Results for 'epiphenomenalism'

43 found
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  1. Can the Russellian Monist Escape the Epiphenomenalist’s Paradox?Lok-Chi Chan - forthcoming - Topoi:1-10.
    Russellian monism—an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (The analysis of matter, Routledge, London, 1927/1992)—is roughly the view that physics can only ever tell us about the causal, dispositional, and structural properties of physical entities and not their categorical (or intrinsic) properties, whereas our qualia are constituted by those categorical properties. In this paper, I will discuss the relation between Russellian monism and a seminal paradox facing epiphenomenalism, the paradox of phenomenal judgment: if epiphenomenalism is true—qualia are causally inefficacious—then (...)
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  2. An Argument Against Epiphenomenalism.Jason Megill - 2013 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 9 (2):5 - 17.
    I formulate an argument against epiphenomenalism; the argument shows that epiphenomenalism is extremely improbable. Moreover the argument suggests that qualia not only have causal powers, but have their causal powers necessarily. I address possible objections and then conclude by considering some implications the argument has for dualism.
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  3.  52
    William James's Objection to Epiphenomenalism.Alexander Klein - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1179–1190.
    James developed an evolutionary objection to epiphenomenalism that is still discussed today. Epiphenomenalists have offered responses that do not grasp its full depth. I thus offer a new reading and assessment of James’s objection. Our life-essential, phenomenal pleasures and pains have three features that suggest that they were shaped by selection, according to James: they are natively patterned, those patterns are systematically linked with antecedent brain states, and the patterns are “universal” among humans. If epiphenomenalism were true, phenomenal (...)
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  4. Acquaintance, Parsimony, and Epiphenomenalism.Brie Gertler - 2019 - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 62-86.
    Some physicalists (Balog 2012, Howell 2013), and most dualists, endorse the acquaintance response to the Knowledge Argument. This is the claim that Mary gains substantial new knowledge, upon leaving the room, because phenomenal knowledge requires direct acquaintance with phenomenal properties. The acquaintance response is an especially promising way to make sense of the Mary case. I argue that it casts doubt on two claims often made on behalf of physicalism, regarding parsimony and mental causation. I show that those who endorse (...)
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  5. Consciousness, Adaptation, and Epiphenomenalism.Owen J. Flanagan & Thomas W. Polger - 1998 - In James H. Fetzer (ed.), Consciousness Evolving. John Benjamins.
    Consciousness and evolution are complex phenomena. It is sometimes thought that if adaptation explanations for some varieties of consciousness, say, conscious visual perception, can be had, then we may be reassured that at least those kinds of consciousness are not epiphenomena. But what if other varieties of consciousness, for example, dreams, are not adaptations? We sort out the connections among evolution, adaptation, and epiphenomenalism in order to show that the consequences for the nature and causal efficacy of consciousness are (...)
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  6. Zombies, Epiphenomenalism, and Personal Explanations: A Tension in Moreland's Argument From Consciousness.Daniel Lim - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (2):439 - 450.
    In his so-called argument from consciousness (AC), J. P. Moreland argues that the phenomenon of consciousness furnishes us with evidence for the existence of God. In defending AC, however, Moreland makes claims that generate an undesirable tension. This tension can be posed as a dilemma based on the contingency of the correlation between mental and physical states. The correlation of mental and physical states is either contingent or necessary. If the correlation is contingent then epiphenomenalism is true. If the (...)
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  7.  42
    Semifactuals and Epiphenomenalism.Danilo Suster - 2001 - Acta Analytica 16 (26):23-43.
    Semifactuals and Epiphenomenalism -/- Mental properties are said to be epiphenomenal because they do not pass the counterfactual test of causal relevance. Jacob (1996) adopts the defence of causal efficacy of mental properties developed by LePore and Loewer (1987). They claim that those who argue for the epiphenomenalism of the mental place too strong a requirement on causal relevance, which excludes causally efficacious properties. Given a proper analysis of causal relevance, the causal efficacy of mental properties is saved. (...)
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  8. An Idle Threat: Epiphenomenalism Exposed.Paul Raymont - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    In this doctoral dissertation I consider, and reject, the claim that recent varieties of non-reductive physicalism, particularly Donald Davidson's anomalous monism, are committed to a new kind of epiphenomenalism. Non-reductive physicalists identify each mental event with a physical event, and are thus entitled to the belief that mental events are causes, since the physical events with which they are held to be identical are causes. However, Jaegwon Kim, Ernest Sosa and others have argued that if we follow the non-reductive (...)
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  9.  53
    Free Will & Empirical Arguments for Epiphenomenalism.Nadine Elzein - 2020 - In Peter Róna & László Zsolnai (eds.), Agency and Causal Explanation in Economics. Virtues and Economics, vol 5. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 3-20.
    While philosophers have worried about mental causation for centuries, worries about the causal relevance of conscious phenomena are also increasingly featuring in neuroscientific literature. Neuroscientists have regarded the threat of epiphenomenalism as interesting primarily because they have supposed that it entails free will scepticism. However, the steps that get us from a premise about the causal irrelevance of conscious phenomena to a conclusion about free will are not entirely clear. In fact, if we examine popular philosophical accounts of free (...)
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  10.  42
    Epi-Arguments for Epiphenomenalism.Bruce Mangan - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (4):689-690.
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  11. Consciousness and Mental Causation: Contemporary Empirical Cases for Epiphenomenalism, in Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness.Benjamin Kozuch (ed.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
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  12. Electromagnetic-Field Theories of Mind.Mostyn W. Jones - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (11-12):124-149.
    Neuroscience investigates how neuronal processing circuits work, but it has problems explaining experiences this way. For example, it hasn’t explained how colour and shape circuits bind together in visual processing, nor why colours and other qualia are experienced so differently yet processed by circuits so similarly, nor how to get from processing circuits to pictorial images spread across inner space. Some theorists turn from these circuits to their electromagnetic fields to deal with such difficulties concerning the mind’s qualia, unity, privacy, (...)
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  13. Quantum Theory and the Place of Mind in the Causal Order of Things.Paavo Pylkkänen - 2019 - In J. De Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Quanta and Mind: Essays on the Connection between Quantum Mechanics and the Consciousness. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Publishing Company. pp. 163-171.
    The received view in physicalist philosophy of mind assumes that causation can only take place at the physical domain and that the physical domain is causally closed. It is often thought that this leaves no room for mental states qua mental to have a causal influence upon the physical domain, leading to epiphenomenalism and the problem of mental causation. However, in recent philosophy of causation there has been growing interest in a line of thought that can be called causal (...)
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  14. Mad Qualia.Umut Baysan - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):467-485.
    This paper revisits some classic thought experiments in which experiences are detached from their characteristic causal roles, and explores what these thought experiments tell us about qualia epiphenomenalism, i.e., the view that qualia are epiphenomenal properties. It argues that qualia epiphenomenalism is true just in case it is possible for experiences of the same type to have entirely different causal powers. This is done with the help of new conceptual tools regarding the concept of an epiphenomenal property. One (...)
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  15. Questioning the Causal Inheritance Principle.Ivar Hannikainen - 2010 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (3):261-277.
    Mental causation, though a forceful intuition embedded in our commonsense psychology, is difficult to square with the rest of commitments of physicalism about the mind. Advocates of mental causation have found solace in the causal inheritance principle, according to which the mental properties of mental statesshare the causal powers of their physical counterparts. In this paper, I present a variety of counterarguments to causal inheritance and conclude that the conditions for causal inheritance are stricter than what standing versions of said (...)
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  16. Mounting Evidence That Minds Are Neural EM Fields Interacting with Brains.Mostyn W. Jones - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (1-2):159-183.
