The Relation of Consciousness to the Material World

Velmans, Max (1995) The Relation of Consciousness to the Material World. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Many of the arguments about how to address the hard versus the easy questions of consciousness put by Chalmers (1995) are similar to ones I have developed in Velmans (1991a,b; 1993a). This includes the multiplicity of mind/body problems, the limits of functional explanation, the need for a nonreductionist approach, and the notion that consciousness may be related to neural/physical representation via a dual-aspect theory of information. But there are also differences. Unlike Chalmers I argue for the use of neutral information processing language for functional accounts rather than the term "awareness." I do not agree that functional equivalence cannot be extricated from phenomenal equivalence, and suggest a hypothetical experiment for doing so - using a cortical implant for blindsight. I argue that not all information has phenomenal accompaniments, and introduce a different form of dual-aspect theory involving "psychological complementarity." I also suggest that the hard problem posed by "qualia" has its origin in a misdescription of everyday experience implicit in dualism.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:consciousness, Chalmers, dualism, reductionism, mind/body problem, dual-aspect, information, functionalism, complementarity, blindsight, cortical implant, qualia
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Philosophy > Epistemology
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
ID Code:246
Deposited By: Velmans, Professor Max,
Deposited On:13 Mar 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53


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