What Has To Be Done

Robert Kirk

in Zombies and Consciousness

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199285488
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603150 | DOI:
 What Has To Be Done

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This chapter focuses on the nature of perceptual-phenomenal consciousness. This is the ‘what-is-it problem’, and contrasts strongly with the ‘what-is-it-like problem’. A solution to the latter cannot be found for Nagelian reasons, but that does not prevent an attempt to solve the what-is-it problem. Jackson’s Mary provides useful lessons: she could not get a priori from the physical and functional truths to a full knowledge-with-understanding of phenomenal truths, but she could get a priori from the physical truths to a knowledge of which phenomenal statements were true. The difference between Block’s ‘access consciousness’ and ‘phenomenal consciousness’ is no difficulty for the project; nor is a new science needed. In what follows, the moderate realism of everyday psychology will be useful.

Keywords: access consciousness; Block; Jackson’s Mary; Nagel; perceptual-phenomenal consciousness; realism of everyday psychology; what-is-it problem; what-is-it-like problem

Chapter.  9605 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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