Philosophical Studies (1):1-21 (2020)

Authors
Takuya Niikawa
Kobe University
Abstract
This paper aims to uncover where the disagreement between illusionism and anti-illusionism about phenomenal consciousness lies fundamentally. While illusionists claim that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, many philosophers of mind regard illusionism as ridiculous, stating that the existence of phenomenal consciousness cannot be reasonably doubted. The question is, why does such a radical disagreement occur? To address this question, I list various characterisations of the term “phenomenal consciousness”: (1) the what-it-is-like locution, (2) inner ostension, (3) thought experiments such as philosophical zombies, inverted qualia and Mary’s room, (4) scientific knowledge about secondary properties, (5) theoretical properties such as being ineffable and being intrinsic, and (6) appearance/reality collapse. Then I examine whether each characterization provides (i) a dubitable sense of phenomenal consciousness in which the existence of phenomenal consciousness can be reasonably doubted, (ii) an indubitable sense in which its existence cannot be reasonably doubted, or (iii) a gray sense in which it is controversial whether its existence can be reasonably doubted. By doing so, I show that there is no single sense of phenomenal consciousness in which illusionists and anti-illusionists disagree whether the existence of phenomenal consciousness can be reasonably doubted. I conclude that the disagreement between illusionists and anti-illusionists is fundamentally terminological: while illusionists adopt a dubitable sense of phenomenal consciousness, anti-illusionists adopt an indubitable sense of phenomenal consciousness. Because of the extreme vagueness and ambiguity of the term “phenomenal consciousness”, illusionists and anti-illusionists fail to see that they talk about different senses of phenomenal consciousness.
Keywords Consciousness  Phenomenal Consciousness  Illusionism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2021
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-020-01418-x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,694
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
The Meta-Problem of Consciousness.David Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):6-61.

View all 43 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Illusionism as a Theory of Consciousness.Keith Frankish - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):11-39.
Meta-Illusionism and Qualia Quietism.Pete Mandik - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):140-148.
Illusionism and Anti-Functionalism About Phenomenal Consciousness.D. Pereboom - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):172-185.
The Normative Challenge for Illusionist Views of Consciousness.Francois Kammerer - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
The Illusion of Illusionism.M. Nida-Rümelin - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):160-171.
The Hardest Aspect of the Illusion Problem - and How to Solve It.François Kammerer - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):124-139.
Illusionism and Givenness.J. L. Garfield - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):73-82.
Illusionism and the Epistemological Problems Facing Phenomenal Realism.Amber Ross - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):215-223.
What is at Stake in Illusionism?J. Tartaglia - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):236-255.
Phenomenal Consciousness and Intentionality.Dana K. Nelkin - 2001 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 7.
The Meta-Problem of Consciousness and the Evidential Approach.François Kammerer - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (9-10):124-135.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-01-24

Total views
157 ( #70,094 of 2,462,436 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
21 ( #38,378 of 2,462,436 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes