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  1. A Parsimonious Solution to the Hard Problem of Consciousness: Complexity and Narrative.Maxson J. McDowell - manuscript
    Three decades after Chalmers named it, the ‘hard problem’ remains. I suggest a parsimonious solution. Biological dynamic systems interact according to simple rules (while the environment provides simple constraints) and thus self-organize to become a new, more complex dynamic system at the next level. This spiral repeats several times generating a hierarchy of levels. A leap to the next level is frequently creative and surprising. From ants, themselves self-organized according to physical/chemical laws, may emerge an ant colony self-organized according to (...)
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  2. The Epistemic Value of Conscious Acquaintance: A Problem for Reductive Physicalism.Adam Pautz - manuscript
    We take it that conscious acquaintance has great epistemic value. I develop a new problem for reductive physicalism concerning the epistemic value of acquaintance. The problem concerns "multiple candidate cases". (This develops a theme of my paper *The Significance Argument for the Irreducibility of Consciousness", Philosophical Perspectives 2017.).
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  3. The ethical implications of panpsychism.Joseph Gottlieb & Bob Fischer - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    The history of philosophy is a history of moral circle expansion. This history correlates with a history of expansionism about consciousness. Recently, expansionism about consciousness has exploded: to invertebrates, to plants, to logic gates, and to fundamental entities. The last of these expansions stems from a surge of interest in panpsychism. In an exploratory spirit, this paper considers some largely uncharted territory: the ethical implications of panpsychism. Our conclusion is that while panpsychism probably does significantly expand our moral circle, it's (...)
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  4. Phenomenal consciousness and moral status: taking the moral option.Joseph Gough - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Intuitively, there is a close link between moral status and phenomenal consciousness. Taking the link seriously can serve as the basis of a proposal that appears to have a surprising number of theoretical benefits. This proposal is the moral option, according to which moral status is partly determinative of phenomenal consciousness, and phenomenal consciousness is sufficient for possession of a moral property I refer to as “moral status.” I argue for this view on the basis of its ability to shed (...)
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  5. Mood and Wellbeing.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The two main subjectivist accounts of wellbeing, hedonism and desire-satisfactionism, focus on pleasure and desire (respectively) as the subjective states relevant to evaluating the goodness of a life. In this paper, I argue that another type of subjective state, mood, is much more central to wellbeing. After a general characterization of some central features of mood (§1), I argue that the folk concept of happiness construes it in terms of preponderance of good mood (§2). I then leverage this connection between (...)
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  6. The Value of Consciousness to the One Who Has It.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In Geoffrey Lee & Adam Pautz (eds.), The Importance of Being Conscious. Oxford University Press.
    There is a strong intuition that a zombie’s life is never good or bad for the zombie. What explains this? In this paper, I consider five possible explanations of the intuition that a zombie’s life is never worth living, plus the option of rejecting the intuition. I point out the considerable costs of each option, though making clear which option strikes me as least problematic.
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  7. Metaethical Experientialism.Andrew Y. Lee - forthcoming - In Geoffrey Lee & Adam Pautz (eds.), The Importance of Being Conscious. Oxford University Press.
    I develop and defend "metaethical experientialism," the thesis that phenomenal facts explain certain kinds of value facts. I argue, for example, that anyone who knows what it’s like to feel extreme pain is in a position to know that that kind of experience is bad. I argue that metaethical experientialism yields genuine counterexamples to the principle that no ethical conclusion can be derived from purely descriptive premises. I also discuss the prospects for a pluralistic metaethics, whereby different metaethical theories hold (...)
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  8. The Sublime of Consciousness.Takuya Niikawa & Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
    The aesthetic tradition has identified as paradigmatically sublime such objects as imposing mountains and intense storms, as well as monumental art. But the tradition also acknowledges less paradigmatic cases, including sometimes mathematical structures or abstract concepts. In this paper, we argue that there is also a case for considering phenomenal consciousness – the experiential quality of subjective awareness – as a sublime phenomenon. One appreciates this, we argue, when one is struck by (fitting) awe upon contemplating (a) the perplexing existence (...)
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  9. Hedonic Consciousness and Moral Status.Declan Smithies - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
    Which beings have moral status? I argue that moral status requires some capacity for hedonic feelings of pleasure or displeasure. David Chalmers rejects this view on the grounds that it denies moral status to Vulcans, which are defined as conscious creatures with no capacity for hedonic feelings. On his more inclusive view, all conscious beings have moral status. We agree that only conscious beings have moral status, but we disagree about how to explain this. I argue that we cannot explain (...)