    Evidence that minds are neural electromagnetic fields comes from research into how separate brain activities bind to form unified percepts and unified minds. Explanations of binding using synchrony, attention, and convergence are all problematic. But the unity of EM fields explains binding without these problems. These unified fields neatly explain correlations and divergences between synchrony, attention, convergence, and unified minds. The simplest explanation for the unity of both minds and fields is that minds are fields. Treating minds as the fields' (...)
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  17. Defending the Piggyback Principle Against Shapiro and Sober’s Empirical Approach.Joseph A. Baltimore - 2010 - Synthese 175 (2):151-168.
    Jaegwon Kim’s supervenience/exclusion argument attempts to show that non-reductive physicalism is incompatible with mental causation. This influential argument can be seen as relying on the following principle, which I call “the piggyback principle”: If, with respect to an effect, E, an instance of a supervenient property, A, has no causal powers over and above, or in addition to, those had by its supervenience base, B, then the instance of A does not cause E (unless A is identical with B). In (...)
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  18.  56
    "Арґумент зомбі" проти матеріалізму: основи та перспективи подальшого дослідження.Andrii Leonov - 2017 - Philosophical Thought 3 (3):57-77.
    The paper deals with the main argument against the doctrine of Materialism and the heart of the mind-body problem — the Zombie argument. The main proponent of the idea of philosophical zombies is the Australian philosopher David Chalmers, whose main opus 'The Conscious Mind' is wholly based on the idea of conceivability and logical possibility of zombies. The author aims to show that for the adequate analysis of Chalmers' zombie argument, the frame of the Analytic philosophy alone is not sufficient, (...)
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  19. Closing in on Causal Closure.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):96-109.
    I examine the meaning and merits of a premise in the Exclusion Argument, the causal closure principle that all physical effects have physical causes. I do so by addressing two questions. First, if we grant the other premises, exactly what kind of closure principle is required to make the Exclusion Argument valid? Second, what are the merits of the requisite closure principle? Concerning the first, I argue that the Exclusion Argument requires a strong, “stringently pure” version of closure. The latter (...)
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  20. Is There Room in Quantum Ontology for a Genuine Causal Role for Consciousness?Paavo Pylkkänen - 2017 - In E. Haven & A. Khrennikov (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Quantum Models in Social Science: Applications and Grand Challenges. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 293-317.
    Western philosophy and science have a strongly dualistic tradition regarding the mental and physical aspects of reality, which makes it difficult to understand their possible causal relations. In recent debates in cognitive neuroscience it has been common to claim on the basis of neural experiments that conscious experiences are causally inefficacious. At the same time there is much evidence that consciousness does play an important role in guiding behavior. The author explores whether a new way of understanding the causal role (...)
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  21. Dislocation, Not Dissociation: The Neuroanatomical Argument Against Visual Experience Driving Motor Action.Benjamin Kozuch - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (5):572-602.
    Common sense suggests that visual consciousness is essential to skilled motor action, but Andy Clark—inspired by Milner and Goodale's dual visual systems theory—has appealed to a wide range of experimental dissociations to argue that such an assumption is false. Critics of Clark's argument contend that the content driving motor action is actually within subjects' experience, just not easily discovered. In this article, I argue that even if such content exists, it cannot be guiding motor action, since a review of current (...)
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  22. Dualism: How Epistemic Issues Drive Debates About the Ontology of Consciousness.Brie Gertler - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    A primary goal of this chapter is to highlight neglected epistemic parallels between dualism and physicalism. Both dualist and physicalist arguments employ a combination of empirical data and armchair reflection; both rely on considerations stemming from how we conceptualize certain phenomena; and both aim to establish views that are compatible with scientific results but go well beyond the deliverances of empirical science. -/- I begin the chapter by fleshing out the distinctive commitments of dualism, in a way that illuminates the (...)
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  23.  84
    Hidden Qualia.Derek Shiller - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (1):165-180.
