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1.4c. Searle's Biological Naturalism (Searle's Biological Naturalism on PhilPapers)

See also:
Armstrong, David M. (1991). Searle's neo-cartesian theory of consciousness. Philosophical Issues 1:67-71.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Beards, Andrew (1994). John Searle and human consciousness. Heythrop Journal 35 (3):281-295.   (Google | More links)
Burton, Robert G. (1995). Searle on rediscovering the mind. Man and World 28 (2):163-174.   (Google)
Code, Alan D. (1991). Aristotle, Searle, and the mind-body problem. In Ernest Lepore & Robert Van Gulick (eds.), John Searle and His Critics. Cambridge: Blackwell.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Collins, Corbin (1997). Searle on consciousness and dualism. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (1):15-33.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this article, I examine and criticize John Searle's account of the relation between mind and body. Searle rejects dualism and argues that the traditional mind-body problem has a 'simple solution': mental phenomena are both caused by biological processes in the brain and are themselves features of the brain. More precisely, mental states and events are macro-properties of neurons in much the same way that solidity and liquidity are macro-properties of molecules. However, Searle also maintains that the mental is 'ontologically irreducible' to the physical, a view which follows from his understanding of the status and nature of consciousness. Consciousness is essential to the mind; subjectivity is essential to consciousness; and no purely objective, physical description of consciousness could ever capture or explain its essentially subjective character. None the less, Searle maintains that irreducibility is a 'trivial' result of our 'definitional practices' and is entirely compatible with his theory. I contend that this latter claim is based on an equivocation: Searle's conclusion only seems to follow because he alters and trivializes what philosophers ordinarily mean by 'reduction'. I also maintain that Searle's position is reductionist in the ordinary, nontrivial sense. For this reason, his theory fails to accommodate the subjective character of consciousness and fails to solve the traditional mind-body problem. Finally, I briefly discuss Searle's claim that he is not an epiphenomenalist, and argue that given the assumptions of his view there is no interesting causal role for consciousness in the physical world
Corcoran, Kevin J. (2001). The trouble with Searle's biological naturalism. Erkenntnis 55 (3):307-324.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1993). Review of Searle, the rediscovery of the mind. [Journal (Paginated)] 90 (4):93-205.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Everyone agrees that consciousness is a very special phenomenon, unique in several ways, but there is scant agreement on just how special it is, and whether or not an explanation of it can be accommodated within normal science. John Searle's view, defended with passion in this book, is highly idiosyncratic: what is special about consciousness is its "subjective ontology," but normal science can accommodate subjective ontology alongside (not within) its otherwise objective ontology. Once we clear away some widespread confusions about what science requires, and dismiss the misbegotten field of cognitive science that has been engendered by those confusions, the subjective ontology of the mind, he claims, will lose its aura of unacceptable mystery
Garrett, Brian J. (1995). Non-reductionism and John Searle's The Rediscovery of the Mind. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1):209-215.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Hershfield, Jeffrey (1997). Searle's regimen for rediscovering the mind. Dialogue 36 (2):361-374.   (Google)
Hodgson, David (1994). Why Searle has not rediscovered the mind. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (2):264-274.   (Google)
Honderich, Ted (1995). Consciousness, neural functionalism, real subjectivity. American Philosophical Quarterly 32 (4):369-381.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Honderich, Ted (2001). Mind the guff. Journal Of Consciousness Studies 8 (4):62-78.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: (I) John Searle's conception of consciousness in the 'Mind the Gap' issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies remains short on content, no advance on either materialism or traditional dualism. Still, it is sufficiently contentful to be self-contradictory. And so his Biological Subjectivity on Two Levels, like materialism and dualism, needs replacing by a radically different conception of consciousness -- such as Consciousness as Existence. (II) From his idea that we can discover 'gaps', seeming absences of causal circumstances, in our experience of deciding and acting, Searle is led to the positing of a self and to mysterious causing. (III) In fact philosophers of determinism and freedom over three centuries have concerned themselves with what are now termed 'gaps'. Searle's advance is a useful terminological one. Compatibilist philosophers of freedom, contrary to what is said, have not missed any point at all. A successor to both Compatibilism and Incompatibilism is needed. (IV) Searle's previous account of deciding and acting in Biological Subjectivity on Two Levels does indeed fail because of its epiphenomenalism. (V) The culmination of his paper, his preferred hypothesis now about deciding and acting, is that down-up causation is true of it but not left-right causation. Quantum Theory as often interpreted doesn't work down-up but does work left-right. The hypothesis is entirely in the tradition of the Incompatibilist and Libertarian philosophers of determinism and freedom, whom Searle has joined, but is factually incredible
Jacquette, Dale (2002). Searle's antireductionism. Facta Philosophica 4:143-66.   (Google)
Kenyon, Timothy A. (1998). Searle rediscovers what was not lost. Dialogue 37 (1):117-130.   (Google)
Kim, Jaegwon (1995). Mental causation in Searle's biological naturalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1):189-194.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Moreland, James P. (1998). Searle's biological naturalism and the argument from consciousness. Faith and Philosophy 15 (1):68-91.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1991). Ontological subjectivity. Journal of Mind and Behavior 175:175-200.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Northoff, Georg & Musholt, K. (2006). How can Searle avoid property dualism? Epistemic-ontological inference and autoepistemic limitation. Philosophical Psychology 19 (5):589-605.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Searle suggests biological naturalism as a solution to the mind-brain problem that escapes traditional terminology with its seductive pull towards either dualism or materialism. We reconstruct Searle's argument and demonstrate that it needs additional support to represent a position truly located between dualism and materialism. The aim of our paper is to provide such an additional argument. We introduce the concept of "autoepistemic limitation" that describes our principal inability to directly experience our own brain as a brain from the first-person perspective. The neglect of the autoepistemic limitation leads to inferences from epistemic properties to ontological features - we call this "epistemic-ontological inference." Searle attempts to avoid such epistemic-ontological inference but does not provide a sufficient argument. Once the autoepistemic limitation is considered, epistemic-ontological inference can be avoided. As a consequence, one can escape traditional terminology with its seductive pull towards either dualism or materialism
Novotny, Daniel D. (2007). Searle on the unity of the world. Axiomathes 17 (1).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: According to mentalism some existing things are endowed with (subjectively) conscious minds. According to physicalism all existing things consist entirely of physical particles in fields of force. Searle holds that mentalism and physicalism are compatible and true
Ofsti, Audun (1994). Searle, Leibniz and 'the first person': A note on the epilogue of intentionality. In Analyomen 1. Hawthorne: De Gruyter.   (Google)
Olafson, Frederick A. (1994). Brain dualism. Inquiry 37 (2):253-265.   (Google)
Page, Sam (2004). Searle's realism deconstructed. Philosophical Forum 35 (3):249-274.   (Google | More links)
Palmer, Daniel E. (1998). Searle on consciousness: Or how not to be a physicalist. Ratio 11 (2):159-169.   (Google | More links)
Reber, Arthur S. (1997). Caterpillars and consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 10 (4):437-49.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Abstract: The dominant position in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) is computationalism where the operative principle is that cognition in general and consciousness in particular can be captured by identification of the proper set of computations. This position has been attacked from several angles, most effectively, in my opinion, by John Searle in his now famous Chinese Room thought experiment. I critique this Searlean perspective on the grounds that, while it is probably correct in its essentials, it does not go far enough. Quite simply, it runs afoul of the problem of emergentism. The proffered solution to this problem is that consciousness (or very rudimentary forms of it) needs to be viewed as an inherent property of organic form. While this recasting of the problem solves the emergentist dilemma it opens up a number of other issues. However, the new problems, unlike the old, appear in principle to be amenable to scientific analysis
Sabat, (1999). Consciousness, emergence and naturalism. Teorema 18 (1):139-153.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Searle, John R. (2007). Biological naturalism. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Searle, John R. (2002). Consciousness and Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 43 | Google | More links)
Abstract: One of the most important and influential philosophers of the last 30 years, John Searle has been concerned throughout his career with a single overarching question: how can we have a unified and theoretically satisfactory account of ourselves and of our relations to other people and to the natural world? In other words, how can we reconcile our common-sense conception of ourselves as conscious, free, mindful, rational agents in a world that we believe comprises brute, unconscious, mindless, meaningless, mute physical particles in fields of force? The essays in this collection are all related to the broad overarching issue that unites the diverse strands of Searle's work. Gathering in an accessible manner essays available only in relatively obscure books and journals, this collection will be of particular value to professionals and upper-level students in philosophy as well as to Searle's more extended audience in such fields as psychology and linguistics
Searle, John R. (2000). Mental causation, conscious and unconscious: A reply to Anthonie Meijers. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 8 (2):171-177.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Searle, John R. (1992). The Rediscovery of the Mind. MIT Press.   (Cited by 1413 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: The title of The Rediscovery of the Mind suggests the question "When was the mind lost?" Since most people may not be aware that it ever was lost, we must also then ask "Who lost it?" It was lost, of course, only by philosophers, by certain philosophers. This passed unnoticed by society at large. The "rediscovery" is also likely to pass unnoticed. But has the mind been rediscovered by the same philosophers who "lost" it? Probably not. John Searle is an analytic philosopher, with some of the same notions as the positivists and behaviorists who rejected consciousness and "lost" the mind in the first place, but he also does not sound like the kind of reductionist who would have joined that crowd. His views, indeed, are sensible enough, and some of his insights so important, that it is a shame to find his thought profoundly limited by some of the same mistakes and prejudices that ruined philosophy, and not just philosophy of mind, under the influence of those positivists and behaviorists. There is enough of genuine value in his treatment, that it can easily be taken up and, with relatively slight modification, added to what is of permanent value in the history of philosophy
Searle, John R. (2002). Why I am not a property dualist. Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (12):57-64.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I have argued in a number of writings[1] that the philosophical part (though not the neurobiological part) of the traditional mind-body problem has a fairly simple and obvious solution: All of our mental phenomena are caused by lower level neuronal processes in the brain and are themselves realized in the brain as higher level, or system, features. The form of causation is
Sinari, Ramakant (2001). Reflections on John Searle's philosophy of consciousness. Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 18 (3):91-106.   (Google)
Stoutland, Frederick M. (1994). Searle's consciousness: A review of John Searle's The Rediscovery of the Mind. Philosophical Books 35 (4):245-254.   (Google)
Taliaferro, Charles (2005). The give and take of biological naturalism: John Searle and the case for dualism. Philosophia Christi 7 (2):447-462.   (Google)
Warfield, Ted A. (1999). Searle's causal powers. Analysis 59 (1):29-32.   (Google | More links)
Weitze, Marc-Denis (1997). Searle, Edelman und die evolution Des bewusstseins: Mit neurobiologischen argumenten. In Analyomen 2, Volume III: Philosophy of Mind, Practical Philosophy. Hawthorne: De Gruyter.   (Google)