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Consciousness I 'Consciousness and Its Place in Nature' - Chalmers
? Reductive views of consciousness are incorrect
? The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of subjective experience
? A mental state is conscious when there is something it is like to be in that state
? A solution to the hard problem would involve an account of the relation between physical processes and consciousness, explaining on the basis of natural principles how and why it is that physical processes are associated with states of experience.
? A reductive explanation would do this wholly on the basis of physical principles that don't make any appeal to consciousness
? A materialist solution is one in which consciousness is itself seen as a physical process
? A nonmaterialist solution is a solution on which consciousness is seen as nonphysical (even if closely associated with physical processes)
? Argues against materialism o By the character of physical explanation, physical accounts explain only structure and function, where the relevant structures are spatiotemporal structures, and the relevant functions are causal roles in the production of a system's behaviour o Zombie argument: it is conceivable therefore possible that there be a system that is physically identical to a conscious being, but that lacks at least some of that being's conscious states o Knowledge argument: there are facts about consciousness that are not deducible from physical facts o All 3 arguments start by establishing an epistemic gap >
? Type-A materialism: there is no epistemic gap/can be easily closed
? Type-B materialism: there is an epistemic gap but there is no ontological one
? Type-C materialism: an epistemic gap exists but is closable in principle
? Type-D dualism: microphysics is not causally closed, and phenomenal properties play a causal role in affecting the physical world
? Type-E dualism: phenomenal properties are ontologically distinct from physical properties, and the phenomenal has no effect on the physical
Type-F monism: consciousness is constituted by the intrinsic properties of fundamental physical entities
? Also idealism, overdetermination
? Consciousness has a fundamental place in nature 'Quining Qualia' - Dennett
? Conscious experience has no properties that are special in any of the ways qualia have been supposed to be special
? "What counts as the way the juice tastes to x can be distinguished, one supposes, from what is a mere accompaniment, contributory cause, or by-product of this "central" way."
? "The mistake is not in supposing that we can in practice ever or always perform this act of purification with certainty, but the more fundamental mistake of supposing that there is such a residual property to take seriously, however uncertain our actual attempts at isolation of instances might be."
? We normally think in a confused and potentially incoherent way when we think about the way things seem to us. 'What Is It Like to Be a Bat?' - Nagel
? The subjective character of experience is not captured by any of the familiar reductive analyses of the mental, for all of them are logical compatible with its absence.
? Bat sonar, though clearly a form of perception, is not similar in its operation to any sense that we posses, and there is no reason to suppose that it is subjectively like anything we can experience or imagine.
? Our own experience provides the basic material for our imagination, whose range is therefore limited.
? This suggests there are facts that do not consist in the truth of propositions expressible in human language.
? If the facts of experience are accessible only from one point of view, then it is a mystery how the true character of experiences could be revealed in the physical operation of that organism. 'Naming and Necessity' - Kripke
? "[T]here is of course no obvious bar, at least (I say cautiously) none which should occur to any intelligent thinker on a first reflection just before bedtime, to advocacy of some identity theses while doubting or denying others." 329
? "[A] philosopher who wishes to refute the Cartesian conclusion
[that the mind is distinct from the body] must refute the Cartesian premise, and the latter task is not trivial."
? A: a particular pain sensation.
? B: the corresponding brain state (or the brain state some identity theorist wishes to identify with A).
"Prima facie, it would seem that it is at least logically possible that B should have existed (Jones's brain could have been in exactly that state at the time in question) without Jones feeling any pain at all, and thus without the presence of A."
? But the identity theorist must deny this: "If A and B were identical, the identity would have to be necessary. The difficulty can hardly be evaded by arguing that although B could not exist without A, being a pain is merely a contingent property of A, and that therefore the presence of B without pain does not imply the presence of B without A." "Can any case of essence be more obvious than the fact that being a pain is a necessary property of each pain?" 329-30 "The identity theorist who wishes to adopt the strategy in question must even argue that being a sensation is a contingent property of A, for prima facie it would seem logically possible that B could exist without any sensation with which it might plausibly be identified." 330 But this just seems implausible, though Kripke says a number of identity theorists argue for it. "A typical view is that being a pain, as a property of a physical state, is to be analyzed in terms of the 'causal role' of the state, in terms of the characteristic stimuli (e.g., pinpricks) which cause it and the characteristic behavior it causes." The causal role of the physical state is regarded by these theorists as being a contingent property of the state, and thus it is supposed to be a contingent property of the state that it is a mental state at all, let alone something as specific as a pain. This amounts to the view that the very pain I now have could have existed without being a mental state at all. (Note the converse problem: that it also seems that the pain could have existed without the corresponding brain state.) "If A=B, then the identity of A with B is necessary, and any essential property of one must be an essential property of the other." "Someone who wishes to maintain an identity thesis cannot simply accept the Cartesian intuitions that A can exist without B, that B can exist without A, that the correlative presence of anything with mental properties is merely contingent to B, and that the correlative presence of any specific physical properties is merely contingent to A." He or she must explain how these intuitions are illusory. What about type-type identity? This is the sort exemplified by the identification of pain with the stimulation of C-fibres. o Supposed to be analogous to the identification of heat with molecular motion, etc. o The usual view is that both of these identifications are contingent.
"[S]ince 'heat' and 'molecular motion' are both rigid designators, the identification of the phenomena they name is necesssary." But what about 'pain' and 'C-fibre stimulation'?
- 'Pain' is a rigid designator of the phenomenon it designates (if something is a pain, it is essentially so. Unlike e.g. 'the inventor of the telephone'.)
