This article proposes a methodological schema for engaging in a productive discussion of ethical issues regarding human brain organoids, which are three-dimensional cortical neural tissues created using human pluripotent stem cells. Although moral consideration of HBOs significantly involves the possibility that they have consciousness, there is no widely accepted procedure to determine whether HBOs are conscious. Given that this is the case, it has been argued that we should adopt a precautionary principle about consciousness according to which, if we are (...) not certain whether HBOs have consciousness—and where treating HBOs as not having consciousness may cause harm to them—we should proceed as if they do have consciousness. This article emphasizes a methodological advantage of adopting the precautionary principle: it enables us to sidestep the question of whether HBOs have consciousness and, instead, directly address the question of what kinds of conscious experiences HBOs can have, where the what-kind-question is more tractable than the whether-question. By addressing the what-kind-question, we will be able to examine how much moral consideration HBOs deserve. With this in mind, this article confronts the what-kind-question with the assistance of experimental studies of consciousness and suggests an ethical framework which supports restricting the creation and use of HBOs in bioscience. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Naïve realists hold that the phenomenology of veridical perceptual experience is in part constituted by environmental objects that the subject is perceiving. Although naïve realism is well-motivated by considering the cognitive and epistemic roles of the phenomenology of veridical perceptual experience, it is considered difficult to explain hallucinatory and imaginative experiences. This paper provides three arguments to address these explanatory problems systematically on behalf of naïve realism. First, I argue that the imagination view of hallucination (IH), which states that hallucinations (...) are involuntary sensory imagination, can be applied to total and neutrally matching hallucinations. Second, I argue for the conjunction of IH and the representational view of imagination (RI), according to which sensory imagination (including hallucination) is representational (shortly RIH). Third, I argue that naïve realism can coherently be integrated with RIH. I finally present an integrative model of perception, imagination and hallucination from the perspective of the combination of naïve realism and RIH. (shrink)
This paper proposes a classificatory framework for disjunctivism about the phenomenology of visual perceptual experience. Disjunctivism of this sort is typically divided into positive and negative disjunctivism. This distinction successfully reflects the disagreement amongst disjunctivists regarding the explanatory status of the introspective indiscriminability of veridical perception and hallucination. However, it is unsatisfactory in two respects. First, it cannot accommodate eliminativism about the phenomenology of hallucination. Second, the class of positive disjunctivism is too coarse-grained to provide an informative overview of the (...) current dialectical landscape. Given this, I propose a classificatory framework which preserves the positive-negative distinction, but which also includes the distinction between eliminativism and non-eliminativism, as well as a distinction between two subclasses of positive disjunctivism. In describing each class in detail, I specify who takes up each position in the existing literature, and demonstrate that this classificatory framework can disambiguate some existing disjunctivist views. (shrink)
This paper argues for the conjunctive thesis of naïve realism and phenomenal intentionalism about perceptual experiences. Naïve realism holds that the phenomenology of veridical perceptual experience is constituted by environmental objects that the subject perceives. Phenomenal intentionalism about perceptual experience states that perceptual experience has intentionality in virtue of its phenomenology. I first argue that naïve realism is not incompatible with phenomenal intentionalism. I then argue that phenomenal intentionalists can handle two objections to it by adopting naïve realism: the first (...) objection is that phenomenal intentionalism cannot explain how a veridical perceptual experience is directed at a particular object rather than any other object of the same kind. The second objection is that phenomenal intentionalism cannot explain how a perceptual experience is directed at a type of external object rather than other types of objects without appealing to a resemblance relation between a perceptual experience and an external object, which is considered to be problematic. (shrink)
There are many theories of the functions of consciousness. How these theories relate to each other, how we should assess them, and whether any integration of them is possible are all issues that remain unclear. To contribute to a solution, this paper offers a conceptual framework to clarify the theories of the functions of consciousness. This framework consists of three dimensions: (i) target, (ii) explanatory order, and (iii) necessity/sufficiency. The first dimension, target, clarifies each theory in terms of the kind (...) of consciousness it targets. The second dimension, explanatory order, clarifies each theory in terms of how it conceives of the explanatory relation between consciousness and function. The third dimension, necessity/sufficiency, clarifies each theory in terms of the necessity/sufficiency relation posited between consciousness and function. We demonstrate the usefulness of this framework by applying it to some existing scientific and philosophical theories of the functions of consciousness. (shrink)
This article aims to present a map of consciousness studies, which consists of a list of fundamental questions about consciousness and existing approaches to them. The question list includes five fundamental categories: Definitional, Phenomenological, Epistemological, Ontological, and Axiological. Each fundamental category is divided into more determinate questions. Existing approaches to each question are also classified into a few groups, presenting principal researchers who take each kind of approach. In the final section, I demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed map of (...) consciousness studies by applying it to examine the integrated information theory and the global workspace theory of consciousness. (shrink)
In defence of naïve realism, Fish has advocated an eliminativist view of hallucination, according to which hallucinations lack visual phenomenology. Logue, and Dokic and Martin, respectively, have developed the eliminativist view in different manners. Logue claims that hallucination is a non-phenomenal, perceptual representational state. Dokic and Martin maintain that hallucinations consist in the confusion of monitoring mechanisms, which generates an affective feeling in the hallucinating subject. This paper aims to critically examine these views of hallucination. By doing so, I shall (...) point out what theoretical requirements are imposed on naïve realists who characterize hallucinations as non-visual-sensory phenomena. (shrink)
The subjective features of psychological phenomena have been studied intensively in experimental science in recent years. Although various methods have been proposed to identify subjective features of psychological phenomena, there are elusive subjective features such as the spatiotemporal structure of experience, which are difficult to capture without some additional methodological tools. We propose a new experimental method to address this challenge, which we call the contrast-based experimental phenomenological method (CEP). CEP proceeds in four steps: (i) front-loading phenomenology, (ii) online second-personal (...) interview, (iii) questionnaire survey, and (iv) hypotheses testing. It differs from other experimental phenomenological methods in that it takes advantage of phenomenal contrasts in collecting phenomenological data. In this paper, we verify the validity and productivity of this method by applying it to binocular rivalry (BR). The study contributes to empirical research on BR in three respects. First, it provides additional evidence for existing propositions about the subjective features of BR: e.g. the proposition that the temporal dynamics of the experience depend upon subject-dependent parameters such as attentional change. Second, it deepens our understanding of the spatiotemporal structures of the transition phase of BR. Third, it elicits new research questions about depth experience and individual differences in BR. The presence of such contributions demonstrates the validity and productivity of CEP. (shrink)
Recent discussions of self-realization have devolved into unscientific theories of self-help. However, this vague and often misused concept is connected to many important individual and social problems. As long as its meaning remains unclear, it can be abused for social, political, and commercial malpractices. To combat this issue, this book shares perspectives from scholars of various philosophical traditions. Each chapter takes new steps in asking what the meaning of self-realization is–both in terms of what it means to understand who or (...) what one is, and also in terms of how one can, or should, fulfilll oneself. The conceptual elucidations achieved from both theoretical and practical perspectives allow for a more mature awareness of how to deal with discourses on self-realization and, in any case, can help to demystify the subject. (shrink)
This paper aims to reveal the source of the dispute between naive realism and intentionalism. To accomplish this task, it examines Adam Pautz’s challenge to naive realism, according to which a naive intuition about visual phenomenology, which is the only workable case for naive realism, is problematic. It argues that naive realists can address the challenge from Pautz by rejecting his assumption that naive realists and intentionalists agree on the nominal definition of visual phenomenology. The paper then argues that the (...) reason naive realists want to preserve the naive intuition is its irresistibility rather than its reliability. Given this, it concludes that the disagreement between naive realism and intentionalism is rooted in what philosophical projects they tackle. Naive realists are engaged in the philosophical project of delineating a coherent view of the actual world in which the irresistible naive intuition can be true; the intentionalist philosophical project differs from it. (shrink)
Smithies defends the phenomenal sufficiency thesis, according to which every perceptual experience provides immediate, defeasible justification to believe some content in virtue of its phenomenal character alone. This commentary challenges this thesis by presenting two kinds of knowledge, the possession of which seems necessary for perceptual justification.
SOCREAL 2013 : 3rd International Workshop on Philosophy and Ethics of Social Reality 2013. Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, 25-27 October 2013. Session 4 : Agency, Responsibility, and Intentionality.
Within the history of philosophy and across different cultures, few questions have been raised as frequently as what the realization of oneself means. Certainly, one of the very driving forces of philosophy seems to be the clarification of the self and its life. However, in spite of this, within recent years, there have been few serious critical and philosophical efforts to discuss what exactly it means to realize oneself. To this degree, there is a need to critically assess the meaning (...) of self-realization. What we propose to do, then, is to tackle this problem, from a variety of viewpoints. It is from this starting point that we hope to introduce the sprawling question of self-realization, as well as its connection to a variety of intellectual traditions. (shrink)