to hold beliefs about our own experiences (...)
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  • The Fragmentation of Phenomenal Character.Neil Mehta - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Appearance, Reality, and the Meta-Problem of Consciousness.Giovanni Merlo - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):120-130.
    Solving the meta-problem of consciousness requires, among other things, explaining why we are so reluctant to endorse various forms of illusionism about the phenomenal. I will try to tackle this task in two steps. The first consists in clarifying how the concept of consciousness precludes the possibility of any distinction between 'appearance' and 'reality'. The second consists in spelling out our reasons for recognizing the existence of something that satisfies that concept.
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  • Acquaintance, Knowledge, and Value.Emad Atiq - forthcoming - Synthese.
    Taking perceptual experience to consist in a relation of acquaintance with the sensible qualities, I argue that the state of being acquainted with a sensible quality is intrinsically a form of knowledge, and not merely a means to more familiar kinds of knowledge, such as propositional or dispositional knowledge. We should accept the epistemic claim for its explanatory power and theoretical usefulness. That acquaintance is knowledge best explains the intuitive epistemic appeal of ‘Edenic’ counterfactuals involving unmediated perceptual contact with reality (...)
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  • Prakāśa. A few reflections on the Advaitic understanding of consciousness as presence and its relevance for philosophy of mind.Wolfgang Fasching - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (4):679-701.
    For Advaita Vedānta, consciousness is to be distinguished from all contents of consciousness that might be introspectively detectable: It is precisely consciousness of whatever contents it is conscious of and not itself one of these contents. Its only nature is, Advaita holds, prakāśa ; in itself it is devoid of any content or structure and can never become an object. This paper elaborates on this kind of understanding of consciousness in order to next explain why it might be fruitful for (...)
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  • Do People Think Consciousness Poses a Hard Problem?: Empirical Evidence on the Meta-Problem of Consciousness.Rodrigo Díaz - 2021 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (3-4):55-75.
    In a recent paper in this journal, David Chalmers introduced the meta-problem of consciousness as “the problem of explaining why we think consciousness poses a hard problem” (Chalmers, 2018, p. 6). A solution to the meta-problem could shed light on the hard problem of consciousness. In particular, it would be relevant to elucidate whether people’s problem intuitions (i.e. intuitions holding that conscious experience cannot be reduced to physical processes) are driven by factors related to the nature of consciousness, or rather (...)
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  • Illusionism About Phenomenal Consciousness: Explaining the Illusion.Daniel Shabasson - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-27.
    According to illusionism, phenomenal consciousness is an introspective illusion. The illusion problem is to explain the cause of the illusion, or why we are powerfully disposed to judge—erroneously—that we are phenomenally conscious. I propose a theory to solve the illusion problem. I argue that on the basis of three hypotheses about the mind—which I call introspective opacity, the infallibility intuition, and the justification constraint—we can explain our disposition, on introspection, to draw erroneous unconscious inferences about our sensory states. Being subject (...)
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  • Fame in the predictive brain: a deflationary approach to explaining consciousness in the prediction error minimization framework.Krzysztof Dołęga & Joe E. Dewhurst - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7781-7806.
    The proposal that probabilistic inference and unconscious hypothesis testing are central to information processing in the brain has been steadily gaining ground in cognitive neuroscience and associated fields. One popular version of this proposal is the new theoretical framework of predictive processing or prediction error minimization, which couples unconscious hypothesis testing with the idea of ‘active inference’ and claims to offer a unified account of perception and action. Here we will consider one outstanding issue that still looms large at the (...)
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  • How Rich is the Illusion of Consciousness?François Kammerer - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    Illusionists claim that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Most debates concerning illusionism focus on whether or not it is true – whether phenomenal consciousness really is an illusion. Here I want to tackle a different question: assuming illusionism is true, what kind of illusion is the illusion of phenomenality? Is it a “rich” illusion – the cognitively impenetrable activation of an incorrect representation – or a “sparse” illusion – the cognitively impenetrable activation of an incomplete (...)
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  • Two Solutions to the Neural Discernment Problem.Bradford Saad - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2837-2850.
    Interactionists hold that minds are non-physical objects that interact with brains. The neural discernment problem for interactionism is that of explaining how non-physical minds produce behavior and cognition by exercising different causal powers over physiologically similar neurons. This paper sharpens the neural discernment problem and proposes two interactionist models of mind-brain interaction that solve it. One model avoids overdetermination while the other respects the causal closure of the physical domain.
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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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  • Computers Are Syntax All the Way Down: Reply to Bozşahin.William J. Rapaport - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (2):227-237.
    A response to a recent critique by Cem Bozşahin of the theory of syntactic semantics as it applies to Helen Keller, and some applications of the theory to the philosophy of computer science.
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  • Christian physicalism and the biblical argument for dualism.Ralph Stefan Weir - forthcoming - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-24.
    This paper examines whether biblical descriptions of the intermediate state imply dualism of the sort that rules out physicalism. Certain passages in the Bible seem to describe persons or souls existing without their bodies in an intermediate state between death and resurrection. For this reason, these passages appear to imply a form of dualism. Some Christian physicalists have countered that the passages in question are in fact compatible with physicalism. For it is compatible with physicalism that, although we are necessarily (...)
