Reduction, Qualia and the Direct Introspection of Brain States
Churchland (Paul)
Source: Journal of Philosophy 82.1, Jan. 1985, pp. 8-28
Paper - Abstract

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Introduction

  1. Do the phenomenological or qualitative features of our sensations constitute a permanent barrier to the reductive aspirations of any materialistic neuroscience? I here argue that they do not. Specifically, I wish to address the recent anti-reductionist arguments posed by:-And I wish to explore the possibility of human subjective consciousness within a conceptual environment constituted by a matured and successful neuroscience.
  2. If we are to deal sensibly with the issues here at stake, we must approach them with a general theory of scientific reduction already in hand, a theory motivated by and adequate to the many instances and varieties of interconceptual reduction displayed elsewhere in our scientific history. With an independently based account of the nature and grounds of intertheoretic reduction, we can approach the specific case of subjective qualia, free from the myopia that results from trying to divine the proper conditions on reduction by simply staring long and hard at the problematic case at issue.

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