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The Origins of Qualia

In Tim Crane & Sarah Patterson (eds.), The History of the Mind-Body Problem. London: Routledge (2000)

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  1. Does the Folk Concept of Phenomenal Consciousness Exist?Michał Wyrwa - 2022 - Diametros 19 (71):46-66.
    Philosophers and scientists refer to the special character of phenomenal consciousness, something supposedly obvious to all conscious persons. However, we had no empirical evidence about the folk view of consciousness until the first studies were carried out in the experimental philosophy of consciousness. According to the leading interpretation of these results, laypersons—people without academic knowledge about consciousness—do not notice the phenomenal aspect of consciousness. The aim of the article is to answer the question of whether we can trust these results. (...)
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  • Affect, Perceptual Experience, and Disclosure.Daniel Vanello - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2125-2144.
    A prominent number of contemporary theories of emotional experience—understood as occurrent, phenomenally conscious episodes of emotions with an affective character that are evaluatively directed towards particular objects or states of affairs—are motivated by the claim that phenomenally conscious affective experience, when appropriate, grants us epistemic access not merely to features of the experience but also to features of the object of experience, namely its value. I call this the claim of affect as a disclosure of value. The aim of this (...)
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  • Affective Disclosure of Value: Emotional Experience, Neo-Sentimentalism and Learning to Value.Daniel Vanello - 2020 - Philosophy 95 (3):261-283.
    The aim of this paper is to motivate and solve a puzzle regarding the intuition that just as in the absence of perceptual experience we lack an important kind of understanding of sensory properties like colour, in the absence of affective experience we lack an important kind of understanding of value. The puzzle consists in understanding how can a property pertaining to the experience of the subject i.e. the affective component of emotional experience, provide us with a distinctive epistemic access (...)
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  • Kant and the Scientific Study of Consciousness.Thomas Sturm & Falk Wunderlich - 2010 - History of the Human Sciences 23 (3):48-71.
    We argue that Kant’s views about consciousness, the mind-body problem, and the status of psychology as a science all differ drastically from the way in which these topics are conjoined in present debates about the prominent idea of a science of consciousness. Kant did never use the concept of consciousness in the now dominant sense of phenomenal qualia; his discussions of the mind-body problem center not on the reducibility of mental properties but of substances; and his views about the possibility (...)
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  • Experiencing Organisms: From Mineness to Subject of Experience.Tobias Schlicht - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2447-2474.
    Many philosophers hold that phenomenally conscious experiences involve a sense of mineness, since experiences like pain or hunger are immediately presented as mine. What can be said about this mineness, and does acceptance of this feature commit us to the existence of a subject or self? If yes, how should we characterize this subject? This paper considers the possibility that, to the extent that we accept this feature, it provides us with a minimal notion of a subject of experience, and (...)
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  • Cognitive Self-Management Requires the Phenomenal Registration of Intrinsic State Properties.Frederic Peters - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):1113-1135.
    Cognition is not, and could not possibly be, entirely representational in character. There is also a phenomenal form of cognitive expression that registers the intrinsic properties of mental states themselves. Arguments against the reality of this intrinsic phenomenal dimension to mental experience have focused either on its supposed impossibility, or secondly, the non-appearance of any such qualities to introspection. This paper argues to the contrary, that the registration of cognitive state properties does take place independently of representational content; and necessarily (...)
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  • Illusionism: an Argument for Its Incoherence.Alen Lipuš & Janez Bregant - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (3):341-352.
    In his recent paper on the meta-problem of consciousness, Chalmers :6–66, 2018) claims that illusionism is one of the best reductionist theories available and that it is not incoherent, even if it is implausible and empirically false. Our paper argues against this: strong illusionism is poorly established. The first part presents the reasoning leading to strong illusionism; i.e., it describes the initial conditions and relations among them for its establishment. The second part of the paper argues that strong illusionism is (...)
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  • Subjectivity: A Case of Biological Individuation and an Adaptive Response to Informational Overflow.Jakub Jonkisz - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
    The article presents a perspective on the scientific explanation of the subjectivity of conscious experience. It proposes plausible answers for two empirically valid questions: the ‘how’ question concerning the developmental mechanisms of subjectivity, and the ‘why’ question concerning its function. Biological individuation, which is acquired in several different stages, serves as a provisional description of how subjective perspectives may have evolved. To the extent that an individuated informational space seems the most efficient way for a given organism to select biologically (...)
