Philosophical Psychology 31 (1):44-67 (2018)

Authors
François Kammerer
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Abstract
Illusionism about consciousness is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Embracing illusionism presents the theoretical advantage that one does not need to explain how consciousness arises from purely physical brains anymore, but only to explain why consciousness seems to exist while it does not. As Keith Frankish puts it, illusionism replaces the “hard problem of consciousness” with the “illusion problem.” However, a satisfying version of illusionism has to explain not only why the illusion of consciousness arises, but also why it arises with its particular strength: Notably, why we are so deeply reluctant to recognize the illusory nature of consciousness. Explaining our strong intuitive resistance to illusionism means solving what I call the “illusion meta-problem,” which I think is a part of the illusion problem. In this paper, I argue that current versions of illusionism are unable to solve the illusion meta-problem. I focus on two of the most promising recent illusionist theories of consciousness, and I show why they fail to explain the peculiar reluctance we encounter whenever we try to accept that consciousness is an illusion.
Keywords consciousness  eliminativism  illusionism  introspection  physicalism  qualia
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Reprint years 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2017.1388361
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References found in this work BETA

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David J. Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
Consciousness Explained.William G. Lycan - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):424.
Materialism and Qualia: The Explanatory Gap.Joseph Levine - 1983 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (October):354-61.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Meta-Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):6-61.
Representational Theories of Consciousness.William G. Lycan - 2000 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Does the Explanatory Gap Rest on a Fallacy?François Kammerer - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):649-667.

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