Gradualism, Bifurcation, and Fading Qualia

Analysis (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


When reasoning about dependence relations, philosophers often rely on gradualist assumptions, according to which abrupt changes in a phenomenon of interest can only result from abrupt changes in the low-level phenomena on which it depends. These assumptions, while strictly correct if the dependence relation in question can be expressed by continuous dynamical equations, should be handled with care: very often the descriptively relevant property of a dynamical system connecting high- and low-level phenomena is not its instantaneous behavior, but its stable fixed points (those in the vicinity of which it spends most of the time, after comparatively short transitory periods), and stable fixed points can change abruptly as a result of infinitesimal changes of the low-level phenomenon. We illustrate this potential gradualist trap by showing that Chalmers’s fading qualia argument falls in it.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Qualia.Torin Alter - 2003 - In L. Nadel (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group.
Testing robots for qualia.James H. Moor - 1988 - In Herbert R. Otto & James A. Tuedio (eds.), Perspectives on Mind. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Functionalism and qualia.Sydney Shoemaker - 1975 - Philosophical Studies 27 (May):291-315.
More troubles for epiphenomenalism.Hans Muller - 2008 - Philosophia 37 (1):109-112.
Quining diet qualia.Keith Frankish - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):667-676.
Should a materialist believe in qualia?David K. Lewis - 1995 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (1):140-44.
The possibility of absent qualia.Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (July):345-66.
Absent qualia, fading qualia, dancing qualia.David J. Chalmers - 1995 - In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience. Ferdinand Schoningh. pp. 309--328.
Mad Qualia.Umut Baysan - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):467-485.


Added to PP

162 (#93,051)

6 months
162 (#6,925)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Miguel Angel Sebastian
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Manolo Martínez
Universitat de Barcelona

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references