The Nature of Consciousness
Block (Ned), Flanagan (Owen) & Guzeldere (Guven)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

MIT Press

  1. Intended for anyone attempting to find their way through the large and confusingly interwoven philosophical literature on consciousness, this reader brings together most of the principal texts in philosophy (and a small set of related key works in neuropsychology) on consciousness through 1997, and includes some forthcoming articles. Its extensive coverage strikes a balance between seminal works of the past few decades and the leading edge of philosophical research on consciousness. As no other anthology currently does, The Nature of Consciousness provides a substantial introduction to the field, and imposes structure on a vast and complicated literature, with sections covering stream of consciousness, theoretical issues, consciousness and representation, the function of consciousness, subjectivity and the explanatory gap, the knowledge argument, qualia, and monitoring conceptions of consciousness. Of the 49 contributions, 18 are either new or have been adapted from a previous publication.
Contents
    Introduction - The Many Faces of Consciousness: A Field Guide (Güven Güzeldere)

    I. STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
  1. The Stream of Consciousness (William James)
  2. The Cartesian Theater and "Filling In" the Stream of Consciousness (Daniel C. Dennett)
  3. The Robust Phenomenology of the Stream of Consciousness (Owen Flanagan)

    II. CONSCIOUSNESS, SCIENCE, AND METHODOLOGY
  4. Prospects for a Unified Theory of Consciouness or, What Dreams Are Made Of (Owen Flanagan)
  5. Consciousness, Folk Psychology, and Cognitive Science (Alvin I. Goldman)
  6. Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything about Consciousness? (Patricia Smith Churchland)
  7. Time and the Observer: The Where and When of Consciousness in the Brain (Daniel C. Dennett and Marcel Kinsbourne)
  8. Begging the Question against Phenomenal Consciousness (Ned Block)
  9. Time for More Alternatives (Robert Van Gulick)

    III. THE PSYCHOLOGY AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
  10. Contrastive Phenomenology: A Thoroughly Empirical Approach to Consciousness (Bernard J. Baars)
  11. Visual Perception and Visual Awareness after Brain Damager: A Tutorial Overview (Martha J. Farah)
  12. Understanding Consciousness: Clues from Unilateral Neglect and Related Disorders (Edoardo Bisiach)
  13. Modularity and Consciousness (Tim Shallice)
  14. Towards a Neurobiological Theory of Consciousness (Francis Crick and Christof Koch)

    IV. CONSCIOUSNESS AND CONTEXT
  15. Consciousness and Content (Colin McGinn)
  16. Externalism and Experiences (Martin Davies)
  17. A Representational Theory of Pains and Their Phenomenal Character (Michael Tye)
  18. Sensation and the Content of Experience: A Distinction (Christopher Peacocke)

    V. FUNCTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
  19. Conscious Inessentialism and the Epiphenomenalist Suspicion (Owen Flanagan)
  20. On a Confusion about a Function of Consciousness (Ned Block)
  21. The Path Not Taken (Daniel C. Dennett)
  22. Availability: The Cognitive Basis of Experience? (David Chalmers)
  23. Fallacies or Analyses? (Jennifer Church)
  24. Two Kinds of Consciousness (Tyler Burge)
  25. Understanding the Phenomenal Mind: Are We All Just Armadillos? Part II: The Absent Qualia Argument (Robert Van Gulick)

    VI METAPHYSICS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
  26. A The Identity Thesis (Saul A. Kripke)
  27. Reductionism and the Irreducibility of Consciousness (John R. Searle)
  28. A Question about Consciousness (Georges Rey)
  29. Finding the Mind in the Natural World (Frank Jackson)
  30. Breaking the Hold: Silicon Brains, Conscious Robots, and Other Minds (John R. Searle)
  31. The First-Person Perspective (Sydney Shoemaker)

    VII. SUBJECTIVITY AND EXPLANATORY GAP
  32. What Is It Like to Be a Bat? (Thomas Nagel)
  33. Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem? (Colin McGinn)
  34. On Leaving Out What It's Like (Joseph Levine)

    VIII. THE KNOWLEDGE ARGUMENT
  35. Understanding the Phenomenal Mind: Are We All Just Armadillos? Part I: Phenomenal Knowledge and Explanatory Gaps (Robert Van Gulick)
  36. What Mary Didn't Know (Frank Jackson)
  37. Knowing Qualia: A Reply to Jackson (Paul Churchland)
  38. What Experience Teaches (David Lewis)
  39. Phenomenal States (Brian Loar)

    IX. QUALIA
  40. Quining Qualia (Daniel C. Dennett)
  41. The Inverted Spectrum (Sydney Shoemaker)
  42. The Intrinsic Quality of Experience (Gilbert Harman)
  43. Inverted Earth (Ned Block)
  44. Curse of the Qualia (Stephen L. White)

    X. HIGHER-ORDER MONITORING CONCEPTIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
  45. What Is Consciousness? (David Armstrong)
  46. A Theory of Consciousness (David Rosenthal)
  47. Consciousness as Internal Monitoring (William G. Lycan)
  48. Conscious Experience (Fred Dretske)
  49. Is Consciousness the Perception of What Passes in One's Own Mind? (Güven Güzeldere)



"Armstrong (David) - What is Consciousness?"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Baars (Bernard) - Contrastive Phenomenology: A Thoroughly Empirical Approach to Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Bisiach (Edoardo) - Understanding Consciousness: Clues from Unilateral Neglect and Related Disorders"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Block (Ned) - Begging the Question Against Phenomenal Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Block (Ned) - On a Confusion about a Function of Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness (Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (2): 227-287)


BBS-Online Abstract
    Consciousness is a mongrel concept: there are a number of very different "consciousnesses." Phenomenal consciousness is experience; the phenomenally conscious aspect of a state is what it is like to be in that state. The mark of access-consciousness, by contrast, is availability for use in reasoning and rationally guiding speech and action. These concepts are often partly or totally conflated, with bad results. This target article uses as an example a form of reasoning about a function of "consciousness" based on the phenomenon of blindsight. Some information about stimuli in the blind field is represented in the brains of blindsight patients, as shown by their correct "guesses," but they cannot harness this information in the service of action, and this is said to show that a function of phenomenal consciousness is somehow to enable information represented in the brain to guide action. But stimuli in the blind field are BOTH access-unconscious and phenomenally unconscious. The fallacy is: an obvious function of the machinery of access-consciousness is illicitly transferred to phenomenal consciousness.



"Burge (Tyler) - Two Kinds of Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Chalmers (David) - Availability: The Cognitive Basis of Experience"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Church (Jennifer) - Fallacies or Analyses?"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Churchland (Patricia) - Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything about Conciousness?"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Churchland (Paul) - Knowing Qualia: A Reply to Jackson"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness

COMMENT: Also in "Churchland (Paul) & Churchland (Patricia) - On the Contrary: Critical Essays, 1987 - 1997"



"Crick (Francis) & Koch (Cristof) - Towards a Neurobiological Theory of Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Davies (Martin) - Externalism and Experience"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Dennett (Daniel) - Quining Qualia"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness


Chapter Sections
  1. Corralling the Quicksilver
  2. The Special Qualities of Qualia
  3. The Traditional Paradox Regained
  4. Making Mistakes about Qualia
  5. Some Puzzling Real Cases
  6. Filling the Vacuum


COMMENT:



"Dennett (Daniel) - The Cartesian Theatre and 'Filling In' the Stream of Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness

COMMENT: Adapted from "Consciousness Explained"



"Dennett (Daniel) - The Path Not Taken"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Dennett (Daniel) & Kinsbourne (Marcel) - Time and the Observer: The Where and When of Consciousness in the Brain"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness (Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (2): 183-247)


BBS-Online Abstract
    Two models of consciousness are contrasted with regard to their treatment of subjective timing: the standard Cartesian Theater and an alternative, the Multiple Drafts model. Four puzzling temporal phenomena that resist explanation by the standard model are analyzed: two results claimed by Libet, color phi, and the "cutaneous rabbit". The unexamined assumptions that have always made the Cartesian Theater model so attractive are exposed and dismantled. The Multiple Drafts model provides a better account of the puzzling phenomena, avoiding the scientific and metaphysical extravagances of the Cartesian Theater.



"Dretske (Fred) - Conscious Experience"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness


Philosophers Index Abstract
    Perceptual awareness of things (seeing a tree) involves experience, but not necessarily belief. Perceptual awareness of facts (seeing that it is a tree), on the other hand, essentially involves belief. On this basis it is argued that there can be aspects of conscious experience of which a person is not conscious. This, in turn, implies that what makes a mental state conscious--and, hence, what it means for a mental state to be conscious--is not some higher order consciousness of it.



"Farah (Martha J.) - Visual Perception and Visual Awareness after Brain Damage: A Tutorial Overview"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Flanagan (Owen) - Conscious Inessentialism and the Epiphenomenalist Suspicion"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Flanagan (Owen) - Prospects for a Unified Theory of Consciousness or, What Dreams are Made Of"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Flanagan (Owen) - The Robust Phenomenology of the Stream of Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Goldman (Alvin) - Consciousness, Folk Psychology and Cognitive Science"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Guzeldere (Guven) - Is Consciousness the Perception of What Passes in One's Own Mind?"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness


Philosophers Index Abstract
    I distinguish between two species of the thesis that takes consciousness to be a higher-order representation of first-order mental states: Higher-Order Perception (HOP, as first defended by Armstrong, Churchland, and Lycan) and Higher-Order Thought (HOT, as defended by Rosenthal and Carruthers). I argue that HOP, taken literally, faces a trilemma: it either collapses into a single-tiered account of perception (essentially abandoning its introspective element), or becomes committed to what I call "the fallacy of the representational divide" (conflating the properties of what it represented with those of the representing vehicle), or turns into a version of HOT.



"Guzeldere (Guven) - The Many Faces of Consciousness: A Field Guide"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness


Author’s Introduction (followed by Chapter Structure)
  1. There is perhaps no other phenomenon besides consciousness that is so familiar to each of us and yet has been so elusive to any systematic study, philosophical or scientific.
  2. What is at the heart of this puzzlement? Is there a genuine difficulty that underlies it? What are the specific issues that comprise the problem of consciousness? (Is there really a "the problem of consciousness"?) And are we facing a phenomenon the understanding of which lies forever beyond our intellectual capacities? These are the questions that I will pursue below.
  3. The overarching goal of this introduction is to provide a field guide (with a particular perspective) for anyone interested in the history and present status of philosophical issues in the study of consciousness.
    • Part One is a preliminary overview of the current philosophical positions in the literature, as well as a discussion of the unique difficulties inherent in the concept and nature of consciousness.
    • Part Two is an account of the study of consciousness in the history of modern psychology. Finally,
    • Part Three is an exposition of the mosaic of philosophical puzzles of consciousness, as well as an exploration of their interrelations.

Part One: Conceptual Foundations
  1. The Puzzle of Consciousness
    • The Mystery of Consciousness and the Explanatory Gap:
      … Is the mystery essentially a result of a commitment to a materialist framework?
      … Is the mystery essentially inherent in our (lack of) cognitive capacities?
    • Skepticism About Consciousness
    • The Consciousness Naturalists
  2. Approaching Consciousness: A Multitude of Difficulties
    • Difficulties with the Concept of Consciousness
      … Social consciousness
      … Intransitive (“creature”) consciousness
      … Transitive (“state” / “consciousness of”) consciousness
    • Difficulties with the Nature of Consciousness
      … Epistemology vs Ontology (“appearance vs reality”)
  3. Looking Ahead: The Two Faces of Consciousness
    • Causal characterization: "Consciousness is as consciousness does" versus
    • Phenomenal characterization: "Consciousness is as consciousness seems"
    • Segregationist intuition: if the characterization of consciousness is causal, then it has to be essentially nonphenomenal, and if it is phenomenal, then it is essentially noncausal.
    • Integrationist intuition: what consciousness does, qua consciousness, cannot be characterized in the absence of how consciousness seems, but more importantly, how consciousness seems cannot be conceptualized in the absence of what consciousness does.

Part Two: A Brief History of Consciousness
  1. Consciousness in Early Modern Philosophy
  2. The Last Hundred Years: William James's Puzzle
  3. Introspectionism
  4. Behaviorism
  5. Cognitivism (and Beyond)
  6. The Study of the Unconscious
    • The Freudian Unconscious
    • The Cognitive Unconscious
  7. Status Report: From Information Processing to Qualia

Part Three: Problems of Consciousness – A Perspective on Contemporary Issues and Current Debates
  1. Consciousness and Intentionality: Two Dimensions of Mind
    … The phenomenal versus intentional matrix
  2. Perspectivity and Epistemic Asymmetry
  3. First-Person versus Third-Person Approaches to Consciousness
  4. The Two Faces of Consciousness Revisited
    • Access Versus Phenomenal Consciousness
    • The "Easy Problems of Consciousness" and the "Hard Problem"
  5. The Four “W” Questions and the Further “How” Question
      … 1. What are the media and mechanisms of consciousness?
      … 2. Where, if anywhere, is the locus of consciousness?
      … 3. Who can be said to be a conscious being?
      … 4. Why is there consciousness at all, and what is the role it plays in the general scheme of mental life and behavior of an organism?
      … 5. How does consciousness arise in, or emerge from, its underlying substance, structure, and mechanism, in the way it does?
    • The What Question
    • The Where Question
    • The Who and the Why / Which Questions
  6. A Road Map for Phenomenal Consciousness and the Unbearable Lightness of Whatitisliketobe
    • 1. Qualia: Experiences have phenomenal and thus noncausal, nonrepresentational, nonfunctional, and perhaps nonphysical properties.
    • 2. Subjectivity: Certain facts about experiences are subjective, that is, they cannot be completely understood except from a single kind of point of view.
    • 3. Knowledge Argument: Certain facts about experiences are nonphysical.
      To this, one can add the "base element" in the formula:
    • Whatitisliketobe: There is something it is like to have experiences for a certain organism (or, simply, something it is like to be that organism).
  7. The Qualia Battles
  8. Epiphenomenalism and the Possibility of Zombies
  9. Stalemate: How to Settle the Phenomenal Consciousness Dispute?

In Place of a Conclusion
  1. I started by noting an epistemological asymmetry in the way one has access to (the facts about) one's own experiences versus those of others. This asymmetry leads us to the notion of perspectivity, something quite unique to (the study of) consciousness, and to the distinction between first-person and third-person points of view. This duality between points of view with respect to accessing facts about experiences also manifests itself in a duality in characterizing consciousness, in causal versus phenomenal terms.
  2. Taking these characterizations as mutually exclusive, based on the presumption that phenomenal consciousness is essentially phenomenal and essentially non-causal, yields what I called the segregationist intuition. Opposing it is the integrationist intuition, which maintains that phenomenal consciousness can only be characterized by means of all causal, functional, or representational elements. Given these two intuitions, I briefly argued that the former plays into the hands of the doctrine of epiphenomenalism, which, when combined with considerations from the possibility of absent qualia and zombiehood, leads us into untenable and non-commonsensical conceptions of phenomenal consciousness. This is good evidence, on the other hand, to take the latter seriously and use it as the pre-theoretical basis in re-examining our notion of phenomenal consciousness.
  3. Another domain where the epistemic element of perspectivity figures in is the problem of the explanatory gap and the question of the "hard problem" of consciousness. There seems to be an unbridged gap in the explanation of how physical embodiment and conscious experience are linked. The former is in general given a causal characterization from a third-person perspective, the latter a phenomenal characterization in first person terms. It seems that under our existing conceptual scheme, bolstered by the segregationist intuition, the "hard problem" just does not, and cannot, lend itself to a solution.
  4. What is important to note here is that the explanatory gap, in the way it is set up, stems from an epistemological issue. The further question that remains is whether its persistence is good enough evidence to yield ontological conclusions. Some think yes; introducing an "extra ingredient" into the picture and thus augmenting one's ontology to include consciousness as a fundamental element could indeed relieve one of the nagging problem of having to bridge mechanism and experience (by emergence, reduction, elimination, and so forth) or vice versa. Others think that the epistemological nature of the explanatory gap does not warrant ontological conclusions. Although I cannot go into this debate in any further detail here, I too would like to lend my support to this latter position. True, in the presence of the explanatory gap, the link between experience and its physical underpinnings may seem arbitrary, but I think that the decision to introduce a new fundamental element into the ontology, based on the explanatory gap, seems equally arbitrary as well. At least I fail to see how the most steadfast belief in a thus-expanded new ontology would leave one less puzzled about just how consciousness relates to its physical underpinnings, hence diminishing the explanatory gap and explaining away the further-How question. What seems the most promising direction in re-approaching consciousness and pursuing its deep-rooted problems in the present era involves rethinking epistemology and conceptual schemes (as opposed to a priori postulation of new ontology) to yield a cross-fertilization of the first-person and third-person perspectives, which would allow theorizing about how causal efficacy figures in how consciousness feels, and how phenomenal quality relates to what consciousness does.
  5. In any case, at present it just does not seem as if there is a way to settle the dispute decisively about the "hard problem" or the consequences of the explanatory gap. And given the troublesome stalemate over the ontological nature of phenomenal consciousness, we seem to be not quite near a satisfactory understanding of the phenomenon. If anything, the survey of the contemporary issues and current debates surrounding consciousness points to a need for a careful re-examination of our pre-theoretical intuitions and conceptual foundations on which to build better accounts of consciousness. It also seems probable that an entirely satisfactory understanding of consciousness will be possible, if at all, only when the constitutive elements of a more comprehensive framework, in which consciousness needs to be theoretically situated, are themselves better understood. And these elements include nothing less than causality1, representation, indexicality, and personhood, and especially the deep-rooted dichotomies between mental and physical, and subjective and objective. As such, it is probably reasonable to assume, as Jerry Fodor likes to prognosticate regarding a complete account of rationality, that "no such theory will be available by this time next week."
  6. This being said, I conclude on a more positive note. Presently, there is an impressive rising tide of interest in the study of consciousness, and thanks to recent advances in interdisciplinary research, we are now in a better position to penetrate the mysteries of this great intellectual frontier. By integrating methodologies and perspectives from psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, cognitive science, and other disciplines and by keeping a mindful eye on the successes and failures of the past, we should be able to reach a higher vantage point and to see more broadly and more deeply than has ever before been possible. These are very exciting times for thinking about consciousness.


