Qualia, consciousness, and memory: Dennett (2005), Rosenthal (2002), Ledoux (2002), and Libet (2004)
Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||In his recent (2005) book "Sweet Dreams: philosophical obstacles to a science of consciousness," Dennett renews his attack on a philosophical notion of qualia, the success of which attack is required if his brand of Functionalism is to survive. He also articulates once again what he takes to be essential to his notion of consciousness. I shall argue that his new, central argument against the philosophical concept of qualia fails. In passing I point out a difficulty that David Rosenthal's "higher-order thought" theory of consciousness also faces in accounting for qualia. I then contrast Dennett's newest account of consciousness with interestingly different conceptions by contemporary neuro-scientists, and I suggest that philosophers should take the recent suggestions by neuro-scientists more seriously as a subject for philosophical investigation.|
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