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2014-09-09
I would be grateful for any feedback on the following unpublished note.

Zombies are inconceivable for the following reason.


In order to think that a is a zombie you have to think both that:


  1. a is exactly like a human from a third-person perspective;

  2. a has no qualia.


The problem lies in thinking (2). To see this, note that it is not enough to not think a has qualia. That is easy. You can do that just by imagining (1) and forgetting about (2). In other words, you just imagine all the required third-person facts about a—essentially what makes him indistinguishable from a human being—but don't bother to think about whether he has qualia or not. But clearly not thinking that a has some property is logically distinct form thinking that a does not have that property. To suppose otherwise would be to make an elementary scoping error. But if this right, then it is impossible in the deepest sense to think that a has no qualia. Therefore, zombies are inconceivable.


In case there is any doubt about this ... (read more)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8866 Reply

2014-08-24
Dear all, I would be grateful for any comments on my paper 'Emergence from What? A Transcendental Understanding of the Place of Consciousness' (Journal of Consciousness Studies Vol 21 Issue 5-6, June 2014) and any directions to other attempts to use transcendental arguments in the philosophy of mind.Thanks
Kim Davies

2014-08-12
Hi,
I have a question about individuation of perceptual content. I am writing about individual perceptual experience and joint perceptual experience, under the light of Fregean or NeoFregean frame. I do not believe that objects of perception are sufficient to individuate perceptual content; we need something more: a mode of presentation. So, my question is how the mode of presentations of perceptual states is individuated? Gareth Evans had an intuitive criterion of difference for thoughts or beliefs, but I do not know of a similar criterion for perceptions.  

Two beliefs have different content, if it is possible for a subject take different attitudes to both and even still being rational. Is it possible to build a similar criterion for perceptions? Maybe, two perceptions have different content, if it is possible for a subject to be disposed to do different things (e.g. actions, routines, activities, judgments, and the like) and even still being actively fluent in the environment?

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8677 Reply

2014-08-18
What do people think of Qualia Logic? One keeps track of both 3rd-person and 1st-person information in the truth-value of a proposition.
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8669 Reply

2014-08-08
Philosophy of Mind is a topic fraught with ambiguity. People use terms such as "mind," "consciousness," "awareness," "experience" and so forth as if everyone knows what they mean.  But they can mean very different things to different people, and too often we end up with ambiguity, equivocation and misunderstanding.    

Herein I propose some definitions of salient terms.  I do not claim that these are the only correct definitions.  I merely claim that if we all agree to use words the same way we'll have a productive conversation rather than talking past each other. Your comments are welcome, as I would like to hone these recommendations to be as clear as possible.

Proposed Definitions

Of all the concepts relating to mind, I propose that we use experience as the most inclusive.  It means the subjective aspect of a person's taking into account his or her world.  By subjective I mean detectable or observable in principle by only one person, the one who is taking his or her world into account. This is ... (read more)
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2014-06-13
Recently I had an awareness that understanding is deeper than knowledge. Then I thought about it for a while. I realized that knowledge involves explanations, while understanding does not necessarily require explanations. for, we understand many things without being able to explain them. This made me very anxious about this problem because it concerns with the way human mind works. How is it possible to understand something without being able to explain it? The traditional notion of 'Intuition' or immediate and direct awareness is not satisfactory enough to clarify this problem. What concerns me is that human mind seems to me to be much more than what we have so far known through or traditional logic or even scientific parameters. By saying that understanding is deeper than knowledge, i mean that understanding is an aspect of Consciousness that seems to be distinct from what we call Mind, though both are connected. Although we are conscious of ourselves we do not need to talk t ... (read more)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8211 Reply

2014-06-07
Hello,
This is a rehash of an old post. I'm hoping someone can settle my confusion, xor, confirm my brilliant insight.

Let's suppose that zombies are conceivable. Many argue against this, but let's suppose. What I want to call into question is that an entire zombie world is conceivable. There is just one problem with this allegedly conceivable world: the person doing the conceiving. That's you. You, if you are truly conceiving of anything at all, are not a zombie.

I am of course assuming that "having a conception" implies "having consciousness." But this seems very fair to me. I am also assuming that "you" can be a disembodied consciousness. But 2-d semantics seems unable to deny the conceivability of such a thing.

