Consciousness makes a difference: A reluctant dualist’s confession

In A. Batthyany & A. C. Elitzur (eds.), Irreducibly Conscious: Selected Papers on Consciousness. (2009)
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Abstract

This paper’s outline is as follows. In sections 1-3 I give an exposi¬tion of the Mind-Body Problem, with emphasis on what I believe to be the heart of the problem, namely, the Percepts-Qualia Nonidentity and its incompatibility with the Physical Closure Paradigm. In 4 I present the “Qualia Inaction Postulate” underlying all non-interactionist theo¬ries that seek to resolve the above problem. Against this convenient postulate I propose in section 5 the “Bafflement Ar¬gument,” which is this paper's main thesis. Sections 6-11 critically dis¬cuss attempts to dismiss the Bafflement Argument by the “Baf¬flement=Mis¬perception Equation.” Section 12 offers a refutation of all such attempts in the form of a concise “Asymmetry Proof.” Section 13 points out the bearing of the Bafflement Argument on the evolutionary role of consciousness while section 14 acknowledges the price that has to be paid for it in terms of basic physical principles. Section 15 summarizes the paper, pointing out the inescapability of interactionist dualism.

Author's Profile

Avshalom C. Elitzur
Tel Aviv University

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