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  • Consciousness, Subjectivity, and Gradedness.Jakub Jonkisz - 2021 - Studia Semiotyczne 35 (1):9-34.
    The article suggests answers to the questions of how we can arrive at an unambiguous characterization of consciousness, whether conscious states are coextensive with subjective ones, and whether consciousness can be graded and multidimensional at the same time. As regards the first, it is argued that a general characterization of consciousness should be based on its four dimensions: i.e., the phenomenological, semantic, physiological and functional ones. With respect to the second, it is argued that all informational states of a given (...)
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  • Consciousness: Individuated Information in Action.Jakub Jonkisz - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    Within theoretical and empirical enquiries, many different meanings associated with consciousness have appeared, leaving the term itself quite vague. This makes formulating an abstract and unifying version of the concept of consciousness – the main aim of this article –into an urgent theoretical imperative. It is argued that consciousness, characterized as dually accessible (cognized from the inside and the outside), hierarchically referential (semantically ordered), bodily determined (embedded in the working structures of an organism or conscious system), and useful in action (...)
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  • Against Qualia Theory.James John - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (3):323 - 346.
    Representational theorists identify experiences’ phenomenal properties with their representational properties. Qualia theorists reject this identity, insisting that experiences’ phenomenal properties can come apart from and completely outrun their representational properties. Qualia theorists account for phenomenal properties in terms of “qualia,” intrinsic mental properties they allege experiences to instantiate. The debate between representational theorists and qualia theorists has focused on whether phenomenal properties really can come apart from and completely outrun representational properties. As a result, qualia theorists have failed (1) to (...)
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  • La Metafísica de la Mente de A. Kenny: 25 Años Después.Miguel García-Valdecasas - 2014 - Scientia et Fides 2 (2):93-128.
    A. Kenny’s Metaphysics of Mind: 25 years later: To mark the 25th anniversary of A. Kenny’s The Metaphysics of Mind, this article discusses some of the central arguments of this book, in particular, it discusses Descartes’ dualism, the notion of soul or Aristotle’s psychê, human and animal language, voluntary action, the self, the mind-brain relation, thinking and intentionality, and determinism and free will. The author holds that, although Kenny’s book offers valid and substantial arguments inspired in Wittgenstein’s thought and the (...)
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  • Quining Diet Qualia.Keith Frankish - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):667-676.
    This paper asks whether we can identify a neutral explanandum for theories of phenomenal consciousness, acceptable to all sides. The ‘classic’ conception of qualia, on which qualia are intrinsic, ineffable, and subjective, will not serve this purpose, but it is widely assumed that a watered-down ‘diet’ conception will. I argue that this is wrong and that the diet notion of qualia has no distinctive content. There is no phenomenal residue left when qualia are stripped of their intrinsicality, ineffability, and subjectivity. (...)
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  • A Diet, but Not the Qualia Plan: Reply to Amy Kind.Keith Frankish - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):679-680.
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  • The Notion of Sensation in Sellars' Theory of Perception.Luca Corti - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):1079-1099.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Demystifying the Myth of Sensation: Wilfrid Sellars’ Adverbialism Reconsidered.Luca Corti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    This paper reconstructs and defends a Sellarsian approach to “sensation” that allows us to avoid mythological conceptions of it. Part I reconstructs and isolates Sellars’s argument for “sensation,” situating his adverbial interpretation of the notion within his broader theory of perception. Part II positions Sellars’s views vis-à-vis current conversations on adverbalism. In particular, it focuses on the Many Property Problem, which is traditionally considered the main obstacle to adverbialism. After reconstructing Sellars’s response to this problem, I demonstrate that his position (...)
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  • Colloquium 1: Aristotle’s Psychological Theory.David Charles - 2009 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 24 (1):1-49.
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  • C.I. Lewis: Pragmatist or Reductionist?Jacob Browning - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (2):109-126.
    Despite its substantial influence, there is surprisingly little agreement about how to read C.I. Lewis’s Mind and the World Order. Lewis has historically been read as a reductionist attempting to g...
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  • Wittgenstein and Qualia.Ned Block - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):73-115.
    endorsed one kind of inverted spectrum hypothesis and rejected another. This paper argues that the kind of inverted spectrum hypothesis that Wittgenstein endorsed is the thin end of the wedge that precludes a Wittgensteinian critique of the kind of inverted spectrum hypothesis he rejected. The danger of the dangerous kind is that it provides an argument for qualia, where qualia are contents of experiential states which cannot be fully captured in natural language. I will pinpoint the difference between the innocuous (...)
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  • Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs: How Peircean Semiotics Combines Phenomenal Qualia and Practical Effects.Marc Champagne - 2018 - Cham: Springer.
    It is often thought that consciousness has a qualitative dimension that cannot be tracked by science. Recently, however, some philosophers have argued that this worry stems not from an elusive feature of the mind, but from the special nature of the concepts used to describe conscious states. Marc Champagne draws on the neglected branch of philosophy of signs or semiotics to develop a new take on this strategy. The term “semiotics” was introduced by John Locke in the modern period – (...)
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  • Experimentos Mentales y Filosofías de Sillón.Rodrigo González (ed.) - 2017 - Santiago, Chile: Bravo y Allende.
    Los experimentos mentales son dispositivos epistémicos de la imaginación, o de análisis de problemas filosóficos, que recorren las fronteras de aquella, desde el sillón. Dichas fronteras tocan dilemas perennes de la filosofía: cuestiones de la metafísica, como el tiempo, el espacio y la realidad, el problema de la libertad y el determinismo, la naturaleza de la mente, la identidad personal, los argumentos acerca del significado, las posibilidades, fuentes y condiciones del conocimiento, las relaciones entre discurso y lógica, la ética, cuestiones (...)
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  • Inverted Qualia.Alex Byrne - 2004 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Qualia inversion thought experiments are ubiquitous in contemporary philosophy of mind. The most popular kind is one or another variant of Locke's hypothetical case of.
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  • Emotion and Value : A Phenomenological Approach.Vanello Daniel - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Warwick. Department of Philosophy
    In this thesis I argue that the affective component of emotional experience plays an essential explanatory role in the acquisition of evaluative knowledge. I call this the notion of affect as a disclosure of value. The thesis is divided into two parts. In the first part I critically assess three contemporary accounts which, I argue, are motivated either implicitly or explicitly by the notion of affect as a disclosure of value. I argue that all three accounts fail due to the (...)
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  • The Representational Theory of Consciousness.David Bourget - 2010 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    A satisfactory solution to the problem of consciousness would take the form of a simple yet fully general model that specifies the precise conditions under which any given state of consciousness occurs. Science has uncovered numerous correlations between consciousness and neural activity, but it has not yet come anywhere close to this. We are still looking for the Newtonian laws of consciousness. -/- One of the main difficulties with consciousness is that we lack a language in which to formulate illuminating (...)
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  • Facing Up to David Chalmers’ Philosophy of Mind: The General Overview.Andrii Leonov - 2017 - Philosophical Thought 1 (1):1-12.
    According to Tim Crane, “the ’hard problem’ of consciousness is supposed to be the real heart of the mind-body problem in today’s philosophy”. The idea of the problem can be expressed in the following way: Why are the physical processes in our brain accompanied by the qualitative (or phenomenal) feel? The mere qualitative feel or qualia are those to be explained. The originator of the problem’s name is the Australian philosopher David Chalmers who divided the problems of consciousness into the (...)
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  • Consciousness Regained? Philosophical Arguments for and Against Reductive Physicalism.Thomas Sturm - 2012 - Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 14 (1):55-63.
    This paper is an overview of recent discussions concerning the mind–body problem that have been taking place at the interface between philosophy and neuroscience. In it I focus on phenomenal consciousness or “qualia”, which I distinguish from various related issues (sections 1-2). I then discuss various influential skeptical arguments that question the possibility of reductive explanations of qualia in physicalist terms: knowledge arguments, conceivability arguments, the argument from multiple realizability and the explanatory gap argument. None of the arguments is found (...)
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  • The Problem of Artificial Qualia.Wael Basille - 2021 - Dissertation, Sorbonne Université
    Is it possible to build a conscious machine, an artifact that has qualitative experiences such as feeling pain, seeing the redness of a flower or enjoying the taste of coffee ? What makes such experiences conscious is their phenomenal character: it is like something to have such experiences. In contemporary philosophy of mind, the question of the qualitative aspect of conscious experiences is often addressed in terms of qualia. In a pre-theoretical and intuitive sense, qualia refer to the phenomenal character (...)
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  • Science and Philosophy of Color in the Modern Age.Jacob Browning & Zed Adams - 2021 - In Anders Steinvall & Sarah Streets (eds.), Cultural History of Color in the Modern Age. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 21-38.
    The study of color expanded rapidly in the 20th century. With this expansion came fragmentation, as philosophers, physicists, physiologists, psychologists, and others explored the subject in vastly different ways. There are at least two ways in which the study of color became contentious. The first was with regard to the definitional question: what is color? The second was with the location question: are colors inside the head or out in the world? In this chapter, we summarize the most prominent answers (...)
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  • The Mind-Body Problem(s) in Descartes’ “Meditations” and Husserl’s “Crisis” (Part1).Andrii Leonov - 2020 - Filosofska Dumka 4:91-100.
    The main topic of this paper is the mind-body problem. The author analyzes it in the context of Hus- serlian phenomenology. The key texts for the analysis and interpretation are Descartes’ magnum opus “Meditations on the First Philosophy” and Husserl’ last work “The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology”. The author claims that already in Descartes’ text instead of one mind-body problem, one can find two: the ontological mind-body problem (mind-brain relation) and conceptual one (“mind” and “body” as concepts). (...)
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  • The Mind-Body Problem(s) in Descartes’ “Meditations” and Husserl’s “Crisis” (Part2).Andrii Leonov - 2020 - Filosofska Dumka 5:117-128.
    The main topic of this paper is the mind-body problem. The author analyzes it in the context of Hus- serlian phenomenology. The key texts for the analysis and interpretation are Descartes’ magnum opus “Meditations on the First Philosophy” and Husserl’ last work “The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology”. The author claims that already in Descartes’ text instead of one mind-body problem, one can find two: the ontological mind-body problem (mind-brain relation) and conceptual one (“mind” and “body” as concepts). (...)
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  • A Dilemma About the Mental.Guy Dove & Andreas Elpidorou - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 1.
    Physicalism demands an explication of what it means for something to be physical. But the most popular way of providing one—viz., characterizing the physical in terms of the postulates of a scientifically derived physical theory—is met with serious trouble. Proponents of physicalism can either appeal to current physical theory or to some future physical theory (preferably an ideal and complete one). Neither option is promising: currentism almost assuredly renders physicalism false and futurism appears to render it indeterminate or trivial. The (...)
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  • The Structure of Perceptual Experience: A New Look at Adverbialism.Frances Egan - forthcoming - In Deflating Mental Representation (The 2021 Jean Nicod Lectures).
    In the philosophy of perception, representationalism is the view that all phenomenological differences among mental states are representational differences, in other words, differences in content. In this paper I defend an alternative view which I call external sortalism, inspired by traditional adverbialism, and according to which experiences are not essentially representational. The central idea is that the external world serves as a model for sorting, conceptualizing, and reasoning surrogatively about perceptual experience. On external sortalism, contents are construed as a kind (...)
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  • 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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  • Introduction.Alex Byrne & Heather Logue - 2009 - In Alex Byrne & Heather Logue (eds.), Disjunctivism: Contemporary Readings. MIT Press.
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  • Act and Intentionality.Benjamin Sheredos - 2016 - Dissertation, University of California, San Diego
    Understanding the “intentionality” of mental phenomena is widely regarded as a key problem in philosophy of mind. Franz Brentano (along with his students, especially Edmund Husserl) is widely credited with bringing intentionality to philosophers’ attention. In early treatment by the Brentano school, intentionality is at least nominally understood as executed, brought about, or achieved in mental acts. And in the early 20th century, historians of psychology regarded this “act conception” of intentionality as integral for understanding the phenomenon. Yet the secondary (...)
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  • Can Science Explain Consciousness? Toward a Solution to the 'Hard Problem'.Dan J. Bruiger - manuscript
    For diverse reasons, the problem of phenomenal consciousness is persistently challenging. Mental terms are characteristically ambiguous, researchers have philosophical biases, secondary qualities are excluded from objective description, and philosophers love to argue. Adhering to a regime of efficient causes and third-person descriptions, science as it has been defined has no place for subjectivity or teleology. A solution to the “hard problem” of consciousness will require a radical approach: to take the point of view of the cognitive system itself. To facilitate (...)
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  • A Short History of the Philosophy of Consciousness in the Twentieth Century.Tim Crane - forthcoming - In Amy Kind (ed.), Philosophy of Mind in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: The History of the Philosophy of Mind, Volume 6. London: Routledge.
    In this paper, it is argued that the late twentieth century conception of consciousness in analytic philosophy emerged from the idea of consciousness as givenness, via the behaviourist idea of “raw feels”. In the post-behaviourist period in philosophy, this resulted in the division of states of mind into essentially unconscious propositional attitudes plus the phenomenal residue of qualia: intrinsic, ineffable and inefficacious sensory states. It is striking how little in the important questions about consciousness depends on this conception, or on (...)
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  • Can Science Explain Consciousness?Bruiger Dan - manuscript
    For diverse reasons, the problem of phenomenal consciousness is persistently challenging. Mental terms are characteristically ambiguous, researchers have philosophical biases, secondary qualities are excluded from objective description, and philosophers love to argue. Adhering to a regime of efficient causes and third-person descriptions, science as it has been defined has no place for subjectivity or teleology. A solution to the “hard problem” of consciousness will require a radical approach: to take the point of view of the cognitive system itself. To facilitate (...)
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  • On Gilbert Harman's The Intrisic Quality of Experience.Tim Klaassen - manuscript
    I propose that there are two kind's of qualia realism, and that Harman's observations about the transparency of experience pose a threat to only one of these.
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  • Is There a Perceptual Relation?Tim Crane - 2006 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experiences. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 126-146.
    P.F. Strawson argued that ‘mature sensible experience (in general) presents itself as … an immediate consciousness of the existence of things outside us’ (1979: 97). He began his defence of this very natural idea by asking how someone might typically give a description of their current visual experience, and offered this example of such a description: ‘I see the red light of the setting sun filtering through the black and thickly clustered branches of the elms; I see the dappled deer (...)
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  • Scents and Sensibilia.Clare Batty - 2010 - American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (2):103-118.
    This paper considers what olfactory experience can tell us about the controversy over qualia and, in particular, the debate that focuses on the alleged transparency of experience. The appeal to transparency is supposed to show that there are no qualia—intrinsic, non-intentional and directly accessible properties of experience that determine phenomenal character. It is most commonly used to motivate intentionalism—namely, the view that the phenomenal character of an experience is exhausted by its representational content. Although some philosophers claim that transparency holds (...)
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  • Introspecting in the 20th Century.Maja Spener - 2018 - In Amy Kind (ed.), Philosophy of Mind in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. London: Rutledge. pp. 148-174.
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  • Observational Concepts and Experience.Ivan V. Ivanov - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    The thesis is intended to contribute to the growing understanding of the indispensable role played by phenomenal consciousness in human cognition, and specifically in making our concepts of the external world available. The focus falls on so called observational concepts, a type of rudimentary, perceptually-based objective concepts in our repertoire — picking out manifest properties such as colors and shapes. A theory of such concepts gets provided, and, consequently, the exact role that perceptual consciousness plays in making concepts of this (...)
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  • Sense-Data and the Philosophy of Mind: Russell, James, and Mach.Gary Hatfield - 2002 - Principia 6 (2):203-230.
    The theory of knowledge in early twentieth-century Anglo American philosophy was oriented toward phenomenally described cognition. There was a healthy respect for the mind-body problem, which meant that phenomena in both the mental and physical domains were taken seriously. Bertrand Russell's developing position on sense-data and momentary particulars drew upon, and ultimately became like, the neutral monism of Ernst Mach and William James. Due to a more recent behaviorist and physicalist inspired "fear of the mental", this development has been down-played (...)
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