Precis of The Significance of Consciousness
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Psyche 6 (12) (2000)
The aims of this book are: to explain the notion of phenomenal consciousness in a non-metaphorical way that minimizes controversial assumptions; to characterize the relationship between the phenomenal character and intentionality of visual experience, visual imagery and non-imagistic thought; and to clarify the way in which conscious experience is intrinsically valuable to us. It argues for the legitimacy of a first-person approach to these issues--one which relies on a distinctively first-person warrant for judgments about one's own experience. Thought experiments are employed in which one is asked to conceive of having various forms of blindsight, so as to make consciousness intellectually conspicuous by its absence in such hypothetical scenarios. It is argued that theories of mind that would commit us to denying either the conceptual or the metaphysical possibility of these scenarios neglect the occurrence of consciousness in this phenomenal sense
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