Consciousness, Haecceitism, and Grounding

Abstract

This paper aims to demonstrate that the ontology of consciousness is consistent with both the modal and the metaphysical versions of Haecceitism. I examine the varieties of Haecceitism, and I specify the intended versions that the arguments will vindicate. I define the property of 'being purely qualitative', and examine its relation to the properties of phenomenal consciousness. I draw, inter alia, on Bayesian perceptual psychology, in order to specify the identity-conditions of phenomenal properties in detail. I provide two, abductive arguments for the claim that the identity-conditions on some individuals are metaphysically haecceitistic, in virtue of the relations that hold between those individuals and the phenomenal properties that they instantiate. The first argument is corroborated by empirical results concerning the phenomenological effects of attention. The second argument is corroborated by empirical results from the study of color in vision science. The arguments vindicate a version of Metaphysical Haecceitism, because the individuals are shown to be typed by the phenomenal properties that they instantiate, although quantification over the individuals is an ineliminable condition on their identity and distinctness. I provide, then, a regimentation of the extant proposals in the ontology of consciousness, using the logic of hyperintensional ground, as augmented by the Bayesian probability calculus. The hyperintensional regimentation vindicates a version of Modal Haecceitism, because the probabilistic ontological dependence of the parts of worlds on other parts thereof provides an ineliminable condition on the identity and distinctness of worlds.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
The character of consciousness.David John Chalmers - 2010 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Epiphenomenal qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.

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