A quadrilemma for theories of consciousness

The Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming)
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In this paper, I argue that no theory of consciousness can simultaneously respect four initially plausible metaphysical claims – namely, ‘first-person realism’, ‘non-solipsism’, ‘non-fragmentation’, and ‘one world’ – but that any three of the four claims are mutually consistent. So, theories of consciousness face a ‘quadrilemma’. Since it will be hard to achieve a consensus on which of the four claims to retain and which to give up, we arrive at a landscape of competing theories, all of which have pros and cons. I will briefly indicate which kinds of theories correspond to the four horns of the quadrilemma.

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Christian List
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

References found in this work

The Meta-Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):6-61.
The character of consciousness.David John Chalmers - 2010 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Impossible Worlds.Francesco Berto & Mark Jago - 2019 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by Mark Jago.

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