COMMENT:



"Harman (Gilbert) - The Intrinsic Quality of Experience"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness

COMMENT: Also in "Lycan (William) - Mind and Cognition - An Anthology"



"Jackson (Frank) - Finding the Mind in the Natural World"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Jackson (Frank) - What Mary Didn't Know"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness


Author’s Introduction
  1. Mary is confined to a black-and-white room, is educated through black-and-white books and through lectures relayed on black-and-white television. In this way she learns everything there is to know about the physical nature of the world. She knows all the physical facts about us and our environment, in a wide sense of 'physical' which includes everything in completed physics, chemistry, and neurophysiology, and all there is to know about the causal and relational facts consequent upon all this, including of course functional roles. If physicalism is true, she knows all there is to know. For to suppose otherwise is to suppose that there is more to know than every physical fact, and that is just what physicalism denies.
  2. Physicalism is not the noncontroversial thesis that the actual world is largely physical, but the challenging thesis that it is entirely physical. This is why physicalists must hold that complete physical knowledge is complete knowledge simpliciter. For suppose it is not complete: then our world must differ from a world, W(P), for which it is complete, and the difference must be in nonphysical facts; for our world and W(P) agree in all matters physical. Hence, physicalism would be false at our world {though contingently so1, for it would be true at W(P)}.
  3. It seems, however, that Mary does not know all there is to know. For when she is let out of the black-and-white room or given a color television, she will learn what it is like to see something red, say. This is rightly described as learning – she will not say "ho, hum." Hence, physicalism is false. This is the knowledge argument against physicalism in one of its manifestations2. This note is a reply to three objections to it mounted by Paul M. Churchland3.


COMMENT:




In-Page Footnotes ("Jackson (Frank) - What Mary Didn't Know")

Footnote 1:
  • The claim here is not that, if physicalism is true, only what is expressed in explicitly physical language is an item of knowledge. It is that, if physicalism is true, then if you know everything expressed or expressible in explicitly physical language, you know everything.
  • Pace "Horgan (Terence) - Jackson on Physical Information and Qualia" (April 1984).
Footnote 2: Footnote 3:



"James (William) - The Stream of Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness

COMMENT: From "Psychology"



"Kripke (Saul) - The Identity Thesis"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness

COMMENT: From "Kripke (Saul) - Naming and Necessity: Lecture III"



"Levine (Joseph) - On Leaving Out What It's Like"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Lewis (David) - What Experience Teaches"

Source: Lewis - Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology

COMMENT:



"Loar (Brian) - Phenomenal States"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Lycan (William) - Consciousness as Internal Monitoring"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"McGinn (Colin) - Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?"

Source: McGinn - The Problem of Consciousness, Chapter 1


Author’s Abstract
  1. We have been trying for a long time to solve the mind-body problem. It has stubbornly resisted our best efforts. The mystery persists.
  2. I think the time has come to admit candidly that we cannot resolve the mystery. But I also think that this very insolubility or the reason for it removes the philosophical problem.
  3. In this paper I explain why I say these outrageous things.


COMMENT:



"McGinn (Colin) - Consciousness and Content"

Source: McGinn - The Problem of Consciousness, Chapter 2

COMMENT:



"Nagel (Thomas) - What is it Like to Be a Bat?"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness


Author’s Introduction
  1. Consciousness is what makes the mind-body problem really intractable. Perhaps that is why current discussions of the problem give it little attention or get it obviously wrong. The recent wave of reductionist1 euphoria has produced several analyses of mental phenomena and mental concepts designed to explain the possibility of some variety of materialism, psychophysical identification, or reduction2.
  2. But the problems dealt with are those common to this type of reduction3 and other types, and what makes the mind-body problem unique, and unlike the water-H2O problem or the Turing machine-IBM machine problem or the lightning-electrical discharge problem or the gene-DNA problem or the oak tree-hydrocarbon problem, is ignored.


COMMENT:



"Peacocke (Christopher) - Sensation and Content of Experience: A Distinction"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Rey (Georges) - A Question about Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Rosenthal (David) - A Theory of Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Searle (John) - Breaking the Hold: Silicon Brains, Conscious Robots and Other Minds"

Source: Searle - The Rediscovery of the Mind, 1992, Chapter 3


Contents
  1. Silicon Brains
  2. Conscious Robots
  3. Empiricism and the “Other Minds Problem”
  4. Summary (of claims in this chapter so far)
  5. Intrinsic, As-If, and Derived Intenionality


COMMENT: Also in "Block (Ned), Flanagan (Owen) & Guzeldere (Guven) - The Nature of Consciousness"



"Searle (John) - Reductionism and the Irreducibility of Consciousness"

Source: Searle - The Rediscovery of the Mind, 1992, Chapter 5


Contents
  1. Emergent Properties
  2. Reductionism
    1. Ontological Reduction
    2. Property Ontological Reduction
    3. Theoretical Reduction
    4. Logical or Definitional Reduction
    5. Causal Reduction
  3. Why Consciousness is an Irreducible Feature of Physical Reality
  4. Why the Irreducibility of Consciousness has No Deep Consequences
  5. Supervenience1


COMMENT: Also in "Block (Ned), Flanagan (Owen) & Guzeldere (Guven) - The Nature of Consciousness"



"Shallice (Tim) - Modularity and Consciousness"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - The First-Person Perspective"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness


Author’s Introduction
  1. Some would say that the philosophy of mind without the first-person perspective, or the first-person point of view, is like Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark. Others would say that it is like Hamlet without the King of Denmark, or like Othello without Iago. I say both. I think of myself as a friend of the first-person perspective. Some would say that I am too friendly to it, for I hold views about first-person access and first-person authority that many would regard as unacceptably "Cartesian." I certainly think that it is essential to a philosophical understanding of the mental that we appreciate that there is a first person perspective on it, a distinctive way mental states present themselves to the subjects whose states they are, and that an essential part of the philosophical task is to give an account of mind which makes intelligible the perspective mental subjects have on their own mental lives. And I do not think, as I think some do, that the right theory about all this will be primarily an "error theory." But I also think that the first-person perspective is sometimes rightly cast as the villain in the piece. It is not only the denigrators of introspection that assign it this role. Kant did so in the Paralogisms, seeing our vantage on our selves as the source of transcendental illusions about the substantiality of the self. And Wittgenstein1's "private language argument" can be seen as another attempt to show how the first-person perspective can mislead us about the nature of mind.
  2. My concern here is with the role of the first-person perspective in the distinctively philosophical activity of conducting thought experiments2 designed to test metaphysical and conceptual claims about the mind. In conducting such a thought experiment3 one envisages a putatively possible situation and inquires whether it really is possible and, if so, what its possibility shows about the nature of mind or the nature of mental concepts. Such envisaging can be done either from the "third-person point of view" or the "first-person point of view." In the one case, one imagines seeing someone doing, saying, and undergoing certain things, and one asks whether this would be a case of something which has been thought to be philosophically problematic-e.g., someone's having an unconscious pain. In the other case, one imagines being oneself the subject of certain mental states-imagines feeling, thinking, etc., certain things-in a case in which certain other things are true, e.g., one's body is in a certain condition, and asks what this shows about some philosophical claim about the relation of mind to body. The question I want to pursue is whether there is anything that can be established by such first-person envisagings that cannot be revealed just as effectively by third-person envisagings.


COMMENT: Originally in Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol. 68, No. 2 (Nov., 1994), pp. 7-22



"Shoemaker (Sydney) - The Inverted Spectrum"

Source: Shoemaker - Identity, Cause and Mind

COMMENT: Also in "Block (Ned), Flanagan (Owen) & Guzeldere (Guven) - The Nature of Consciousness"



"Tye (Michael) - A Representational Theory of Pains and Their Phenomenal Character"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Van Gulick (Robert) - Time for More Alternatives"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



"Van Gulick (Robert) - Understanding the Phenomenal Mind: Are We All Just Armadillos? (Parts 1 & 2)"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness

COMMENT:



"White (Stephen) - Curse of the Qualia"

Source: Block, Flanagan & Guzeldere - The Nature of Consciousness



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
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