David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The ‘Fading Qualia’ thought experiment of Chalmers purports to show that computationalism is very probably true even if dualism is true by considering a series of brains, with biological parts increasingly substituted for by artificial but functionally analagous parts in small steps, and arguing that consciousness would not plausibly vanish in either a gradual or sudden way. This defense of computationalism inspired an attack on computationalism by Bishop, who argued that a similar series of substitutions by parts that have the correct physical activity but not the correct causal relationships must likewise preserve consciousness, purportedly showing that ‘Counterfactuals Cannot Count’ and if so ruining a necessary condition for computation to meaningfully distinguish between physical systems. In this paper, the case in which a series of parts are simply removed and substituted for only by imposing the correct boundary conditions to exactly preserve the functioning of the remaining partial brain is described. It is argued that consciousness must gradually vanish in this case, not by fading but by becoming more and more partial. This supports the non-centralized nature of consciousness, tends to support the plausibility of physicalism against dualism, and provides the proper counterargument to Bishop’s contention. It also provides an avenue of attack against the “Fading Qualia” argument for those who remain dualists.
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
William E. Seager (1992). Metaphysics of Consciousness. Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Jean E. Burns (1996). The Possibility of Empirical Test of Hypotheses About Consciousness. In S. R. Hameroff, A. W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Towards a Science of Consciousness. MIT Press. 739--742.
Arthur S. Reber (1997). Caterpillars and Consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 10 (4):437-49.
Maurizio Negri (2010). A Probability Measure for Partial Events. Studia Logica 94 (2):271 - 290.
Robert Klee (2008). Physical Scale Effects and Philosophical Thought Experiments. Metaphilosophy 39 (1):89–104.
Shan Gao (2013). A Quantum Physical Argument for Panpsychism. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (1-2):1 - 2.
Olivier Houdé (2002). Consciousness and Unconsciousness of Logical Reasoning Errors in the Human Brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3):341-341.
Tim Maudlin (1989). Computation and Consciousness. Journal of Philosophy 86 (August):407-32.
Jeffrey Hershfield (2002). A Note on the Possibility of Silicon Brains and Fading Qualia. Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (7):25-31.
William J. Greenberg (1998). On Chalmers' "Principle of Organizational Invariance" and His "Dancing Qualia" and "Fading Qualia" Thought Experiments. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (1):53-58.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads57 ( #26,621 of 1,099,035 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #287,293 of 1,099,035 )
How can I increase my downloads?
|Start a new thread||There is 1 thread in this forum|
Hello. I would like to know what people think of this paper. It is primarily a defense of computationalism against Bishop's use of the Fading Qualia argument to back his claim that "Counterfactuals Cannot Count". It also constitutes an attack on the Fading Qualia argument in general, and can be taken to support an elimitivist view about qualia.
This short paper grew out of an email exchange which was really about mathematical platonism, in which I argued against the claim that partial brains (which can tend towards nonexistent brains) would have to have the same consciousness as a full brain. I wrote it up as an entry for the Consciousness Online web conference, but it was not chosen.
I would also appreciate any suggestions regarding whether and where to submit it for publication. Thanks.