Towards a scientific account of experience

Abstract
I outline and develop a particular physicalist perspective on qualia, and suggest that it may be the basis of a correct account of the relationship of mental states to the physical world. Assume that a quale is a perspective on a physical state in the organism – the reality as known as distinct from the reality as such – but that the perspective, though it entails irreducible experiential knowledge, has no physical substance over that encompassed in the physical state itself. Assume this physical state is also a brain state. The position is a useful one. First, reductionist physicalism is true, but experiential qualities are irreducible physical knowledge, and a required part of our physical world view. Second, experiences are not additional problems over those addressed externally, but only how these problems seem when known internally – an experience just is the physical state that underlies its external counterpart, and the same standard scientific account suffices to explain both, permitting a science of consciousness to develop by applying the same standard external–observer–based methods adopted in older scientific disciplines. Finally, challenges to physicalism associated with the ‘unbridgeable gap’, Leibniz's Law, Jackson's knowledge argument, and Chalmers' hard problem of consciousness are successfully countered.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,365
External links
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
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

13 ( #100,633 of 1,089,079 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #69,982 of 1,089,079 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.