Is a subject who undergoes an experience necessarily aware of undergoing the experience? According to the view here developed, a positive answer to this question should be accepted if ‘awareness’ is understood in a specific way, - in the sense of what will be called ‘primitive awareness’. Primitive awareness of being experientially presented with something involves, furthermore, being pre-reflectively aware of oneself as an experiencing subject. An argument is developed for the claims that pre-reflective self-awareness is the basis of our (...) understanding of what it is to be an experiencing subject and that that understanding reveals what being an experiencing subject consists in and what it is for experiences to belong to one single experiencer. Claim is used in an argument in favor of the so-called simple view with respect to synchronic and diachronic unity of consciousness. (shrink)
According to the experience property framework qualia are properties of experiences the subject undergoing the experience is aware of. A phenomenological argument against this framework is developed and a few mistakes invited by the framework are described. An alternative to the framework, the framework of experiential properties is presented and defended as preferable. It is argued that the choice between these two frameworks makes a substantial difference for theoretical purposes.
Free action and microphysical determination are incompatible but this is so only in virtue of a genuine conflict between microphysical determination with any active behavior. I introduce active behavior as the veridicality condition of agentive experiences and of perceptual experiences and argue that these veridicality conditions are fulfilled in many everyday cases of human and non-human behavior and that they imply the incompatibility of active behavior with microphysical determination. The main purpose of the paper is to show that the view (...) proposed about active behavior leads to a natural compromise between libertarianism and compatibilism, which avoids the flaws of both positions while preserving their central insights. (shrink)
We discuss two modal claims about the phenomenal structure of color experiences: (i) violet experiences are necessarily experiences of a color that is for the subject on that occasion phenomenally composed of red and blue (the modal claim about violet) and (ii) no subject can possibly have an experience of a color that is for it then phenomenally composed of red and green (the modal claim about reddish green). The modal claim about reddish green is undermined by empirical results. We (...) discuss whether these empirical results cast doubt on the other modal claims as well. We argue that this not the case. Our argument is based on the thesis that the best argument for the modal claim about violet is quite different from the best argument for the modal claim about reddish green. To argue for this disanalogy we propose a reconstruction of the best available justification for both claims. (shrink)
In the center of this paper is a phenomenological claim: we experience ourselves in our own doings and we experience others when we perceive them in their doings as active in the sense of being a cause of the corresponding physical event. These experiences are fundamental to the way we view ourselves and others. It is therefore desirable for any philosophical theory to be compatible with the content of these experiences and thus to avoid the attribution of radical and permanent (...) error to human experience. A theory of ‘subject causation’ according to which the active subject continuously and simultaneously causes physical changes is sketched. This account is—according to the phenomenological claim defended—compatible with the content of our daily experiences in doing something and in observing others in their doings and it has a number of further more theoretical advantages: it does not touch the autonomy of neurophysiology and it is compatible with a thesis of supervenience of the mental on the physical. It does however require a weak version of subject-body dualism. (shrink)
In my argument for subject body dualism criticized by Ludwig I use the locution of a genuine and factual difference between two possibilities. Ludwig distinguishes three interpretations of this locution. According to his analysis the argument does not go through on any of these interpretations. In my response I agree that the argument is unsuccessful if ‘factual difference’ is understood in the first way. The second reading—according to a plausible understanding—cannot be used for the argument either. The discussion of this (...) reading raises fundamental issues about different notions of propositional content. I disagree with Ludwig's diagnosis with respect to the third reading. Contrary to Ludwig's claim, there is no modal error involved if ‘factual difference’ is understood in the third way. Ludwig's objection to the argument according to its third reading can be answered by pointing out that every individual has its identity conditions necessarily. At this point fundamental and general metaphysical issues (concerning the link between identity conditions and the nature of ontological categories and between transworld and transtemporal identity) prove relevant. Finally, I make more explicit how ‘factual difference’ should be understood in the context of the argument (this is a fourth reading not considered by Ludwig) and explain how this reading strengthens the argument (compared to the third reading) by weakening its central premise. I conclude that Ludwig's attempt at undermining the argument from transtemporal identity for subject body dualism is unsuccessful. (shrink)
The article introduces two kinds of belief-phenomenal belief and nonphenomenal belief-about color experiences and examines under what conditions the distinction can be extended to belief about other kinds of mental states. A thesis of the paper is that the so-called Knowledge Argument should not be formulated-as usual-using the locution of `knowing what it's like' but instead using the concept of phenomenal belief and explains why `knowing what it's like' does not serve the purposes of those who wish to defend the (...) Knowledge Argument. The article distinguishes two rival accounts of the phenomenal/nonphenomenal distinction and explains how the result of the Knowledge Argument depends upon which of these accounts one wishes to accept. (shrink)
I propose a description of one aspect of the philosophical problem about the ontology of colors by formulating and motivating six plausible premises that seem to be hard to deny in isolation but that are jointly incoherent. I briefly sketch a solution and comment on the views presented in this volume from the perspective of the puzzle.
