The character of consciousness

New York: Oxford University Press (2010)
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What is consciousness? How does the subjective character of consciousness fit into an objective world? How can there be a science of consciousness? In this sequel to his groundbreaking and controversial The Conscious Mind, David Chalmers develops a unified framework that addresses these questions and many others. Starting with a statement of the "hard problem" of consciousness, Chalmers builds a positive framework for the science of consciousness and a nonreductive vision of the metaphysics of consciousness. He replies to many critics of The Conscious Mind, and then develops a positive theory in new directions. The book includes original accounts of how we think and know about consciousness, of the unity of consciousness, and of how consciousness relates to the external world. Along the way, Chalmers develops many provocative ideas: the " consciousness meter", the Garden of Eden as a model of perceptual experience, and The Matrix as a guide to the deepest philosophical problems about consciousness and the external world. This book will be required reading for anyone interested in the problems of mind, brain, consciousness, and reality



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The Epistemology of Phenomenal Belief

This chapter focuses on our knowledge of consciousness. The special phenomenal concepts of Chapter 8 lead to a distinctive class of “direct phenomenal beliefs,” which are argued to have many interesting epistemological properties. For a start, they support a sort of infallibility thesis: d... see more

Perception and the Fall from Eden

This chapter takes up the issue of the contents of experience where Chapter 11 leaves off. It argues that the account of Fregean content in Chapter 11 has some important inadequacies concerning its relation to phenomenology and leaves some crucial issues unexplained. It develops a further ... see more


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David Chalmers
New York University

Citations of this work

Materialism and the Moral Status of Animals.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):795-815.
Why Mary Left Her Room.Michaela M. McSweeney - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12727.
Consciousness and Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 560-585.

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