'Thing-in-itself' - Exploring the relationship between phenomenal experience and the phenomenon of consciousness
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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If one were to provide a reductive explanation of phenomenal experience one would explain why there could be a phenomenal experience that identifies itself as an individual that possesses ‘consciousness’. Although not a requirement of reduction, such an explanation would be consistent with our understanding of evolution and, consequently, explain the physical origins and purpose of phenomenal experience. However, this explanation would not explain why a particular conscious individual identifies itself as itself rather than any other individual - Why is ‘my’ consciousness ‘mine’ (materially, or otherwise, irrespective of experiential detail and content) rather than anyone else? What is consciousness outside of phenomenal experience and phenomenal conceptualization? In this paper, I argue that the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics makes it a suitable candidate for exploring the answers to these questions.
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