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  • Pan(Proto)Psychism and the Relative-State Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Yu Feng - manuscript
    This paper connects the hard problem of consciousness to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. It shows that constitutive Russellian pan(proto)psychism (CRP) is compatible with Everett’s relative-state (RS) interpretation. Despite targeting different problems, CRP and RS are related, for they both establish symmetry between micro- and macrosystems, and both call for a deflationary account of Subject. The paper starts from formal arguments that demonstrate the incompatibility of CRP with alternative interpretations of quantum mechanics, followed by showing that RS entails Russellian pan(proto)psychism. (...)
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  • Materialism and the Moral Status of Animals.Jonathan Birch - manuscript
    Consciousness has an important role in ethics: when a being consciously experiences the frustration or satisfaction of its interests, those interests deserve higher moral priority than those of a behaviourally similar but non-conscious being. I consider the relationship between this ethical role and an a posteriori (or “type-B”) materialist solution to the mind-body problem. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, if type-B materialism is correct, then the reference of the concept of phenomenal consciousness is radically indeterminate between a (...)
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  • Predictive Processing as a Systematic Basis for Identifying the Neural Correlates of Consciousness.Jakob Hohwy & Anil Seth - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (II).
    The search for the neural correlates of consciousness is in need of a systematic, principled foundation that can endow putative neural correlates with greater predictive and explanatory value. Here, we propose the predictive processing framework for brain function as a promising candidate for providing this systematic foundation. The proposal is motivated by that framework’s ability to address three general challenges to identifying the neural correlates of consciousness, and to satisfy two constraints common to many theories of consciousness. Implementing the search (...)
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  • Intuition-Driven Navigation of the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Krzysztof Sękowski & Wiktor Rorot - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-17.
    The discussion of the nature of consciousness seems to have stalled, with the “hard problem of consciousness” in its center, well-defined camps of realists and eliminativists at two opposing poles, and little to none room for agreement between. Recent attempts to move this debate forward by shifting them to a meta-level have heavily relied on the notion of “intuition”, understood in a rather liberal way. Against this backdrop, the goal of this paper is twofold. First, we want to highlight how (...)
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  • Facing Up to the Hard Problem of Consciousness as an Integrated Information Theorist.Robert Chis-Ciure & Francesco Ellia - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-17.
    In this paper we provide a philosophical analysis of the Hard Problem of consciousness and the implications of conceivability scenarios for current neuroscientific research. In particular, we focus on one of the most prominent neuroscientific theories of consciousness, integrated information theory. After a brief introduction on IIT, we present Chalmers’ original formulation and propose our own layered view of the hard problem, showing how 2 separate issues can be distinguished. More specifically, we argue that it’s possible to disentangle a core (...)
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  • Illusionism and Definitions of Phenomenal Consciousness.Takuya Niikawa - 2020 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-21.
    This paper aims to uncover where the disagreement between illusionism and anti-illusionism about phenomenal consciousness lies fundamentally. While illusionists claim that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, many philosophers of mind regard illusionism as ridiculous, stating that the existence of phenomenal consciousness cannot be reasonably doubted. The question is, why does such a radical disagreement occur? To address this question, I list various characterisations of the term “phenomenal consciousness”: (1) the what-it-is-like locution, (2) inner ostension, (3) thought experiments such as philosophical (...)
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  • Panqualityism, Awareness and the Explanatory Gap.Jakub Mihálik - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    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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  • Panpsychism and the Depsychologization of Consciousness.Keith Frankish - 2021 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 95 (1):51-70.
    The problem of consciousness arises when we depsychologize consciousness—that is, conceptualize it in terms of phenomenal feel rather than psychological function. Panpsychism offers an elegant solution to the problem, which takes depsychologization seriously. In doing so, however, it also illustrates the perils of depsychologization. Nagasawa highlights one dead end for panpsychism, and I shall argue that there are more. Panpsychism consigns consciousness to a metaphysical limbo where it is beyond the reach of science and lacks ethical and personal significance. The (...)
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  • Panpsychism, Intuitions, and the Great Chain of Being.Luke Roelofs & Jed Buchanan - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2991-3017.
    Some philosophical theories of consciousness imply consciousness in things we would never intuitively think are conscious—most notably, panpsychism implies that consciousness is pervasive, even outside complex brains. Is this a reductio ab absurdum for such theories, or does it show that we should reject our original intuitions? To understand the stakes of this question as clearly as possible, we analyse the structured pattern of intuitions that panpsychism conflicts with. We consider a variety of ways that the tension between this intuition (...)
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  • Zombie Intuitions.Eugen Fischer & Justin Sytsma - forthcoming - Cognition.
    In philosophical thought experiments, as in ordinary discourse, our understanding of verbal case descriptions is enriched by automatic comprehension inferences. Such inferences have us routinely infer what else is also true of the cases described. We consider how such routine inferences from polysemous words can generate zombie intuitions: intuitions that are ‘killed’ (defeated) by contextual information but kept cognitively alive by the psycholinguistic phenomenon of linguistic salience bias. Extending ‘evidentiary’ experimental philosophy, this paper examines whether the ‘zombie argument’ against materialism (...)
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  • Resisting Reductive Realism.N. G. Laskowski - 2020 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 15. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 96 - 117.
    Ethicists struggle to take reductive views seriously. They also have trouble conceiving of some supervenience failures. Understanding why provides further evidence for a kind of hybrid view of normative concept use.
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  • Self-Evidencing Conscious Experience and Vicious Circularity.Matthieu Koroma - manuscript
    The meta-problem of consciousness aims to explain the particularity of our intuitions about consciousness and how they trigger conceptual issues such as the hard problem of consciousness. I propose in this article that these stem from a basic function of the brain : self-evidencing explanation. To make sense of its sensory inputs, the brain is believed to build and test models of the state of the world based on sensory information (Hohwy, 2016). This self-evidencing process has been proposed to describe (...)
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  • How Can You Be so Sure? Illusionism and the Obviousness of Phenomenal Consciousness.François Kammerer - manuscript
    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. 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 that this argument fails, by showing that its defenders cannot maintain that its crucial premise (properly understood) has the kind (...)
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  • Phenomenal Concepts as Complex Demonstratives.Nathan Robert Howard & N. G. Laskowski - forthcoming - Res Philosophica.
    There’s a long but relatively neglected tradition of attempting to explain why many researchers working on the nature of phenomenal consciousness think that it’s hard to explain. David Chalmers argues that this “meta-problem of consciousness” merits more attention than it has received. He also argues against several existing explanations of why we find consciousness hard to explain. Like Chalmers, we agree that the meta-problem is worthy of more attention. Contra Chalmers, however, we argue that there’s an existing explanation that is (...)
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  • Neo-Naturalism, Conciliatory Explanations, and Spatiotemporal Surprises.Uziel Awret - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
    Some materialists believe that physics is rich enough to bridge Levine's Explanatory Gap1, while others believe that it is not. Here I promote an intermediate position holding that physics is rich enough to explain why this gap seems more intractable than similar inter-theoretic explanatory gaps, without providing a full-blown “physical” explanation of consciousness. At a minimum, such an approach needs to explore the prospects of empirical discoveries that can diminish the power of anti-physicalist arguments like Chalmers's “conceivability argument”2 and Jackson's (...)
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  • Humility Regarding Intrinsic Properties.Lok-Chi Chan - 2021 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Humility Thesis is a persistent thesis in contemporary metaphysics. It is known by a variety of names, including, but not limited to, Humility, Intrinsic Humility, Kantian Humility, Kantian Physicalism, Intrinsic Ignorance, Categorical Ignorance, Irremediable Ignorance, and Noumenalism. According to the thesis, we human beings, and any knowers that share our general ways of knowing, are irremediably ignorant of a certain class of properties that are intrinsic to material entities … Continue reading Humility Regarding Intrinsic Properties →.
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  • How Philosophy of Mind Can Shape the Future.Susan Schneider & Pete Mandik - 2018 - In Amy Kind (ed.), Philosophy of Mind in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries. New York, NY, USA: pp. 303-319.
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  • Emergent Properties.Hong Yu Wong - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Emergence is a notorious philosophical term of art. A variety of theorists have appropriated it for their purposes ever since George Henry Lewes gave it a philosophical sense in his 1875 Problems of Life and Mind. We might roughly characterize the shared meaning thus: emergent entities (properties or substances) ‘arise’ out of more fundamental entities and yet are ‘novel’ or ‘irreducible’ with respect to them. (For example, it is sometimes said that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.) Each (...)
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  • Denialism: What Do the so-Called Consciousness Deniers Deny?Orly Shenker - 2020 - Iyyun 68:307-337.
    Some philosophers consider that some of their colleagues deny that consciousness exists. We shall call the latter ‘deniers’, adopting a term that was initially meant pejoratively. What do the deniers deny? In order to answer this question, we shall examine arguments, both of some deniers and of their critics, and present denialism as a systematic highly non-trivial position that has had some interesting achievements. We will show that the denialist project concerns the epistemology of the mind and specifically of consciousness: (...)
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  • The P2P Simulation Hypothesis and Meta-Problem of Everything.Marcus Arvan - manuscript
    In a new paper, David. J. Chalmers examines eleven possible solutions to the meta-problem of consciousness, ‘the problem of explaining why we think that there is a problem of consciousness.’ The present paper argues that Chalmers overlooks an explanation that he has otherwise taken seriously, and which a number of philosophers, physicists, and computer scientists have taken seriously as well: the hypothesis that we are living in a computer simulation. This paper argues that a particular version of the simulation hypothesis (...)
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  • Experiencers and the Ambiguity Objection.Justin Sytsma - unknown
    It is often asserted that we should believe that phenomenal consciousness exists because it is pretheoretically obvious. If this is the case, then we should expect lay people to categorize mental states in roughly the way that philosophers do, treating prototypical examples of phenomenally conscious mental states similarly. Sytsma and Machery present preliminary evidence that this is not the case. They found that participants happily ascribed seeing red to a simple robot but denied that the robot felt pain. The most (...)
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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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