Does the Folk Concept of Phenomenal Consciousness Exist?

Diametros 19 (71):46-66 (2022)
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Abstract

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. I show that there are serious doubts about the validity of the experimental philosophy of consciousness research. As a result, the leading interpretation should be rejected, and the question about the folk nature of the concept of consciousness must be regarded as open.

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Michał Wyrwa
Adam Mickiewicz University

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