Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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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 Summary Meta data
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)(1), Dennett (1991)(2), Lewis (1966)(3), Ryle (1949)(4).
Variants: Dretske (1995)(5), Rey (1982)(6), Rosenthal (1996)(7), Smart (1959)(8), White (1986)(9), Wilkes (1984)(10),
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 (1983 (11), 1993(12)), Loar (1990)(13).
Others who adopt physicalism without logical supervenience: Byrne (1993)(14), Flanagan (1992)(15), Hill (1991)(16), Horgan (1984b)(17), Lycan (1995)(18), Papineau (1993)(19), Tye (1995)(20) van Gulick (1992)(21).
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)(22), Honderich (1981)(23), Jackson (1982)(24), H. Robinson (1982)(26), W. Robinson (1988), Sprigge (1994)(27).
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.

1. D. M. Armstrong, A Materialist Theory of the Mind, London 1968
2. D. Dennett, Consciousness Explained, Boston, 1991
3. D. Lewis, An argument for the identity theory, Journal of Philosophy 63, 1966: pp.17-25
4. G. Ryle, The Concept of Mind, Oondon 1949
5. F. Dretske, Naturalizing the Mind, Cambridge 1995
6. G. Rey, A reason for doubting the existence of consciousness. In. R. Davidson, S. Schwartz and D Shapiro (Eds) Consciousness and Self-Regulation. Vol 3 New York 1982
7. D. M. Rosenthal, A theory of consciousness. In: N. Block, O. Flanagan and G. Güzeldere (Eds) The Natur of Consciousness, Cambridge 1996
8. J. C. Smart, Sensations and brain processes. Philosophical Review 68, 1959: pp.141-56
9. S. L. White, Curse of the qualia. Synthese 68, 1986: pp. 333-68
10. K. V. Wilkes, Is consciousness important? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35, 1984: pp. 223-43
11. J. Levine, Materialism and qualia. The explanatory gap. PhPacific Philosophical Quarterly 64, 1983: pp.354-61
12. J. Levine, On leaving out what it's like. In: M. Davies and G. Humphreys (Eds) Consciousness: Psychological and Philosophical Essays, Oxford 1993.
13. B. Loar, Phenomenal states. Philosophical Perspectives 4, 1990: pp. 81-108
14. A. Byrne, The emergent mind, Ph.D. diss. Princeton University, 1993
15. O. Flanagan, Consciousness reconsidered. Cambridge 1992
16. C. S. Hill, Sensations: A Defense of Type Materialism. Cambridge 1991
17. T. Horgan, Jackson on physical information and qualia. Philosophical Quarterly 34, 1984: pp. 147-83
18. W. G. Lycan, A limited defense of phenomenal information. In: T. Metzingwr (ed), Conscious Experience, Paderborn 1995.
19. D. Papineau, Philosophical Naturalism, Oxford 1993
20. M. Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness, Cambridge 1995
21. R. van Gulick, Nonreductive materialism and the nature of intertheoretical constraint. IN: A. Beckermann, H. Flohr and J. Kim (Eds) Emergence or Reduction? Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism, Berlin 1992
22. K. K. Campbell, Body and Mind, New York 1970
23. T. Hoderich, Psychological law-like connections and their problems. Inquiry 24, 1981: pp. 277-303
24. F. Jackson, Epiphenomenal qualia, Philosophical Quarterly 32, 1993: pp. 127-36
25. H, Robinson, Matter and Sense, Cambridge 1982
26. W. S. Robinson, Brains and People: An Essay on Mentality and Its Causal Conditions, Philadelphia 1988
27. T. L. S. Sprigge, Final causes. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 45, 1971: pp. 149-70

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 2020-03-30
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