Eden Benumbed: A Critique of Panqualityism and the Disclosure View of Consciousness

Philosophia 50 (1):233-256 (2022)
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Abstract

In the marketplace of opinions concerning the metaphysics of mind and consciousness panqualityism (PQ) occupies an interesting position. It is a distinct variant of neutral monism, as well as of protophenomenalism, and as such it strives to carve out a conceptual niche midway between physicalism and mentalism. It is also a brand of Russellian monism, advocated by its supporters as a less costly and less extravagant alternative to panpsychism. Being clearly articulated and relatively well-developed it constitutes an intriguing view. Nonetheless, the present paper takes a decisively critical stance towards PQ. In particular, it challenges it on two principal grounds. First, I argue that PQ's analysis of experience, and of the qualities tasked with constituting the phenomenal character of experience, is fundamentally flawed. Second, I argue that PQ's attempt to explain phenomenal consciousness as a function of reflective awareness is equally misguided. Along the way, the paper also points the shortcomings of previously established critiques of PQ. All in all, the discussion identifies some difficulties that are likely to generalize beyond PQ's specific circumstances, raising concerns regarding the viability of a "middle of the road" solution to the mind–body problem.

Author's Profile

Itay Shani
Sun Yat Sen University, Zhuhai Campus

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