Monism vs. dualism.
Conscious vs. unconscious.
The "hard problem" and the "explanatory gap".
What is it like? Phenomenal consciousness. Qualia.
The zombie argument.
Functions of consciousness.
P = the conjunction of all microphysical truths about the universe.
Q = some phenomenal truth, e.g. that you are conscious.
(1) P & not-Q is conceivable.
(2) If P & not-Q is conceivable, P & not-Q is metaphysically possible.
(3) If P & not-Q is metaphysically, possible, materialism is false.
So (4), materialism is false.
Contrast: Patricia Churchland's Neurophilosophical Slant
1. What is the difference between conscious and unconscious thinking?
2. Is consciousness a legitimate topic for scientific discussion?
3. Is there really a hard problem of consciousness?
4. Could there be zombies?
5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of thinking consciously
6. Is consciousness a biological accident, or an evolved function?
7. Are conscious states effects, causes, or both?
Thagard, P. (forthcoming). Creative intuition: How EUREKA results from three neural mechanisms. In L. M. Osbeck & B. S. Held (Eds.), Rational intuition: Philosophical roots, scientific investigations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Includes sketch of new neural theory of consciousness.
Thagard, P. (forthcoming). Thought experiments considered harmful. Perspectives on Science.
Thagard, P. (forthcoming). Explanatory identities and conceptual change. Unpublished manuscript, University of Waterloo.
Computational Epistemology Laboratory.
This page updated Sept. 16, 2013