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  10. Die blinden Schatten von Narcissus.Roberto Arruda (ed.) - 2023 - Sao Paulo: Terra à Vista.
    Diese Arbeit wird wesentliche Fragen über das kollektive Imaginär und seine Beziehungen zur Realität und Wahrheit ansprechen. Zunächst sollten wir dieses Thema in einem konzeptionellen Rahmen ansprechen, gefolgt von der entsprechenden Tatsachenanalyse demonstrierbarer Verhaltensrealitäten. Wir werden nicht nur die Methodik, sondern vor allem die Prinzipien und Sätze der analytischen Philosophie annehmen. Die vorliegende Arbeit beruht analytischer Reflexion. Wir werden so umfassend und tief wie möglich spekulieren und die Ergebnisse unserer Gedanken ausdrücken. Trotz des multidisziplinären Charakters des Themas und der methodischen (...)
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  11. Consciousness, Attention, and the Motivation-Affect System.Tom Cochrane - 2023 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 30 (7):139-163.
    It is an important feature of creatures like us that our various motivations compete for control over our behaviour, including mental behaviour such as imagining and attending. In large part, this competition is adjudicated by the stimulation of affect — the intrinsically pleasant or unpleasant aspects of experience. In this paper I argue that the motivation-affect system controls a sub-type of attention called 'alerting attention' to bring various goals and stimuli to consciousness and thereby prioritize those contents for action. This (...)
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  12. The Neutrality of Life.Andrew Y. Lee - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (3):685-703.
    Some philosophers think that life is worth living not merely because of the goods and the bads within it, but also because life itself is good. I explain how this idea can be formalized by associating each version of such of a view with a function from length of life to the value generated by life itself. Then I argue that every version of the view that life itself is good faces some version of the following dilemma: either (1) good (...)
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  13. Pain in Pleocyemata, but not in Dendrobranchiata?Gary Comstock - 2022 - Animal Sentience 7.
    Crump et al.’s contribution to assessing whether decapods feel pain raises an important question: Is pain distributed unevenly across the order? The case for pain appears stronger in Pleocyemata than in Dendrobranchiata. Some studies report pain avoidance behaviors in Dendrobranchiata (Penaeidae) shrimp, but further studies are needed to determine whether the chemicals used are acting as analgesics to relieve pain, or as soporifics to reduce overall alertness. If the latter, the most farmed shrimp species may not require the same level (...)
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  14. Persistence Without Personhood: A New Model.Joseph Gottlieb - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (2):346-364.
    I am a person. But am I fundamentally and essentially a person? The animalist says no. So must the phenomenal continuity theorist, or so I will argue. Even if, contra animalism, we cannot survive zombification, being a subject of experience is not sufficient for being a person, and phenomenal continuity is not sufficient for our survival as the same person over time. These observations point the way to a positive account of personhood, and provide further insight into the conditions under (...)
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  15. Ethics Without Sentience: Facing Up to the Probable Insignificance of Phenomenal Consciousness.François Kammerer - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):180-204.
    Phenomenal consciousness appears to be particularly normatively significant. For this reason, sentience-based conceptions of ethics are widespread. In the field of animal ethics, knowing which animals are sentient appears to be essential to decide the moral status of these animals. I argue that, given that materialism is true of the mind, phenomenal consciousness is probably not particularly normatively significant. We should face up to this probable insignificance of phenomenal consciousness and move towards an ethic without sentience.
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  16. Phenomenal Grounds of Epistemic Value.Uriah Kriegel - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (12):e12888.
    Imagine a zombie world that looks “from the outside” just like ours, but where there is no phenomenal consciousness. Creatures that look like us move about just as we do and make the same noises we do, but nobody experiences or feels anything. How much of the epistemic value that’s exemplified in our world survives in that one? The short answer is: any kind of epistemic value that requires the occurrence of consciousness for its exemplification cannot exist in that world, (...)
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  17. Speciesism and Sentientism.Andrew Y. Lee - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):205-228.
    Many philosophers accept both of the following claims: (1) consciousness matters morally, and (2) species membership doesn’t matter morally. In other words, many reject speciesism but accept what we might call 'sentientism'. But do the reasons against speciesism yield analogous reasons against sentientism, just as the reasons against racism and sexism are thought to yield analogous reasons against speciesism? This paper argues that speciesism is disanalogous to sentientism (as well as racism and sexism). I make a case for the following (...)
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  18. The Special Value of Experience.Christopher Ranalli - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 1:130-167.
    Why think that conscious experience of reality is any more epistemically valuable than testimony about it? I argue that conscious experience of reality is epistemically valuable because it provides cognitive contact with reality. Cognitive contact with reality is a goal of experiential inquiry which does not reduce to the goal of getting true beliefs or propositional knowledge. Such inquiry has awareness of the truth-makers of one’s true beliefs as its proper goal. As such, one reason why conscious experience of reality (...)
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  19. Either/Or: Subjectivity, Objectivity and Value.Katalin Balog - 2020 - In John Schwenkler & Enoch Lambert (eds.), Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. Oxford University Press.
    My concern in this paper is the role of subjectivity in the pursuit of the good. I propose that subjective thought as well as a subjective mental process underappreciated in philosophical psychology – contemplation – are instrumental for discovering and apprehending a whole range of value. In fact, I will argue that our primary contact with these values is through experience and that they could not be properly understood in any other way. This means that subjectivity is central to our (...)
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  20. The Normative Challenge for Illusionist Views of Consciousness.Francois Kammerer - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Illusionists about phenomenal consciousness claim that phenomenal consciousness does not exist but merely seems to exist. At the same time, it is quite intuitive for there to be some kind of link between phenomenality and value. For example, some situations seem good or bad in virtue of the conscious experiences they feature. Illusionist views of phenomenal consciousness then face what I call the normative challenge. They have to say where they stand regarding the idea that there is a link between (...)
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  21. The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
    Recent work within such disparate research areas as the epistemology of perception, theories of well-being, animal and medical ethics, the philosophy of consciousness, and theories of understanding in philosophy of science and epistemology has featured disconnected discussions of what is arguably a single underlying question: What is the value of consciousness? The purpose of this paper is to review some of this work and place it within a unified theoretical framework that makes contributions (and contributors) from these disparate areas more (...)
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  22. The Epistemic Role of Consciousness.Declan Smithies - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    What is the role of consciousness in our mental lives? Declan Smithies argues here that consciousness is essential to explaining how we can acquire knowledge and justified belief about ourselves and the world around us. On this view, unconscious beings cannot form justified beliefs and so they cannot know anything at all. Consciousness is the ultimate basis of all knowledge and epistemic justification.
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  23. Is consciousness intrinsically valuable?Andrew Y. Lee - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):1–17.
    Is consciousness intrinsically valuable? Some theorists favor the positive view, according to which consciousness itself accrues intrinsic value, independent of the particular kind of experience instantiated. In contrast, I favor the neutral view, according to which consciousness is neither intrinsically valuable nor disvaluable. The primary purpose of this paper is to clarify what is at stake when we ask whether consciousness is intrinsically valuable, to carve out the theoretical space, and to evaluate the question rigorously. Along the way, I also (...)
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  24. Alien subjectivity and the importance of consciousness.Geoffrey Lee - 2018 - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block’s Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness. new york: MIT Press.
  25. The metaphysical implications of the moral significance of consciousness.Brian Cutter - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):103-130.
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  26. The significance argument for the irreducibility of consciousness.Adam Pautz - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):349-407.
    The Significance Argument (SA) for the irreducibility of consciousness is based on a series of new puzzle-cases that I call multiple candidate cases. In these cases, there is a multiplicity of physical-functional properties or relations that are candidates to be identified with the sensible qualities and our consciousness of them, where those candidates are not significantly different. I will argue that these cases show that reductive materialists cannot accommodate the various ways in which consciousness is significant and must allow massive (...)
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  27. Consciousness and Moral Responsibility.Neil Levy - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Neil Levy presents a new theory of freedom and responsibility. He defends a particular account of consciousness--the global workspace view--and argues that consciousness plays an especially important role in action. There are good reasons to think that the naïve assumption, that consciousness is needed for moral responsibility, is in fact true.
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  28. The Phenomenal Basis of Epistemic Justification.Declan Smithies - 2014 - In Mark Sprevak & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mind. London: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 98-124.