    In this paper, I propose that those who reject higher-order theories of consciousness should not rule out the possibility of having conscious experiences that they cannot introspect. I begin by offering four arguments that such non-introspectible conscious experiences are possible. Next, I offer two arguments for thinking that we actually have such experiences. According to the first argument, it is unlikely that evolution would have furnished us with a faculty of introspection that worked flawlessly. According to the second argument, there (...)
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  24.  42
    Santayana's Anticipations of Deleuze: Total Natural Events and Quasi-Pragmatism.Joshua M. Hall - 2017 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 53 (2):270.
    In a monograph published last year, literary theorist Mark Noble notes that, in the way Deleuze understands the relationship between materialism and subjectivity, Deleuze “also sounds curiously like Santayana.” For example, the work of both philosophers “locates human value in a source at once immanent and alien.” Noble also wonders “whether the lesson of Santayana’s own negotiation with his tendency to humanize the non-human ground of experience also anticipates the thrill Deleuze chases when positing the univocity of being.” In the (...)
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  25. The Mind/Brain Identity Theory: A Critical Appraisal.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The materialist version of the mind/brain identity theory has met with considerable challenges from philosophers of mind. The author first dispenses with a popular objection to the theory based on the law of indiscernibility of identicals. By means of discussing the vexatious problem of phenomenal qualities, he explores how the debate may be advanced by seeing each dualist and monist ontology through the lens of an evolutionary epistemology. The author suggests that by regarding each ontology as the core of a (...)
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  26.  88
    Ontological Indeterminism Undermines Kim's Exclusion Argument.Peter Ulric Tse - manuscript
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  27. Is Free Will an Illusion? Confronting Challenges From the Modern Mind Sciences.Eddy Nahmias - 2014 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, vol. 4: Freedom and Responsibility. MIT Press.
    In this chapter I consider various potential challenges to free will from the modern mind sciences. After motivating the importance of considering these challenges, I outline the argument structure for such challenges: they require simultaneously establishing a particular condition for free will and an empirical challenge to that condition. I consider several potential challenges: determinism, naturalism, and epiphenomenalism, and explain why none of these philosophical challenges is bolstered by new discoveries from neuroscience and psychology. I then respond to relevant (...)
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  28. The Evolutionary Argument for Phenomenal Powers.Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):293-316.
    Epiphenomenalism is the view that phenomenal properties – which characterize what it is like, or how it feels, for a subject to be in conscious states – have no physical effects. One of the earliest arguments against epiphenomenalism is the evolutionary argument (James 1890/1981; Eccles and Popper 1977; Popper 1978), which starts from the following problem: why is pain correlated with stimuli detrimental to survival and reproduction – such as suffocation, hunger and burning? And why is pleasure correlated (...)
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  29.  85
    The Microstructure View of the Brain-Consciousness Relation.Michael Schmitz - 2008 - In Sven Walter & Helene Bohse (eds.), Selected Contributions to GAP. 6, Sixth International Conference of the Society for Analytical Philosophy. Berlin:
    How can consciousness, how can the mind be causally efficacious in a world which seems—in some sense—to be thoroughly governed by physical causality? Mental causation has been a nagging problem in philosophy since the beginning of the modern age, when, inspired by the rise of physics, a metaphysical picture became dominant according to which the manifest macrophysical world of rocks, trees, colors, sounds etc. could be eliminated in favor of, or identified with, the microconstituents of these entities and their basic (...)
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  30. Nietzsche on the Superficiality of Consciousness.Mattia Riccardi - 2018 - In Manuel Dries (ed.), Nietzsche on consciousness and the embodied mind. De Gruyter. pp. 93-112.
    Abstract: Nietzsche’s famously wrote that “consciousness is a surface” (EH, Why I am so clever, 9: 97). The aim of this paper is to make sense of this quite puzzling contention—Superficiality, for short. In doing this, I shall focus on two further claims—both to be found in Gay Science 354—which I take to substantiate Nietzsche’s endorsement of Superficiality. The first claim is that consciousness is superfluous—which I call the “superfluousness claim” (SC). The second claim is that consciousness is the source (...)
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  31. When Consciousness Matters: A Critical Review of Daniel Wegner's the Illusion of Conscious Will. [REVIEW]Eddy A. Nahmias - 2002 - Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):527-541.
    In The illusion of conscious will , Daniel Wegner offers an exciting, informative, and potentially threatening treatise on the psychology of action. I offer several interpretations of the thesis that conscious will is an illusion. The one Wegner seems to suggest is "modular epiphenomenalism": conscious experience of will is produced by a brain system distinct from the system that produces action; it interprets our behavior but does not, as it seems to us, cause it. I argue that the evidence (...)
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  32. The Origins of Qualia.Tim Crane - 2000 - In Tim Crane & Sarah Patterson (eds.), The History of the Mind-Body Problem. London: Routledge.
    The mind-body problem in contemporary philosophy has two parts: the problem of mental causation and the problem of consciousness. These two parts are not unrelated; in fact, it can be helpful to see them as two horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, the causal interaction between mental and physical phenomena seems to require that all causally efficacious mental phenomena are physical; but on the other hand, the phenomenon of consciousness seems to entail that not all mental phenomena are (...)
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  33. Functionalism, Mental Causation, and the Problem of Metaphysically Necessary Effects.Robert D. Rupert - 2006 - Noûs 40 (2):256-83.
    The recent literature on mental causation has not been kind to nonreductive, materialist functionalism (‘functionalism’, hereafter, except where that term is otherwise qualified). The exclusion problem2 has done much of the damage, but the epiphenomenalist threat has taken other forms. Functionalism also faces what I will call the ‘problem of metaphysically necessary effects’ (Block, 1990, pp. 157-60, Antony and Levine, 1997, pp. 91-92, Pereboom, 2002, p. 515, Millikan, 1999, p. 47, Jackson, 1998, pp. 660-61). Functionalist mental properties are individuated partly (...)
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  34.  40
    Freedom From Responsibility: Agent-Neutral Consequentialism and the Bodhisattva Ideal.Christian Coseru - 2016 - In Rick Repetti (ed.), Buddhist Perspectives on Free Will. New York: Routledge. pp. 92-105.
    This paper argues that influential Mahāyāna ethicists, such as Śāntideva, who allow for moral rules to be proscribed under the expediency of a compassionate aim, seriously compromise the very notion of moral responsibility. The central thesis is that moral responsibility is intelligible only in relation to conceptions of freedom and human dignity that reflect a participation in, and sharing of, interpersonal relationships. The central thesis of the paper is that revisionary strategies, which seek to explain agency in event-causal terms, set (...)
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  35.  82
    Sellars' Argument for an Ontology of Absolute Processes.David Landy - 2019 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 7 (1):1-25.
    Scholars have rejected Wilfrid Sellars’ argument for an ontology of absolute processes on the grounds that it relies on a dubious and dogmatic appeal to the homogeneity of color. Borrowing from Rosenthal’s recent defense, but ultimate rejection of homogeneity, I defend this claim of on Sellarsian/Kantian transcendental grounds, and reconstruct the remainder of his argument. I argue that Sellars has good reason to suppose that homogeneity is a necessary condition of any possible experience, including indirect experience of theoretical-explanatory posits, and (...)
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  36. Locke's Exclusion Argument.Walter Ott - 2010 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (2):181-196.
    In this paper, I argue that Locke is not in fact agnostic about the ultimate nature of the mind. In particular, he produces an argument, much like Jaegwon Kim's exclusion argument, to show that any materialist view that takes mental states to supervene on physical states is committed to epiphenomenalism. This result helps illuminate Locke's otherwise puzzling notion of 'superaddition.'.
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  37. Consciousness All the Way Down? An Analysis of McGinn's Critique of Panexperientialism.Christian de Quincey - 1994 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (2):217-229.
