Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Consciousness, philosophy: The experience of differences along with a knowledge about alternatives as opposed to purely automatic responses. See also intentionality, identity theory, other minds.

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.

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Consciousness/tradition: we experience our consciousness directly.
MillikanVsTradition: What kind of experience of intentionality is this? What kind of force should this argument have?
The force should be epistemic and rational.
Uncorrectability/MillikanVsTradition: the experience of consciousness (experience of intentionality) should have something infallible. We should also have an immediate understanding then. It should also assume the existence of intentionality and consciousness, otherwise the experience could not be "in" it.
Consciousness/Tradition: tradition assumes that consciousness is transparent. And therefore it cannot consist solely of external relations to the external world, and even if these are necessary.
MillikanVsVs: Suppose we reject this epistemically rationalist image, that is, we deny that there is "epistemically given". Then we could admit that people are sometimes aware of their thoughts. But we could maintain that this awareness is partly an external relation. The "inside" of this feeling (awareness)...
I 92
...does not guarantee that it is the inside of a true awareness relation.
Consciousness/Millikan: self awareness of consciousness is not an immediate object. There is nothing transparent in consciousness.
N.B./Millikan: that is disturbing because it follows - negative thesis: that it is possible that we do not know what we think! ((s) DavidsonVsHume: dito). That is, from the act of consciousness itself nothing is guaranteed.
Rationalism/rationalistic/Intentionality/Consciousness/MillikanVsRationalism/Millikan: the traditional rationalist view of consciousness and intentionality leads to a cul-de-sac one after another.
I 246
Consciousness/Classical Realism/Millikan: an act of becoming aware of an object is momentary and never has any relation to past or future consciousness acts.
Problem: how should a thing then be identified as the one from earlier. From this, classical realism makes a mystery.
Object/thing/classical realism: an object must then have no permanent existence.
Perception/Plato/Descartes/Locke/Millikan: Thesis: Nothing can be identified by perception alone, Recognition: is an act of pure thought in the reunion in the volatile flow of the things given to the senses.
Sense/Plato/Descartes/Locke: consisted then in the fact to direct the mind somehow to eternal objects.
Thinking/Plato/Descartes/Locke: then one could only have thoughts of eternal objects, or of the eternal nature of volatile objects.
Solution: qualities and species were assumed as the eternal objects of which one could directly think.
I 247
Problem: How should one explain that eternal objects (properties) are related to temporal states? How could involvement in the world be essential to it. Then one had to assume that there are properties and types that are not exemplified.

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.

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-10-18