Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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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.
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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).
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I 167
The ultimate choice is between the theories of the A type and the rest.
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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.
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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.
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I 218
If we could only figure out which theory of consciousness is better than its competitors, we would have already gained a lot.

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

Cha II
D. Chalmers
Constructing the World Oxford 2014


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> Counter arguments in relation to Theories



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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-27