Why isn't consciousness empirically observable? Emotion, self-organization, and nonreductive physicalism
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Mind and Behavior 20 (4):391-402 (1999)
Most versions of the knowledge argument say that, since scientists observing my brain wouldn't know what my consciousness "is like," consciousness isn't describable as a physical process. Although this argument unwarrantedly equates the physical with the empirically observable, we can conclude, not that consciousness is nonphysical but that consciousness isn't identical with anything empirically observable. But what kind of mind&endash;body relation would render possible this empirical inaccessibility of consciousness? Even if multiple realizability may allow a distinction between consciousness and its physical substrata, why does this distinction make consciousness empirically unobservable? The reason must be that the emotions motivating attention direction, partly constitutive of phenomenal states, are executed, not undergone by self-organizing processes actively appropriating and replacing needed physical substrata; we feel motivations by generating them. But all consciousness is motivated; visual cortex activation is unconscious of red unless the emotional limbic system and anterior cingulate motivatedly "look for" red. Experiencing entails executing motivations. Experimenters do know what subjects' brain events "are like" ---; but from the standpoint of the experimenter's motivational processes
|Keywords||Consciousness Emotion Organization Physicalism Science Self|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
P. Zachar (2000). Review of “the Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness” by Antonio Damasio and of “the Evolution of the Emotion-Processing Mind: With an Introduction to Mental Darwinism” by Robert Langs. [REVIEW] Consciousness and Emotion 1 (1):181-187.
Paul Raymont (2003). Kim on Overdetermination, Exclusion, and Nonreductive Physicalism. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.
David Papineau (2003). Theories of Consciousness. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 353.
Carl Gillett (2003). Nonreductive Realization and Nonreductive Identity: What Physicalism Does Not Entail. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic. 31.
Craig DeLancey (1996). Emotion and the Function of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (5-6):492-99.
Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (2000). The Interdependence of Consciousness and Emotion. Consciousness and Emotion 1 (1):1-10.
Stuart Silvers (1997). Nonreductive Naturalism. Theoria 12 (28):163-84.
Bill Faw (2000). Consciousness, Motivation, and Emotion: Biopsychological Reflections. In Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (eds.), The Caldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization- an Anthology. Advances in Consciousness Research. John Benjamins. 55-90.
Natika Newton (2000). Conscious Emotion in a Dynamic System: How I Can Know How I Feel. In Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (eds.), The Caldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization - an Anthology. John Benjamins.
Ralph D. Ellis (2000). Consciousness, Self-Organization, and the Process-Substratum Relation: Rethinking Nonreductive Physicalism. Philosophical Psychology 13 (2):173-190.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads1 ( #593,412 of 1,696,306 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #333,740 of 1,696,306 )
How can I increase my downloads?