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1.7e. Absent Qualia (Absent Qualia on PhilPapers)

See also:
Averill, Edward W. (1990). Functionalism, the absent qualia objection, and eliminativism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 28:449-67.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google)
Beckermann, Ansgar (1995). Visual information processing and phenomenal consciousness. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience. Ferdinand Schoningh.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: As far as an adequate understanding of phenomenal consciousness is concerned, representationalist theories of mind which are modelled on the information processing paradigm, are, as much as corresponding neurobiological or functionalist theories, confronted with a series of arguments based on inverted or absent qualia considerations. These considerations display the following pattern: assuming we had complete knowledge about the neural and functional states which subserve the occurrence of phenomenal consciousness, would it not still be conceivable that these neural states (or states with the same causal r
Block, Ned (1980). Are absent qualia impossible? Philosophical Review 89 (2):257-74.   (Cited by 37 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Block, Ned (1978). Troubles with functionalism. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325.   (Cited by 440 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: The functionalist view of the nature of the mind is now widely accepted. Like behaviorism and physicalism, functionalism seeks to answer the question "What are mental states?" I shall be concerned with identity thesis formulations of functionalism. They say, for example, that pain is a functional state, just as identity thesis formulations of physicalism say that pain is a physical state
Block, Ned & Fodor, Jerry A. (1972). What psychological states are not. Philosophical Review 81 (April):159-81.   (Cited by 121 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Bogen, J. (1981). Agony in the schools. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 11 (March):1-21.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Burwood, Stephen (1999). Philosophy of Mind. Mcgill-Queen's University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Machine generated contents note: 1 The Cartesian legacy -- The dominant paradigm -- Cartesian dualism -- The secret life of the body -- The Cartesian theatre -- The domain of reason -- The causal relevance of the mind -- Conclusion -- Further reading --2 Reductionism and the road to functionalism -- Causation, scientific realism, and physicalism -- Reductionism and central state materialism -- Problems with central state materialism -- Modified ontological physicalism: supervenience -- Modified explanatory physicalism: the disunity of -- science picture -- Supervenient causation -- Functionalism -- Further reading --3 Computational models of mind -- Intentionality -- Rationality: the calculative account -- The computational model of mind -- Objections to the language of thought (1) -- Objections to the language of thought (2) -- Conclusion -- Further reading --4 The content of thought -- The internalist picture -- Externalism -- Singular thoughts -- Dual component theories -- Naturalistic externalism -- Teleological theories -- Conclusion -- Further reading --5 Anti-reductionist alternatives -- Interpretationalism -- Real patterns -- Direct interpretationalism -- Psychological causalism -- Modified psychological causalism -- Third-personalism and perspectivity -- The world from the point of view of the subject -- Context and culture -- Conclusion -- Further reading --6 The content of experience -- Consciousness -- The knowledge argument -- Absent qualia and inverted spectra -- Functionalist responses -- Internal monitoring -- Intentionalism -- Form and content -- The private language argument -- Further reading -- 7 Subjects of experience -- Subjectivity -- The subjective viewpoint -- Intersubjectivity -- Simulation theory -- Normativity and normality -- Expression -- Self-knowledge -- Conclusion -- Further reading --8 The embodied subject -- Mentality -- Desire -- Beyond the Cartesian body -- Metaphysical questions: multiple narratives -- Further reading -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index.
Carleton, Lawrence Richard (1983). The population of china as one mind. Philosophy Research Archives 9:665-74.   (Annotation | Google)
Chalmers, David J. (1995). Absent qualia, fading qualia, dancing qualia. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience. Ferdinand Schoningh.   (Cited by 17 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: It is widely accepted that conscious experience has a physical basis. That is, the properties of experience (phenomenal properties, or qualia) systematically depend on physical properties according to some lawful relation. There are two key questions about this relation. The first concerns the strength of the laws: are they logically or metaphysically necessary, so that consciousness is nothing "over and above" the underlying physical process, or are they merely contingent laws like the law of gravity? This question about the strength of the psychophysical link is the basis for debates over physicalism and property dualism. The second question concerns the shape of the laws: precisely how do phenomenal properties depend on physical properties? What sort of physical properties enter into the laws' antecedents, for instance; consequently, what sort of physical systems can give rise to conscious experience? It is this second question that I address in this paper
Churchland, Paul M. & Churchland, Patricia S. (1981). Functionalism, qualia and intentionality. Philosophical Topics 12:121-32.   (Cited by 23 | Annotation | Google)
Conee, Earl (1985). The possibility of absent qualia. Philosophical Review 94 (July):345-66.   (Cited by 4 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Cuda, T. (1985). Against neural chauvinism. Philosophical Studies 48 (July):111-27.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Davis, Lawrence H. (1982). Functionalism and absent qualia. Philosophical Studies 41 (March):231-49.   (Cited by 7 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Dempsey, L. (2002). Chalmers's fading and dancing qualia: Consciousness and the "hard problem". Southwest Philosophy Review 18 (2):65-80.   (Google)
Doore, G. (1981). Functionalism and absent qualia. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (March):387-402.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Dretske, Fred (1996). Absent qualia. Mind and Language 11 (1):78-85.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Elugardo, Reinaldo (1983). Functionalism and the absent qualia argument. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (June):161-80.   (Google)
