David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell (2007)
Asked on the Dick Cavett show about her former Stalinist comrade Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy replied, "Every word she says is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'." The language used to describe sensory and perceptual consciousness is worthy of about the same level of trust. One must adapt oneself to the fact that every ordinary word used to describe this domain is ambiguous; that different theoreticians use the same words in very different ways; and that every speaker naturally thinks that his or her usage is, of course, the correct one. Notice that we have already partially vindicated Mary McCarthy: even the word "the" cannot always be trusted.
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