Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Theories: theories are statement systems for the explanation of observations, e.g. of behavior or physical, chemical or biological processes. When setting up theories, a subject domain, a vocabulary of the terms to be used and admissible methods of observation are defined. In addition to explanations, the goal of the theory formation is the predictability and comparability of observations. See also systems, models, experiments, observation, observation language, theoretical terms, theoretical entities, predictions, analogies, comparisons, evidence, verification, reduction, definitions, definability.

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 Excerpt Meta data

Books on Amazon:
David Chalmers
I 165
Conscious Experience/Consciousness/Theories/Chalmers: three types of theories:
A. Consciousness supervenes logically on the physical, for functional and eliminative reasons.
I 166
B. Consciousness does not supervene logically, there is no a priori implication from the physical to the phenomenal, but nevertheless materialism is true.
C. VsMaterialism and Vs Logical Supervenience.
A. Variants: Eliminativism, Behaviorism, Reductive Functionalism.
1. Physical and functional twins of us without conscious experiences are inconceivable.
2. Mary does not learn anything new when she sees red for the first time.
3. Everything about consciousness can be explained functionally.
Representative: Armstrong (1968), Dennett (1991), Lewis (1966), Ryle (1949).
Variants: Dretske (1995), Rey (1982), Rosenthal (1996), Smart (1959), White (1986), Wilkes (1984),
B: Variants: Nonreductive Materialism. The only non-contradictory variant assumes strong metaphysical necessity as decisive.
1. Zombies and inverted spectra are conceivable, but metaphysically impossible.
2. Mary learns something new when she sees red, but this can be explained with an analysis in the Loar style ((s) semantically).
3. Consciousness, cannot be explained reductively, but is nevertheless physical.
Representatives, not explicit, but approximate: Levine (183, 1993), Loar (1990).
Others who adopt physicalism without logical supervenience: Byrne (1993), Flanagan (1992), Hill (1991), Horgan (1984b), Lycan (1995), Papineau (1993), Tye (1995) van Gulick (1992).
C. Different Variations of Property Dualism. Materialism is assumed to be false, certain phenomenal or proto-phenomenal properties are assumed to be irreducible.
1. Zombies and inverted spectra are logically and metaphysically possible.
2. Mary learns something new, namely non-physical facts.
3. Consciousness cannot be explained reductively, but it can be explained non-reductively by additional natural laws.
Representatives: Campbell (1970), Honderich (1981), Jackson (1982), H. Robinson (1982), W. Robinson (1988), Sprigge (1994).
I 167
The ultimate choice is between the theories of the A type and the rest.
I 213
Theory/Chalmers: even if consciousness cannot be explained reductively, there can be a non-reductionist theory of consciousness. Such a theory will be similar to the theories that physics gives us about motion, space, and time. The existence of these entities is not derived from something more basic. Instead, laws are stated about them.
I 216
First Person/Chalmers: Problem: with the perspective of the first person, a number of contradictory theories are possible: e.g. Solipsism, panpsychism, etc.
I 218
If we could only figure out which theory of consciousness is better than its competitors, we would have already gained a lot.

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.

Cha I
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 2017-07-28