1. Having a conception of a complete zombie world implies having a conception. (assumption)
2. Having a conception implies having (some) consciousness. (assumption)
3. Having (some) consciousness implies that there is consciousness. (assumption)
c4. Having a conception of a complet ... (read more)
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2014-04-07
(From Author) Sadly enough, this article has badly edited parts. Although I asked Editor to correct them many times, it seems that he did not have enough time to do that. I would like to apologize to readers for that.Editor, who sent me a letter afterwards, said as follows:

September 10, 2012

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

This is to apologize for the typographical errors in the article published by Yusuke Kaneko in our journal, 
the International Journal of Arts and Sciences.
The mistakes were few but they were committed at the printing phase and should not be held against Dr. Kaneko.
We profusely apologize to Dr. Kaneko about the above.

Sincerely,

Mark Bridge
Conferences Department
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8139 Reply

2013-09-12
Hi Jack,

Nice paper!. However, if I may, I wasn't convinced by your response to objection five. The objection, I take it, is that the intuitions you are marshaling about incoherence derive from a non-moral standpoint, that is, they are intuitions that arise when one is doing metaethics and not when one is actually moralizing.  And it seems undeniable that Moore paradoxical sentences are straightforwardly bizarre when uttered by persons in the context of actual moralizing (just imagine actually having the relevant conversation). At the outset of your paper, you correctly note that expressivism is a theory about actual moralizing, so it seems like this is one objection to which you should be very sensitive.  You respond:

This is not really a rejection of C3, but a rejection of C1, since it admits that it is not always the case that affective or conative attitudes are expressed by moral assertions. If non-cognitive mental states are only sometimes expressed by moral assertions, then the clai ... (read more)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7909 Reply

2013-08-09

Methodologically speaking, I wonder why Matilal and S's article has not been enough for  further studies of this sort to be the rule on Mind (and other philosophical journals). Does this failure depend on their style? (Or should we just start working as a task-force and submit many articles of this kind?)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7866 Reply

2013-08-09

Can there be linguistics without ontology?

The context principle and some Indian controversies over Meaning is a milestone in Indian studies, and in the history of their interaction with mainstream (i.e. Western) philosophy. Since it was published in 1988 on Mind (one of the top-5 journals in Philosophy, inaccessible for most authors), virtually everyone (in Indian philosophy) has read it.

Have you also re-read it?

I re-read it after some years this Summer and I have to admit that it was again a surprise. The article starts with a discussion of the Context principle in Frege and Quine (does the principle mean that words HAVE no meaning outside a sentence, or that their meaning can only be UNDERSTOOD within a sentence?). In this connection, Matilal and Sen discuss a strong and a weak interpretation of the Context principle (according to whether it should answer the first or the second question). They end up saying that the strong interpretation clashes with Frege's later work (see belo ... (read more)

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2013-07-25
All comments are welcome!
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2013-06-14
Here's the place to be critical!  Anything that can help me develop this argument is much appreciated.  This is something I develop a bit in my dissertation and the hope is to develop it more here and eventually have something worthy of publication.
Latest replies:
  • Jim Stone, 2013-06-23 : Here are some comments. Thanks for t 1. It will help your reader to say early on what nonreductive physicalism is, and w... (read more)
  • John Altmann, 2013-06-24 : I just wanted to say first and foremost before I go any further that I am not a Professor of Philosophy nor have I ever... (read more)
  • Andrew Russo, 2013-06-24 : First of all, thanks for taking the time to read my paper and provide me with comments.  This is what I hoped would... (read more)
  • Andrew Russo, 2013-06-24 : Thank you for reading my paper and commenting on it.  Whatever comments you give, whether or not they are from some... (read more)
  • Jim Stone, 2013-06-24 : Thanks for answering. The dialectic between us is for me now a little complicated. I follow this protocol in commenting... (read more)
Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7816 Reply

2013-06-11
Hi Matt,

This is a very interesting paper.  I am in agreement with the basic premise, namely, that we should be suspicious of moral intuitions which are highly contingent or "flippable".  However, I have one or two questions about the argument.

In one section, you're dealing with the problem of "typing" mechanisms.  The point, as I understand it, is to show that your argument defeats demandingness intuitions but does not defeat other moral intuitions (such as those concerning the wrongness of slavery).  You say:

Given these considerations, how generally should we type the testimonial process behind my moral belief that slavery is wrong? The reliability of (say) my mother’s anti-racist moral testimony in the actual world should not necessarily be impugned by the unreliability of her moral testimony were she a racist bigot, for her epistemic situation (i.e., her foundational moral beliefs) in the latter case would be radically mistaken. The two types of testimonial processes, then, are plausibl ... (read more)

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2013-06-11
Hi Professor Demetriou,

I've just read the draft of your paper, and I really enjoyed it, especially the bits where you complicate the somewhat simplistic just-so cultural-evolutionary story provided by Ross and Nisbett.  One rarely sees such deep engagement with actual anthropological data in moral-philosophical papers about disagreement, and I think your reflections here are a valuable contribution to this literature.

However, I have a question about the "pluralism" that is on offer, which is "a view urging the moral correctness of  multiple and mutually irreducible comprehensive ethical  outlooks , each suited to  its own dimension  of social life ."  A familiar worry emerges here, which is that you are covertly drawing on a kind of monism which serves to make each of the competing moral systems appear attractive.  The trouble begins with the word "suited": what does it mean to say that a moral outlook is "suited" t ... (read more)
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2013-06-11
This was a solid paper guys I really must commend you for the excellent work. With that said, I do agree with you about Raz's arguments. They seemed to possess little to no substance whatsoever and his argument of self-interest towards the end seemed to be more of a forfeiture of his premise than anything else. I will at least credit him for attempting to untangle the knots in this complex field we call moral philosophy but I had some major objections while reading. Please do correct me if I speak ignorantly or from a misinformed position.

1. Raz says to be moral is to see value in others and one's self. This value is derived from the virtue of being a person. Are we to take it that the recognition of this value disregards how we cultivate that value through action which subsequently has consequences? If I see value in someone, but still decide to take away their life because I perceive myself to be more valuable, am I moral or not.

2. A refutation of point 1 would be that to see value ... (read more)
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2013-02-19

COUNTING THE WRONG CONSCIOUSNESS OUT

Commentary on Dan Dennett on:

 "On a Phenomenal Confusion about Access and Consciousness"

Dan Dennett: "Many researchers on consciousness have adopted Ned Block's purported distinction between "access" consciousness and 'phenomenal' consciousness (Block, 1995, 2005, 2007), but in spite of its evident appeal, it is not a defensible distinction. Earlier critiques (Dennett, 1994, 1995, Cohen and Dennett, 2012) have not deterred those who favor the distinction, but perhaps one more exposition of the problems will break through"

Yes, there was a phenomenal confusion in doubling our mind-body-problems by doubling our consciousnesses.

No, organisms don't have both an "access consciousness" and a "phenomenal consciousness."

Organisms' brains (like robots' brains) have access to information (data). 

Access to data can be unconscious (in organisms and robots) or conscious (in organisms, sometimes, but probably not at all in robots, so far).

And organisms feel. Feeling c ... (read more)

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2013-02-24

Is this an answer to Chalmers’s fading qualia thought experiment?  (2110, The Character of Consciousness, Oxford University Press p. 25 ff).
He puts forward a principle of organizational invariance: “This principle states that any two systems with the same fine-grained functional organization will have qualitatively identical experiences. If the causal patterns of neural organization were duplicated in silicon, for example, with a silicon chip for every neuron and the same patterns of interaction, then the same experiences would arise. According to this principle, what matters for the emergence of experience is not the specific physical makeup of a system but the abstract pattern of causal interaction between its components.” He supports this principle by the use of thought experiments about “fading”  qualias. The analysis, claiming to show that the contrary position would be absurd, is based on the fact that the creature whose causal patterns in its cognitive system are identical t ... (read more)

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2013-02-24
Greetings,    I've put together a short paper (3,400 words) on the Hard Problem, and I would appreciate any comments interested parties may wish to offer.

ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes David Chalmers’s “Hard Problem” and his argument against natural selection in the formation of human consciousness. It explores specific weaknesses in Chalmers’s reasoning and evidence from his published articles over the years.  Keywords: consciousness, psychology, mind, evolution, natural selection, duality.


LINK
http://issuu.com/mabundis/docs/hardproblem?mode=window&viewMode=doublePage


Thanks in advance!

Marcus
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7582 Reply

2013-02-24
You are definitely right in your skepticism about the possibility of the unification of many micro-consciousnesses into macro-consciousness. However, it is surprising for me that overhelming majority of philosophers ignore the possibility that human consciousness is among these micro-consciousnesses. In my paper http://philpapers.org/rec/ARGNCO I argue that even a single electron might contain the whole current human experience (without long- and mid-term memory). I suggest a hypothesis, where such electrons might be located in a real brain

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