The Semantics of ‘What it’s like’ and the Nature of Consciousness

Mind 125 (500):1161-1198 (2016)

Authors
Daniel Stoljar
Australian National University
Abstract
This paper defends a novel view of ‘what it is like’-sentences, according to which they attribute certain sorts of relations—I call them ‘affective relations’—that hold between events and individuals. The paper argues in detail for the superiority of this proposal over other views that are prevalent in the literature. The paper further argues that the proposal makes better sense than the alternatives of the widespread use of Nagel’s definition of conscious states and that it also shows the mistakes in two prominent suggestions about the definition when properly understood: first, that it is empty and uninformative, and second, that it leads directly to a substantial claim in the theory of consciousness, namely that an individual is in a conscious state only if the individual is aware of their being in that state.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/mind/fzv179
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 41,650
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

Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
What is It Like to Be a Bat.Thomas Nagel - 1974 - E-Journal Philosophie der Psychologie 5.
Context and Logical Form.Jason Stanley - 2000 - Linguistics and Philosophy 23 (4):391--434.
Consciousness and Experience.William Lycan - 1996 - Mind 107 (427):676-679.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

What Acquaintance Teaches.Alex Grzankowski & Michael Tye - forthcoming - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
Intellectualism and Testimony.Yuri Cath - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):1-9.
Knowing What It is Like and Testimony.Yuri Cath - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):105-120.
‘What It is Like’ Talk is Not Technical Talk.Jonathan Farrell - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (9-10):50-65.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Consciousness as Internal Monitoring.William G. Lycan - 1995 - Philosophical Perspectives 9:1-14.
A Theory of Consciousness.David M. Rosenthal - 1997 - In Ned Block, Owen J. Flanagan & Guven Guzeldere (eds.), The Nature of Consciousness. MIT Press.
Are Plants Conscious?Alexandra H. M. Nagel - 1997 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (3):215-230.
Consciousness as Sensory Quality and as Implicit Self-Awareness.Uriah Kriegel - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (1):1-26.
Consciousness is Not a Property of States: A Reply to Wilberg.Jacob Berger - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):829-842.
Consciousness and Mind.David Rosenthal - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Mental States, Conscious and Nonconscious.Jacob Berger - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (6):392-401.
A Critique of Dretske’s Conception of State Consciousness.A. Minh Nguyen - 2001 - Journal of Philosophical Research 26 (January):187-206.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-09-08

Total views
98 ( #78,269 of 2,250,038 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
22 ( #34,666 of 2,250,038 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature