Escape from the mind: Mental life as social life

Clayton Morgareidge
Lewis & Clark College
Most contemporary philosophers of mind assume that consciousness is a natural phenomenon that ought to be subject to scientific explanation. Some think that some further advances in science and/or the philosophy of science will finally reveal to us the nature of consciousness. Others suggest that consciousness may lie beyond the reach of the human intellect, that it will always be a mystery. I argue that the mysteriousness of consciousness results from assuming it to be a natural phenomenon. The feature of consciousness that resists explanation—namely, its subjectivity—is not a natural phenomenon at all, but a social one. Subjectivity exists, and can be explained, only within the perspective of those who play a language-game, share a form of life, belong to a culture. I will try to show just how our social-discursive activity generates the subjective point of view and thus subjective consciousness.
Keywords Consciousness  Subjectivity
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What is It Like to Be a Bat.Thomas Nagel - 1974 - E-Journal Philosophie der Psychologie 5.

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