Nagel & Dennett
I. What’s consciousness
An organism has conscious mental states if and only if there is something that it is
like to be that organismsomething it is like for the organism.”
II. Main Theses
A. Physical Science Ignores Consciousness
Consciousness “is not captured by any of the familiar, recently devised reductive
analyses of the mental, for all of them are logically compatible with its absence.”
Behaviorism, functionalism, identity theory are all failures as far as explaining
consciousness ▯ its entirely possible to know all behaviors, functions, but not know its
conscious. Its conceivable for a creature to lack consciousness despites their behaviors
and functions are the same as ours.
(he just denies that it captures the mind entirely)
B. Difference with Ordinary Reduction
Why is it that the hands are reducible to properties microphysically.
Yellowness is an effect on the mind, but you can’t say that for consciousness, because
it is the effect on us itself.
A. Basic Idea
1.POV is tied to a subjective phenonmonon.
if you take out POV from a subjective phenomenon, then its not a sub
2. there’s something like for me to experience, then its subjective because its tied
to my subjective.
what things are like for a subj is clearly subjective.
▯what the world is like for me, its clearly tied to me, a subject, a POV.
Consciousness is essentially subjective, tied to a POV ▯ 3
4. try to get whats true regardless of the subjective you occupy, independently of
us, or our POV.
34 ▯5 C. Bat
Just as visual experience is very different than audio experiences, echolocation
experience will be diff than visual experience, the qualitative character of bat’s echo
experience ll be very diff than the sorts of experience we have.
No matter how much a blind person knows about the color experience, they can never
know what its like to see the color
Visual experience corresponds to discrimination you make. You see color 1,2,3 are blue
then for color 4, u say light blue
Outsider will know that your subjective phenomenal has changed when you say this set
of colors change to that set of colors
D. Brrief Objection
Objection: consciousness is subjective so these theories don’t work
first obj: first reply. Because i’m not similar enough to be a bat, i
Mysterianism: mindbody problem is beyond our grasp.
Physicalism: if you want to understand