    This paper examines two objections by Colin McGinn to panexperientialist metaphysics as a solution to the mind-body problem. It begins by briefly stating how the `ontological problem' of the mind-body relationship is central to the philosophy of mind, summarizes the difficulties with dualism and materialism, and outlines the main tenets of panexperientialism. Panexperientialists, such as David Ray Griffin, claim that theirs is one approach to solving the mind-body problem which does not get stuck in accounting for interaction nor in the (...)
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  38. Property Dualism, Epistemic Normativity, and the Limits of Naturalism.Christian Onof - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):60-85.
    This paper examines some consequences of the (quasi-)epiphenomenalism implied by a property dualistic view of phenomenal consciousness. The focus is upon the variation of phenomenal content over time. A thought-experiment is constructed to support two claims. The weaker claim exhibits an incompatibility which arises in certain logically possible situations between a conscious subject’s epistemic norms and the requirement that one be aware of one’s conscious experience. This could be interpreted as providing some epistemic grounds for the postulation of bridging (...)
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  39. Interventionism and the Exclusion Problem.Yasmin Bassi - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    Jaegwon Kim (1998a, 2005) claims that his exclusion problem follows a priori for the non-reductive physicalist given her commitment to five apparently inconsistent theses: mental causation, non-identity, supervenience, causal closure and non-overdetermination. For Kim, the combination of these theses entails that mental properties are a priori excluded as causes, forcing the non-reductive physicalist to accept either epiphenomenalism, or some form of reduction. In this thesis, I argue that Kim’s exclusion problem depends on a particular conception of causation, namely sufficient (...)
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  40. Experimental Methods for Unraveling the Mind-Body Problem: The Phenomenal Judgment Approach.Victor Argonov - 2014 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 35 (1-2):51-70.
    A rigorous approach to the study of the mind–body problem is suggested. Since humans are able to talk about consciousness (produce phenomenal judgments), it is argued that the study of neural mechanisms of phenomenal judgments can solve the hard problem of consciousness. Particular methods are suggested for: (1) verification and falsification of materialism; (2) verification and falsification of interactionism; (3) falsification of epiphenomenalism and parallelism (verification is problematic); (4) verification of particular materialistic theories of consciousness; (5) a non-Turing test (...)
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  41. Meaning and the Structure of Consciousness: An Essay in Psycho-Aesthetics.Bruce Burridge Mangan - 1991 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    This study explores the interface between conscious and nonconscious mental processes using phenomenological analysis, information processing cognitive psychology, connectionism and traditional aesthetic theories. It attempts to explain how global, evaluative information--especially the primitive feeling of 'rightness' or 'making sense'--is represented in consciousness. ;Many lines of evidence confirm and extend William James' nucleus/fringe model of consciousness: surrounding clear experience in focal attention is a fringe of vague experience. Context information in general, and the feeling of rightness in particular, occupy the fringe. (...)
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  42.  50
    Роберт Кірк: засновник філософських зомбі.Andrii Leonov - 2016 - Philosophical Thought 2 (2):71-77.
    At first, I shortly analyze the origins of Kirk's zombie argument (I'm talking about Descartes and epiphenomenalism). Then, I analyze his 1974 papers "Sentience and Behaviour" and "Zombies v. Materialists". And, in the end, I conclude that nevertheless Robert Kirk is the founder of a zombie argument and defended the view according to which zombies are logically possible, aftewards he became an "anti-zombist".
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  43. Are Mental States Reducible to Brain States? Or The Quale is Dead: Long Live the Quale!Richard Loosemore - manuscript
    Each of the various philosophical positions on the mind-body problem has grown out of the perceived shortcomings of one or more of its predecessors. One fertile source of aggravation to many of the -isms has been the problem of qualia: the ostensibly irreducible, qualitative character of many of our mental states. An argument is presented here that solves the qualia problem within the context of a otherwise functionalist theory of mind. The proposed solution is unusual in that it both resolves (...)
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