Consciousness and nonconceptual content [Book Review]
Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Studies 113 (3):261-274 (2003)
|Abstract||Consciousness, Color, and Content is a signiﬁcant contribution to our understanding of consciousness, among other things. I have learned a lot from it, as well as Tye’s other writings. What’s more, I actually agree with much of it – fortunately for this symposium, not all of it. The book continues the defense of the “PANIC” theory of phenomenal consciousness that Tye began in Ten Problems of Consciousness (1995). A fair chunk of it, though, is largely independent of this theory: the discussion of the knowledge argument, the explanatory gap, and color. Tye says much of interest about these topics. But as most of my disagreement is with the PANIC theory, I shall concentrate on that. The PANIC theory is nothing short of ambitious. It is a reductive account of phenomenal consciousness in intentional/functional terms. Tye further gives, at least in outline, a broadly physicalistic account of intentionality (a “naturalized semantics”), in terms of causal covariation. Putting the PANIC theory and Tye’s naturalized semantics together, the result is a physicalistically acceptable theory of phenomenal consciousness. The two parts of this package are independent. A naturalized semantics can be combined with dualism about consciousness (a position close to this is in Chalmers, 1996). And a PANIC theorist is at liberty to endorse a rival physicalistic theory of intentionality, or indeed could take intentionality to be entirely irreducible. The plan is this. Section 1 brieﬂy airs a concern about Tye’s naturalized semantics. The rest of the paper focuses on the PANIC theory, in particular the use it makes of “nonconceptual content”.1 Philosophical Studies 113: 261–274, 2003. © 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. 262..|
|Keywords||Conceptualism Consciousness Content Metaphysics Phenomena Tye, M|
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