David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience. Ferdinand Schoningh. 309--328 (1995)
It is widely accepted that conscious experience has a physical basis. That is, the properties of experience (phenomenal properties, or qualia) systematically depend on physical properties according to some lawful relation. There are two key questions about this relation. The first concerns the strength of the laws: are they logically or metaphysically necessary, so that consciousness is nothing "over and above" the underlying physical process, or are they merely contingent laws like the law of gravity? This question about the strength of the psychophysical link is the basis for debates over physicalism and property dualism. The second question concerns the shape of the laws: precisely how do phenomenal properties depend on physical properties? What sort of physical properties enter into the laws' antecedents, for instance; consequently, what sort of physical systems can give rise to conscious experience? It is this second question that I address in this paper.
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What is the role of memory in the dancing qualia scenario?
It strikes me that i cannot perform direct comparisons between my conscious experiences at different points in time - no more than i can directly compare my experiences to those of others.
In claiming that my experience of a red apple has remained the same "redness" over time, i must be comparing a perceptual experience *now* against the experience *now* of a memory of a previous experience.
The reductio asks us to imagine there being a difference in experience just due to differences in the material substrate of cognition. It seems plausible to me that when an experience is serialized while running on one substrate and deserialized while on another, the difference should go unnoticed. For example, the red experience of a neural system could be remembered as a blue experience when invoked on a silicon circuit, so that the comparison always succeeds.
Put differently, i wonder in what way the following scenario is not analogous to da ... (read more)