    In this chapter, I argue for the thesis that phenomenal consciousness is the basis of epistemic justification. More precisely, I argue for the thesis of phenomenal mentalism, according to which epistemic facts about which doxastic attitudes one has justification to hold are determined by non-epistemic facts about one’s phenomenally individuated mental states. I begin by providing intuitive motivations for phenomenal mentalism and then proceed to sketch a more theoretical line of argument according to which phenomenal mentalism provides the best explanation (...)
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  29. The Significance of Cognitive Phenomenology.Declan Smithies - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):731-743.
    This is the second in a series of two articles that serve as an introduction to recent debates about cognitive phenomenology. Cognitive phenomenology can be defined as the experience that is associated with cognitive activities, such as thinking, reasoning, and understanding. What is at issue in contemporary debates is not the existence of cognitive phenomenology, so defined, but rather its nature and theoretical role. The first article examines questions about the nature of cognitive phenomenology, while the second article explores the (...)
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  30. The mental lives of zombies.Declan Smithies - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):343-372.
    Could there be a cognitive zombie – that is, a creature with the capacity for cognition, but no capacity for consciousness? Searle argues that there cannot be a cognitive zombie because there cannot be an intentional zombie: on this view, there is a connection between consciousness and cognition that is derived from a more fundamental connection between consciousness and intentionality. However, I argue that there are good empirical reasons for rejecting the proposed connection between consciousness and intentionality. Instead, I argue (...)
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  31. Feeling pain for the very first time: The normative knowledge argument.Guy Kahane - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (1):20-49.
    In this paper I present a new argument against internalist theories of practical reason. My argument is inpired by Frank Jackson's celebrated Knowledge Argument. I ask what will happen when an agent experiences pain for the first time. Such an agent, I argue, will gain new normative knowledge that internalism cannot explain. This argument presents a similar difficulty for other subjectivist and constructivist theories of practical reason and value. I end by suggesting that some debates in meta-ethics and in the (...)
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  32. Hedonism reconsidered.Roger Crisp - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):619–645.
    This paper is a plea for hedonism to be taken more seriously. It begins by charting hedonism's decline, and suggests that this is a result of two major objections: the claim that hedonism is the 'philosophy of swine', reducing all value to a single common denominator, and Nozick's 'experience machine' objection. There follows some elucidation of the nature of hedonism, and of enjoyment in particular. Two types of theory of enjoyment are outlined-intemalism, according to which enjoyment has some special 'feeling (...)
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  33. Ethics: the nature of moral philosophy.G. E. Moore (ed.) - 2005 - New York : Oxford University Press,: Clarendon Press ;.
    G. E. Moore 's 1912 work Ethics has tended to be overshadowed by his famous earlier work Principia Ethica. However, its detailed discussions of utilitarianism, free will, and the objectivity of moral judgements find no real counterpart in Principia, while its account of right and wrong and of the nature of intrinsic value deepen our understanding of Moore 's moral philosophy. Moore himself regarded the book highly, writing late in his career, "I myself like [it] better than Principia Ethica, because (...)
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  34. The Significance of Consciousness.Charles Siewert - 1998 - Princeton University Press.
    "This is a marvelous book, full of subtle, thoughtful, and original argument.
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  35. The methods of ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1874 - Bristol, U.K.: Thoemmes Press. Edited by Emily Elizabeth Constance Jones.
    This Hackett edition, first published in 1981, is an unabridged and unaltered republication of the seventh edition as published by Macmillan and Company, Limited. From the forward by John Rawls: In the utilitarian tradition Henry Sidgwick has an important place. His fundamental work, The Methods of Ethics, is the clearest and most accessible formulation of what we may call 'the classical utilitarian doctorine.' This classical doctrine holds that the ultimate moral end of social and individual action is the greatest net (...)
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  36. Reflectivity as part of an Evolutionary Scenario for Self-Consciousness. Impact on Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness. (Presented at ASSC 24 2021).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    The performance of reflectivity of self-consciousness is traditionally associated to the subject turning its consciousness of objects to its own entity. But such process introduces concerns of circularity and of infinite regress. To avoid them philosophers have postulated a “pre-reflective self-consciousness” understood as a “state of consciousness that is immediately aware of itself, unmediated by reflections”. We propose here that an evolutionary scenario for self-consciousness can introduce reflectivity as a natural performance, bringing pre-reflective self-consciousness to be reconsidered. The evolutionary scenario (...)
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