David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):271-293 (2011)
It is common parlance among philosophers who inquire into the nature of consciousness to speak of there being something it is like for the subject of a mental state to be in it. The popularity of the ‘what-it-is-like’ phrase stems, in part, from the assumption that it enables us to distinguish, in an intuitive and illuminating way, between conscious and unconscious mental states: conscious mental states, unlike unconscious mental states, are such that there is something it is like for their subjects to be in them. The ‘what-it-is-like’ phrase, however, has not gone unopposed; some very clever philosophers have vigorously disputed it. Peter Hacker, for example, argues that the phrase should be abandoned because it is ungrammatical, and Paul Snowdon argues that it should be abandoned because the propositions expressed by its usage are either trivial or false. This paper mounts a case for the claim that neither of these conclusions is warranted. Against Hacker, it is argued that the arguments he produces for the ungrammaticality of the phrase are unpersuasive, and against Snowdon it is argued that he fails to consider a plausible and independently motivated interpretation of the phrase, and that on this interpretation, the propositions expressed by its usage are nontrivially true
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
David M. Armstrong & Norman Malcolm (1984). Consciousness and Causality: A Debate on the Nature of Mind. Blackwell.
M. R. Bennett (2003). Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience. Blackwell Pub..
Alex Byrne (2001). Intentionalism Defended. Philosophical Review 110 (2):199-240.
Citations of this work BETA
Greg Janzen (2013). An Adverbialist–Objectualist Account of Pain. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):859-876.
Similar books and articles
A. Minh Nguyen (2001). A Critique of Dretske's Conception of State Consciousness. Journal of Philosophical Research 26 (January):187-206.
C. N. (2002). Epistemic Consciousness. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (3):425-441.
Neil Campbell Manson (2002). Epistemic Consciousness. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science A 33 (3):425-441.
Uriah Kriegel (2003). Consciousness as Sensory Quality and as Implicit Self-Awareness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (1):1-26.
Neil Campbell Manson (2000). State Consciousness and Creature Consciousness: A Real Distinction. Philosophical Psychology 13 (3):405-410.
Paul Katsafanas (2005). Nietzsche's Theory of Mind: Consciousness and Conceptualization. European Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):1–31.
Greg Janzen (2005). Self-Consciousness and Phenomenal Character. Dialogue 44 (4):707-733.
Max Velmans (1990). Is the Mind Conscious, Functional or Both? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):629-630.
Jason Kawall (1999). The Experience Machine and Mental State Theories of Well-Being. Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (3):381-387.
Erik John Jackiw, Paying Attention to Unconscious Mental States: An Examination of the Case of the Inattentive Driver.
Justin Sytsma (2010). Folk Psychology and Phenomenal Consciousness. Philosophy Compass 5 (8):700-711.
David M. Rosenthal (1986). Two Concepts of Consciousness. Philosophical Studies 49 (May):329-59.
Added to index2011-05-14
Total downloads33 ( #49,756 of 1,096,510 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #34,641 of 1,096,510 )
How can I increase my downloads?