- He supposes 'C-fibre stimulation' is a rigid designator so the same goes for it.
- (But if 'C-fibre stimulation' is not a rigid designator, just replace it with one that is, or suppose it is used as a rigid designator in the present context.) 330-1
- "Thus the identity of pain with the stimulation of C-fibers, if true, must be necessary." 331
- "This means that the identity theorist is committed to the view that there could not be a C-fiber stimulation which was not a pain nor a pain which was not a C-fiber stimulation." He or she would now need to show that this is plausible.
- Kripke does not think it likely that the identity theorist will succeed in this.
- "I want to argue that, at least, the case cannot be interpreted as analogous to that of scientific identification of the usual sort, as exemplified by the identity of heat and molecular motion."
- If the references of the designators coincide only contingently, it is this fact which gives the original statement its illusion of contingency.
- "In the case of the apparent possibility that molecular motion might have existed in the absence of heat, what seemed really possible is that molecular motion should have existed without being felt as heat, that is, it might have existed without producing the sensation S, the sensation of heat." But is it analogously possible that a stimulation of C-fibres should have existed without being felt as pain?
? "Such a situation would be in flat out contradiction with the supposed necessary identity of pain and the corresponding physical state, and the analogue holds for any physical state which might be identified with a corresponding mental state."
? But, the identity theorist does not hold that the physical state merely produces the mental state, but he sees them as identical and so a fortiori necessarily co-occurrent.
? "In the case of molecular motion and heat there is something, namely, the sensation of heat, which is an intermediary between the external phenomenon and the observer." o "In the mental-physical case no such intermediary is possible, since here the physical phenomenon is supposed to be identical with the internal phenomenon itself."
? "Someone can be in the same epistemic situation as he would be if there were heat, even in the absence of heat, simply by feeling the sensation of heat; and even in the presence of heat, he can
have the same evidence as he would have in the absence of heat simply by lacking the sensation S." 331-2 "No such possibility exists in the case of pain and other mental phenomena." 332 "To be in the same epistemic situation that would obtain in the absence of pain is to have a pain; to be in the same epistemic situation that would obtain in the absence of pain is not to have a pain." "The apparent contingency of the connection between the mental state and the corresponding brain state thus cannot be explained by some sort of qualitative analogue as in the case of heat." Basically, "the notion of an epistemic situation qualitatively identical to one in which the observe had a sensation S simply is one in which the observer had that sensation." "In the case of the identity of heat with molecular motion the important consideration was that although 'heat' is a rigid designator, the reference of that designator was determined by an accidental property of the referent, namely the property of producing in us the sensation S." "Pain, on the other hand, is not picked out by one of its accidental properties; rather it is picked out by the property of being pain itself." "If any phenomenon is picked out in exactly the same way that we pick out pain, then that phenomenon is pain."
"It would seem, though, that to make the C-fiber stimulation correspond to pain, or be felt as pain, God must do something in addition to the mere creation of the C-fiber stimulation; He must let the creatures feel the C-fiber stimulation as pain, and not as a tickle, or as warmth, or as nothing, as apparently would have been within his powers."
? "If these things are in fact within His powers, the relation between the pain God creates and the stimulation of C-fibers cannot be identity." "In sum, the correspondence between a brain state and a mental state seems to have a certain obvious element of contingency."
? "We have seen that identity is not a relation which can hold contingently between objects."
? "Therefore, if the identity thesis were correct, the element of contingency would not lie in the relation between the mental and the physical states." 332-3
? "I suspect that the considerations given indicate that the theorist who wishes to identify various particular mental and physical events will have to face problems fairly similar to those of the type-type theorist; he too will be unable to appeal to the standard alleged analogues." 333
Admits that other arguments may be possible that he has not addressed here. 'Rigid Designators and Mind-Brain Identity' - Grover Maxwell
- Maxwell defends a mind-brain identity theory that is claimed to be immune to Kripke's objections. 341
- Nonmaterialist physicalism.
- Nonmaterialist: doesn't attempt to eliminate "or in any way deemphasize" the importance of the "truly mental".
- Physicalist: all of these genuinely mental entities are also genuinely physical, from which it follows that some genuinely physical entities are genuinely mental.
- This is obviously a consequence of any mental-physical identity thesis.
- "One of the main reasons that Kripke's arguments do not hold against this theory is that it incorporates a significant revision of our basic beliefs about the nature of "the physical."" But he claims the revision is not ad hoc.
? "The physical" is, roughly, the subject matter of physics i.e. tables, chairs, stars, human bodies, brains, etc. (not theories &
? Maxwell's big contention is that contemporary science gives us good reason to suppose that these are quite different from what common sense and traditional materialism take them to be. 342
? "A nonmaterialist physicalism is one that rejects those erroneous prescientific beliefs about physical entities that I shall argue are endemic to common sense and are carried over, to a great extent, into traditional and contemporary materilaism."
? He is going to assume that Kripke's "rigid designation" stuff is coherent.
? "A rigid designator is a symbol the referent of which remains the same in our discourse about all possible worlds provided two conditions obtain."
? 2 conditions:
? The language must remain the same (obvs trivial)
? The referent must exist in the possible world in question (this condition will obviously fail a lot).
? An example is proper names.
? If we don't want to talk in terms of possible worlds, we can say that a rigid designator has the same referent in every occurrence no matter whether the statement in which it occurs is about an actual or counterfactual state of affairs.
? If two (or more) rigid designators refer to the same thing, the things to which they refer are necessarily identical (identical in all possible worlds). 343
? A sketch of Kripke's argument against the mind-brain identity thesis:
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