The Newman Problem of Consciousness Science

Abstract

The Newman problem is a fundamental problem that threatens to undermine structural assumptions and structural theories throughout philosophy and science. Here, we consider the problem in the context of consciousness science. We introduce and discuss the problem, and explain why it is detrimental not only to structuralist assumptions, but also to theories of consciousness, if left unconsidered. However, we show that if phenomenal spaces, and mathematical structures of conscious experience more generally, are understood in the right way, the Newman problem does not arise. The upshot of our paper is that consciousness science needs to be careful in which definition of structure to consider, but if it is, the Newman problem disappears.

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Johannes Kleiner
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
How to define theoretical terms.David Lewis - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (13):427-446.
What is it Like to be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 2003 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.

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