Filosofie Dnes 9 (2):4-22 (2017)

Tomas Hribek
Czech Academy of Sciences
[Précis of What It’s Like, or What It’s About? The Place of Consciousness in the Material World] The paper provides a summary of my recent Czech-language book, WHAT IT'S LIKE, OR WHAT IT'S ABOUT? THE PLACE OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE MATERIAL WORLD (2017). As suggested by the subtitle, the topic of the book is philosophy of consciousness. In the contemporary literature, most participants have in mind the so-called phenomenal characters, and the main issue debated between dualists and materialists is whether these characters are material properties. Even the Russellian monists, who otherwise present themselves as an alternative to both dualism and materialism, accept the concept of phenomenal character. I express doubts about this concept in chapter six of my book; accordingly, I allot most space in the paper to the material from this chapter. Despite the majority opinion, I believe that no agreement has in fact been reached concerning the content of this concept. Similarly to Daniel Dennett, I recommend trying to develop a philosophy of consciousness without the concept of phenomenal character. As is well known, Dennett – to some extent similarly to the aforementioned materialists – proposes a reduction of consciousness in terms of representation. However, I wound up rather more skeptical than Dennett, since following up on my previous book, THE METAPHYSICS OF ANTI-INDIVIDUALISMU (2008), I claim that a naturalistic theory of representation is incoherent.
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References found in this work BETA

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
Consciousness Explained.Daniel C. Dennett - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4):905-910.

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