Relationalism and the problems of consciousness

Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):167-80 (2008)
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Recent attempts to show that functional processing entails the presence of phenomenal consciousness have failed to deliver the kind of answers to the “problems of consciousness” that anti-materialists insist the functionalist must provide. I will illustrate this by focusing on the claims that there is a special “Hard Problem” of consciousness and an “explanatory gap” between functional and phenomenal facts. I then argue that if we supplement the functionalist stories with a relationalist conception of phenomenal properties, we can begin to see the shape of a naturalistic theory of phenomenal consciousness that will provide intuitively compelling responses to these problems.



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Bill Fish
Massey University

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