Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Bridge laws: provide relations between the terms of two theories, if one of the theories is to be reduced to the other. See also reduction, reductionism, theories.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 107
Bridge Laws/Explanation/Awareness/Chalmers: The fact that consciousness accompanies a given physical process is an additional fact, it is not explainable by telling the physical facts.
I 107
Bridge laws/Bridge principles/Chalmers: can they help in the explanation of consciousness? No, they are not reductive themselves. And the fact that we need them would just show again that consciousness cannot be explained reductively.
Physical Facts: nothing I've said here implies, incidentally, that the physical side would be irrelevant to consciousness! Perhaps they can also help to understand the structure of consciousness: patterns of similarity and dissimilarity of experiences.
I 108
VsChalmers: one could argue that bridge laws are always involved when it comes to higher and lower-level phenomena. In such cases, these bridge principles are not additional facts about the world.
1. ChalmersVsVs: We can refute this with arguments that come from the domain of twins and possible worlds with an identical physical structure: it is inconceivable that a being which physically resembles me would not be alive, yet it does not follow logically that it has an awareness, too.
2. ChalmersVsVs: There is no "inverted life" as there are inverted spectra.
3. If one has all the physical facts, one has also all biological ones.
4. With regard to life, there is no epistemic asymmetry.
5. Life is - unlike consciousness - analysable in functional terms.
I 237
Bridge Principles/Chalmers: Between physical processes and experience can serve as a criterion for the presence of consciousness in a system.
The bridge principles are then an epistemic lever, which, however, cannot be tested.
Bridge principles are not conclusions themselves from experiments. They preceed them and control them.
Cognition/Consciousness/Chalmers: according to my proposal, there is a coherence between these two and for this we need bridge principles: here the accessibility to global control.
The most common bridge principle is the possibility to report as a criterion for experience. Experience is conscious when you can report on it.
Problem: experience without language in animals. Solution: behavioral control, Logothetis and sound (1989) 1.

1. N. Logothetis and J. D. Schallk, Neuronal correlates of subjective visual perception, Science 245, 1989: pp 761-63.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Cha I
D. Chalmers
The Conscious Mind Oxford New York 1996

Cha II
D. Chalmers
Constructing the World Oxford 2014

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-07-16
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