David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 22 (1):21 – 35 (2009)
The assumption that the concept of phenomenal consciousness is pretheoretical is often found in the philosophical debates on consciousness. Unfortunately, this assumption has not received the kind of empirical attention that it deserves. We suspect that this is in part due to difficulties that arise in attempting to test folk intuitions about consciousness. In this article we elucidate and defend a key methodological principle for this work. We draw this principle out by considering recent experimental work on the topic by Joshua Knobe and Jesse Prinz (2008). We charge that their studies do not establish that the folk have a concept of phenomenal consciousness in part because they compare group agents to individuals . The problem is that group agents and individuals differ in some significant ways in terms of functional organization and behavior. We propose that future experiments should establish that ordinary people are disposed to ascribe different mental states to entities that are given behaviorally and functionally equivalent descriptions.
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References found in this work BETA
David J. Chalmers (1995). Explaining Consciousness: The'Hard Problem'. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-219.
Daniel C. Dennett (2005). Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness. MIT Press.
Joshua Knobe & Jesse J. Prinz (2008). Intuitions About Consciousness: Experimental Studies. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):67-83.
Citations of this work BETA
Justin Sytsma (2010). The Proper Province of Philosophy. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):427-445.
Adam Arico (2010). Folk Psychology, Consciousness, and Context Effects. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):371-393.
Bryce Huebner, Michael Bruno & Hagop Sarkissian (2010). What Does the Nation of China Think About Phenomenal States? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):225-243.
Adam Arico, Brian Fiala, Robert F. Goldberg & Shaun Nichols (2011). The Folk Psychology of Consciousness. Mind and Language 26 (3):327-352.
Justin Sytsma (2010). Folk Psychology and Phenomenal Consciousness. Philosophy Compass 5 (8):700-711.
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Alvin Goldman (1993). Consciousness, Folk Psychology, and Cognitive Science. Consciousness and Cognition 2 (4):364-382.
Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery (2010). Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience. Philosophical Studies 151 (2):299-327.
Bryce Huebner (2010). Commonsense Concepts of Phenomenal Consciousness: Does Anyone Care About Functional Zombies? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (1):133-155.
Justin Sytsma, Does Heterophenomenology Concede Too Much? Experiments on the Folk Theory of Consciousness.
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