The Causal Efficacy of Qualia

Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (11-12):11-12 (2011)
Authors
Mark Bradley
University of Leeds
Abstract
Qualia are the elements of phenomenal consciousness -- the raw feels which constitute what it is like to be in a conscious mental state. Some claim that qualia are epiphenomenal properties -- mere by-products of brain function which are causally inert. Though this is an implausible theory, it is difficult to show that it is false. Here I present an ad hominem argument -- the argument from coincidence -- which shows that epiphenomenalism about qualia is explanatorily deficient because it leaves unexplained a highly improbable state of affairs, and so we have good reason to suppose that qualitative properties must be causally efficacious, and must be so in virtue of their qualitative nature
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