The article introduces two kinds of belief-phenomenal belief and nonphenomenal belief---about color experiences and examines under what conditions the distinction can be extended to belief about other kinds of mental states. A thesis of the paper is that the so-called Knowledge Argument should not be formulated---as usual---using the locution of ‘knowing what it’s like’ but instead using the concept of phenomenal belief and explains why ‘knowing what it's like’ does not serve the purposes of those who wish to defend the (...) Knowledge Argument. The article distinguishes two rival accounts of the phenomenal/nonphenomenal distinction and explains how the result of the Knowledge Argument depends upon which of these accounts one wishes to accept. (shrink)
I discuss three puzzles of probability theory which seem connected with problems of direct reference and rigid designation. The resolution of at least one of them requires referential use of definite descriptions in probability statements. I argue that contrary to common opinion all these puzzles are in a way still unsolved: They seem to exemplify cases in which a change of probabilities is rationally required, even though any specific change presupposes unjustified assumptions.
In November 2003, the University of Fribourg hosted a symposium on the ontology of colors. The invited participants included Justin Broackes, Alex Byrne, David Chalmers, Larry Hardin, Joe Levine and Barry Maund. The points of view presented by the participants in their thought-provoking papers were highly divergent. The presentation of each paper was followed by a long and intense discussion. Despite the divergence of the views proposed, the discussion during the symposium was highly focused. Several specific issues came up repeatedly (...) in the debate and illuminated the puzzle about the nature of colors in a thought provoking way from different angles. We include these papers in our brief description in the present introduction to present to the reader all the different viewpoints that have nourished the debate throughout the symposium. We are glad to be able to include one further invited paper by Jonathan Cohen in the present volume. In an attempt to transfer some of the atmosphere of the meeting to the reader and in order to make this collection still more stimulating we invited each participant to contribute comments on the other papers. (shrink)
The view is defended that the mere lack of language in a creature does not justify doubts about its capacity for genuine and complex thinking. Thinking is understood as a mental occurrent activity that belongs to phenomenal consciousness. Specific kinds of thinking are characterized by active or passive attending to the contents present to the subject, by the thinking being goal-directed, guided by standards of rationality or other standards of adequacy, and finally by being a case of critical reflection upon (...) one's own thinking. It is argued that none of these properties of thinking introduce the necessity that the thinking subject has a language except for, probably, the last one. There is reason to believe that the capacity to critically reflect upon one's own thought requires internal verbalization of the thoughts being criticized. The view that emerges is that we might share larger parts of our cognitive phenomenally conscious life with non-linguistic creatures than is commonly assumed. (shrink)
In dem Artikel wird die These vertreten, daß unser Begriff transtemporaler, personaler Identität keine Reduktion auf empirische Beziehungen zuläßt und auch eine Revision zugunsten eines reduzierbaren Begriffs personaler Identität mit tief verwurzelten begrifflichen Besonderheiten unseres Denkens in Konflikt geriete. Diese nicht-reduktionistische Auffassung sollte aber, so wird in dem Artikel argumentiert, mit einer These der nomologischen Abhängigkeit transtemporaler, personaler Identität von über die Zeit hinweg bestehenden empirischen, intrinsischen Beziehungen kombiniert werden. Eine solche Abhängigkeitsbehauptung stärkt den nicht-reduktionistischen Standpunkt: Die These der Möglichkeit (...) epistemisch völlig unzugänglicher Fakten, die aus dem nicht-reduktionistischen Standpunkt folgt, wird abgemildert .Allerdings handelt sich der Nichtreduktionist mit der Bereicherung seines Standpunkts um eine solche Supervenienzthese die prinzipielle Möglichkeit einer empirischen Erschütterung seiner Sichtweise ein. (shrink)
Unser natürliches Verständnis der transtemporalen Identität bewusstseinsfähiger Wesen unterscheidet sich grundlegend von unserem Verständnis der transtemporalen Identität von Dingen, die wir nicht für bewusstseinsfähig halten. Der Unterschied beruht letztlich auf begrifflichen Besonderheiten unseres selbstbezogenen Denkens. Wir haben ein von Kriterien der transtemporalen Identität freies Verständnis der eigenen transtemporalen Identität und diese Kriterienfreiheit überträgt sich auf unsere Gedanken über andere bewusstseinsfähige Wesen. Diese begrifflichen Besonderheiten werden beschrieben und als angemessen verteidigt. Ihre Angemessenheit impliziert allerdings einen Subjekt-Körper-Dualismus nach welchem erlebende Subjekte einer (...) eigenen ontologischen Kategorie zuzurechnen sind. (shrink)