Experiencers and the Ambiguity Objection


Authors
Justin Sytsma
Victoria University of Wellington
Abstract
It is often asserted that we should believe that phenomenal consciousness exists because it is pretheoretically obvious. If this is the case, then we should expect lay people to categorize mental states in roughly the way that philosophers do, treating prototypical examples of phenomenally conscious mental states similarly. Sytsma and Machery present preliminary evidence that this is not the case. They found that participants happily ascribed seeing red to a simple robot but denied that the robot felt pain. The most prominent response to this work has been the ambiguity objection, which charges that participants were interpreting ascriptions of seeing red in a purely informational way, such that their attributions of “seeing red” to the robot do not speak to the question of whether they recognize the phenomenality of this state. Peressini pushes an especially interesting version of the objection, presenting new empirical evidence and suggesting that lay people do in fact have a concept of phenomenality. In this paper, I respond to Peressini’s objections, and the ambiguity objection more generally, arguing that the new data does not undermine Sytsma and Machery’s conclusion.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
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: 42,401
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

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.David J. Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
What is It Like to Be a Bat.Thomas Nagel - 1974 - E-Journal Philosophie der Psychologie 5.
The Meta-Problem of Consciousness.D. J. Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (9-10):6-61.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Revisiting the Valence Account.Justin Sytsma - 2012 - Philosophical Topics 40 (2):179-198.
Folk Psychology and Phenomenal Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (8):700-711.
Attributions of Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - 2014 - WIREs Cognitive Science 5:635-648.
Self-Representationalism and the Explanatory Gap.Uriah Kriegel - 2011 - In J. Liu & J. Perry (eds.), Consciousness and the Self: New Essays. Cambridge University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-12-20

Total views
9 ( #755,256 of 2,255,323 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #997,996 of 2,255,323 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature