Javascript Menu by
MindPapers is now part of PhilPapers: online research in philosophy, a new service with many more features.
 Compiled by David Chalmers (Editor) & David Bourget (Assistant Editor), Australian National University. Submit an entry.
click here for help on how to search

1.3f. Consciousness and Materialism, Misc (Consciousness and Materialism, Misc on PhilPapers)

See also:
Alter, Torin & Walter, Sven (eds.) (2007). Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: What is the nature of consciousness? How is consciousness related to brain processes? This volume collects thirteen new papers on these topics: twelve by leading and respected philosophers and one by a leading color-vision scientist. All focus on consciousness in the "phenomenal" sense: on what it's like to have an experience. Consciousness has long been regarded as the biggest stumbling block for physicalism, the view that the mind is physical. The controversy has gained focus over the last few decades, and phenomenal knowledge and phenomenal concepts--knowledge of consciousness and the associated concepts--have come to play increasingly prominent roles in this debate. Consider Frank Jackson's famous case of Mary, the super-scientist who learns all the physical information while confined in a black-and-white room. According to Jackson, if physicalism is true, then Mary's physical knowledge should allow her to deduce what it's like to see in color. Yet it seems intuitively clear that she learns something when she leaves the room. But then how can consciousness be physical? Arguably, whether this sort of reasoning is sound depends on how phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge are construed. For example, some argue that the Mary case reveals something about phenomenal concepts but has no implications for the nature of consciousness itself. Are responses along these lines adequate? Or does the problem arise again at the level of phenomenal concepts? The papers in this volume engage with the latest developments in this debate. The authors' perspectives range widely. For example, Daniel Dennett argues that anti-physicalist arguments such as the knowledge argument are simply confused; David Papineau grants that such arguments at least reveal important features of phenomenal concepts; and David Chalmers defends the anti-physicalist arguments, arguing that the "phenomenal concept strategy" cannot succeed
Baker, John R. (1946). A critique of materialism. Hibbert Journal 45:31-37.   (Google)
Balog, Katalin (2004). Review: Thinking about consciousness. Mind 113 (452).   (Google)
Abstract: Papineau in his book provides a detailed defense of physicalism via what has recently been dubbed the “phenomenal concept strategy”. I share his enthusiasm for this approach. But I disagree with his account of how a physicalist should respond to the conceivability arguments. Also I argue that his appeal to teleosemantics in explaining mental quotation is more like a promissory note than an actual theory.
Barnette, R. L. (1978). Grounding the mental. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 39 (September):92-105.   (Google | More links)
Bissett Pratt, James (1922). The new materialism. Journal of Philosophy 19 (13):337-351.   (Google | More links)
Fox, Michael (1978). Beyond materialism. Dialogue 17:367-70.   (Google)
Goldstein, Irwin (2004). Neural Materialism, Pain's Badness, and a Posteriori Identities. In Maite Ezcurdia, Robert Stainton & Christopher Viger (eds.), New Essays in the Philosophy of Language and Mind. University of Calgary Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Orthodox neural materialists think mental states are neural events or orthodox material properties of neutral events. Orthodox material properties are defining properties of the “physical”. A “defining property” of the physical is a type of property that provides a necessary condition for something’s being correctly termed “physical”. In this paper I give an argument against orthodox neural materialism. If successful, the argument would show at least some properties of some mental states are not orthodox material properties of neural events. I argue against the existence of a posteriori identities.
Hancock, Roger (1967). Materialism, privacy, and reference. Southern Journal of Philosophy 5:119-125.   (Google)
Hill, Christopher S. (1991). Sensations: A Defense of Type Materialism. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 70 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: This is a book about sensory states and their apparent characteristics. It confronts a whole series of metaphysical and epistemological questions and presents an argument for type materialism: the view that sensory states are identical with the neural states with which they are correlated. According to type materialism, sensations are only possessed by human beings and members of related biological species; silicon-based androids cannot have sensations. The author rebuts several other rival theories (dualism, double aspect theory, eliminative materialism, functionalism), and explores a number of important issues: the forms and limits of introspective awareness of sensations, the semantic properties of sensory concepts, knowledge of other minds, and unity of consciousness. The book is a significant contribution to the philosophy of mind, and has much to say to psychologists and cognitive scientists
Hopkins, James (online). Mind as metaphor: A physicalistic approach to the problem of consciousness.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Abstract: In what follows I present an approach to the problem of consciousness, which I take to be suggested by Wittgenstein's remarks on sensation. As sketched here, this consists of a number of empirical hypotheses about the mind and how we represent it, and a series of arguments that these hypotheses explain phenomena which constitute the problem of consciousness, in such a way as to render them neither mysterious nor problematic
Howell, Robert J. (online). The Hard Problem of Consciousness. Scholarpedia.   (Google)
Hubbard, John (ms). Parsimony and the mind.   (Google)
Hutto, Daniel D. & Stamenov, Maxim I. (eds.) (2000). Beyond Physicalism (Advances in Consciousness Research Series). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.   (Google)
Jacobs, Norman (1937). Physicalism and sensation sentences. Journal of Philosophy 34 (22):602-611.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Khatami, Mahmoud (2005). On the physicalistic approach to consciousness. Teorema 24 (1):35-51.   (Google)
Kirsh, Marvin E. (ms). Einstein and Mythology : The Lengthier the Relations in a Myth the Greater Its' Mass.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The theory of relativity (1) is considered form a perspective of folklore. Abstracted entities in the theory of relativity are stripped of units in order to provide explanation, to expose an ordinary meaning that employs a fulcrum for visual description. It is suggested that components of the theory’s construction are not only unusually compatible with religious and spiritual but are also unaccounted for scientifically; they may not render the expected power struggle of church doctrine with scientific notions but an opposite situation in which logical contradiction at the root level of physical meaning and symbolism is absent and might exist only with respect to active perceptual structuring, either functioning on the unknown or belief. This situation, is projected to exist in a volatile mythological form as a ‘fulcrum’ like bridge between points of dispersion in which the (invisible) entity of mass assumes an added social (or physical) weight imposed by the assumption of the existence of massless space; especially, should its’ logically non excludable converse situation, of exclusively “mass and force containing space” for all phenomenon, find future explanation and validity.
Livaditis, Miltos & Tsatalmpasidou, Evgenia (2007). A critical review of the physicalistic approaches of the mind and consciousness. Cognitive Processing 8 (1):1-9.   (Google | More links)
Lloyd, Peter (1993). Is the mind physical? Dissecting conscious brain tissue. Philosophy Now 6.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Locke, Don (1971). Must a materialist pretend he's anaesthetized? Philosophical Quarterly 21 (July):217-31.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Lund, D. H. (2000). Materialism and the subject of consciousness. Idealistic Studies 30 (1):7-23.   (Google)
Maxwell, Nicholas (2007). From Knowledge to Wisdom (Second Edition). Pentire Press.   (Google | More links)
McCauley, Robert N. (ed.) (1996). The Churchlands and Their Critics. Blackwell Publishers.   (Google)
McGlone, Michael (ms). Strong Impossibilities (Partial Draft 1).   (Google)
Abstract: A strong impossibility is a situation that is epistemically, but not metaphysically, possible. Opponents of strong impossibilities (including Chalmers, Jackson and Stalnaker) have argued that we have “overwhelming reason” to reject and “very little” or “no reason” to think that such impossibilities exist. This partial draft argues that there are strong impossibilities and (very briefly) discusses the manner in which the existence of strong impossibilities is related to some much-discussed arguments in the philosophy of conscious experience. (The full version of the paper will ultimately include a reply to the most significant argument against strong impossibilities, and a (slightly) more involved discussion of the relevance of all of this to issues in the philosophy of conscious experience.)
McLaughlin, Brian P. (2007). Type materialism for phenomenal consciousness. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell.   (Google)
Minsky, Marvin L. (online). Minds are simply what brains do.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Noren, Stephen J. (1973). Materialism, sentience and ontology. Metaphilosophy 4 (January):47-53.   (Google | More links)
Robinson, William S. (1982). Sellarsian materialism. Philosophy of Science 49 (June):212-27.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Rosenthal, David M. (2004). Subjective character and reflexive content. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):191-198.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I. Zombies and the Knowledge Argument John Perry
Ruediger, W. C. (1924). Monism and consciousness. Journal of Philosophy 21 (13):347-352.   (Google | More links)
Seager, William E. (1992). Metaphysics of Consciousness. Routledge and Kegan Paul.   (Cited by 22 | Annotation | Google)
Abstract: Metaphysics of Consciousness , a volume in the series Philosophical Issues in Science , discusses the philosophical issue of the nature of consciousness. William Seager argues that the purely physicalist or materialist view of human consciousness is by no means disproved and is in fact strongly supported by some developments in artificial intelligence. William Seager proceeds by addressing the problems of consciousness that remain even for a minimal physicalism. The particular modes of subjective consciousness that constitute experience threaten a paradigm of scientific understanding, labelled "physical resolution," that prospers in all other realms of inquiry. A phenomenon is physically resolved by demonstrating that its components are made up of purely physical parts and its causal efficacy is grounded in the physical properties of parts. The apparent inability to resolve physical consciousness leaves it not only inexplicable, but inexplicable in a way that threatens even a minimal physicalism. This book is distinctive in its emphasis on the legitimacy of inexplicability and its argument that consciousness transcends the paradigm of physical resolution. It will be of great use to advanced students and lecturers in philosophy
Sellars, Roy Wood (1944). Is naturalism enough? Journal of Philosophy 41 (September):533-543.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Skinner, Jane (2006). Beyond materialism: Mental capacity and naturalism, a consideration of method. Metaphilosophy 37 (1):74-91.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This article challenges the neo-Darwinist physicalist position assumed by currently prevalent naturalizing accounts of consciousness. It suggests instead an evolutionary (Deweyan) understanding of cognitive emergence and an acceptance of mental capacity as a phenomenon in its own right, differing qualitatively from, although not independent of, the physical and material world. I argue that if we accept that consciousness is an adaptation enabling survival through immediate individual intuition of the world, we may accept this metaphysics as a given. Methodological focus can then shift to investigating the, as yet untheorized, nature of consciousness itself as capacity/interconnectivity/potential. The article accepts Joseph Margolis's recent advocacy of a pragmatist approach that is "natural but not naturalizable" (Margolis 2002, 7), that is, an anti-reductionist as opposed to an eliminativist position, but it seeks to develop this position further and to give it new direction
Snowdon, Paul F. (1998). Strawson's agnostic materialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):455-460.   (Google | More links)
Sundström, Pär (2002). Nagel's case against physicalism. Sats 3 (2):91-108.   (Google | More links)
Trogdon, Kelly (2009). Daniel Stoljar, Ignorance and Imagination: The epistemic Origin of the problem of Consciousness. Philosophical Review 118 (2).   (Google)
Abstract: Stoljar’s book has three parts. In the first part, he discusses the “problem of experience”: though we have experiences, it isn’t clear that the experiential fits into the actual world, given that the actual world is fundamentally non-experiential. Stoljar focuses on what he views as one facet of the problem of experience, the “logical problem”, which consists of three jointly inconsistent claims: (T1) there are experiential truths; (T2) if there are experiential truths, every experiential truth is entailed by some non-experiential truth; and (T3) if there are experiential truths, not every experiential truth is entailed by some non-experiential truth. The logical problem is a problem, according to Stoljar, because each of T1–T3 is prima facie plausible. In the second part, Stoljar sets out his solution to the logical problem, the “epistemic view”, and defends it against various objections. According to the epistemic view, (i) we’re ignorant of a special type of empirical experience-relevant non-experiential truth; (ii) were we to come to understand truths of this type, we would see that the modal arguments against physicalism (i.e. the zombie and knowledge arguments) fail; and (iii) given (i) and (ii), we should reject T3 in order to resolve the logical problem. In the third part Stoljar argues that alternative solutions to the logical problem either fail or collapse into the epistemic view. While this is certainly the most careful and extended defense of the epistemic view to date (a view, by the way, in various forms, with which many seem to find sympathy), the epistemic view as Stoljar develops it faces a formidable problem. The central problem..
Vander Veer, Garrett (1976). Scientific materialism. Idealistic Studies 6 (January):1-19.   (Google)
Wilson, George M. (1979). Cheap materialism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4:51-72.   (Google)
Witonsky, Abe (2005). A problem with perspectival physicalism: A reply to Tye. Philosophia 32 (1-4):285-293.   (Google | More links)
Zemach, Eddy M. (1997). Can a scientist be a materialist? The Philosopher 85:12-16.   (Google)