Elugardo, Reinaldo (1983). Functionalism, homunculi-heads and absent qualia. Dialogue 21 (March):47-56.   (Annotation | Google)
Hardcastle, Valerie Gray (1996). Functionalism's response to the problem of absent qualia. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (4):357-73.   (Google)
Hershfield, Jeffrey (2002). A note on the possibility of silicon brains and fading qualia. Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (7):25-31.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Hill, Christopher S. (1991). Introspection and the skeptic. In Sensations: A Defense of Type Materialism. Cambridge University Press.   (Annotation | Google)
Hill, Christopher S. (1991). The failings of functionalism. In Sensations: A Defense of Type Materialism. Cambridge University Press.   (Annotation | Google)
Jacoby, H. (1990). Empirical functionalism and conceivability arguments. Philosophical Psychology 2 (3):271-82.   (Annotation | Google)
Abstract: Functionalism, the philosophical theory that defines mental states in terms of their causal relations to stimuli, overt behaviour, and other inner mental states, has often been accused of being unable to account for the qualitative character of our experimential states. Many times such objections to functionalism take the form of conceivability arguments. One is asked to imagine situations where organisms who are in a functional state that is claimed to be a particular experience either have the qualitative character of that experience altered or absent altogether. Many of these arguments are surprisingly advanced by materialist philosophers. I argue that if the conceivability arguments were successful against functionalism, then they would be successful against their alternative materialist views as well. So the conceivability arguments alone do not provide a good reason for materialists to abandon functionalism. I further argue that functionalism is best understood to be an empirical theory, and if it is so understood then the conceivability arguments have no force against it at all. A further consequence that emerges is that on an empirical functionalist view, qualia, if real, are properties in the domain of psychology
Juhl, Cory F. (1998). Conscious experience and the nontrivality principle. Philosophical Studies 91 (1):91-101.   (Google)
Levine, Joseph (1988). Absent and inverted qualia revisited. Mind and Language 3:271-87.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Levin, Janet (1985). Functionalism and the argument from conceivability. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 11:85-104.   (Cited by 11 | Annotation | Google)
Lycan, William G. (1987). Homunctionalism and qualia. In Consciousness. MIT Press.   (Annotation | Google)
Mallah, Jacques (ms). The partial brain thought experiment: Partial consciousness and its implications.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The ‘Fading Qualia’ thought experiment of Chalmers purports to show that computationalism is very probably true even if dualism is true by considering a series of brains, with biological parts increasingly substituted for by artificial but functionally analagous parts in small steps, and arguing that consciousness would not plausibly vanish in either a gradual or sudden way. This defense of computationalism inspired an attack on computationalism by Bishop, who argued that a similar series of substitutions by parts that have the correct physical activity but not the correct causal relationships must likewise preserve consciousness, purportedly showing that ‘Counterfactuals Cannot Count’ and if so ruining a necessary condition for computation to meaningfully distinguish between physical systems. In this paper, the case in which a series of parts are simply removed and substituted for only by imposing the correct boundary conditions to exactly preserve the functioning of the remaining partial brain is described. It is argued that consciousness must gradually vanish in this case, not by fading but by becoming more and more partial. This supports the non-centralized nature of consciousness, tends to support the plausibility of physicalism against dualism, and provides the proper counterargument to Bishop’s contention. It also provides an avenue of attack against the “Fading Qualia” argument for those who remain dualists
Marras, Ausonio (1993). Materialism, functionalism, and supervenient qualia. Dialogue 32 (3):475-92.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Nussbaum, Charles (2003). Another look at functionalism and the emotions. Brain and Mind 4 (3):353-383.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Two chronic problems have plagued functionalism in the philosophy of mind. The first is the chauvinism/liberalism dilemma, the second the absent qualia problem. The first problem is addressed by blocking excessively liberal counterexamples at a level of functional abstraction that is high enough to avoid chauvinism. This argument introduces the notion of emotional functional organization (EFO). The second problem is addressed by granting Block's skeptical conclusions with respect to mentality as such, while arguing that qualitative experience is a concomitant of human mentality considered as a special case: a system with EFO implemented in an organic substrate
Pineda, David (2001). Functionalism and nonreductive physicalism. Theoria 16 (40):43-63.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Most philosophers of mind nowadays espouse two metaphysical views: Nonreductive Physicalism and the causal efficacy of the mental. Throughout this work I will refer to the conjunction of both claims as the Causal Autonomy of the Mental. Nevertheless, this position is threatened by a number of difficulties which are far more serious than one would imagine given the broad consensus that it has generated during the last decades. This paper purports to offer a careful examination of some of these difficulties and show the considerable efforts that one has to undertake in order to try to overcome them. The difficulties examined will concern only metaphysical problems common to all special science properties but not specific of mental properties. So, in proposing a functionalist version of Nonreductive Physicalism in what follows, I will not attempt to answer to well known objections such as the absent qualia argument and the like. This should not be interpreted as a limitation! in the scope of this work. On the contrary, in dealing with more general objections we will try to evaluate a position which entails (under common assumptions) the Causal Autonomy of the Mental, namely: Nonreductive Physicalism plus the causal efficacy of special science properties
Sayan, E. (1988). A closer look at the chinese nation argument. Philosophy Research Archives 13:129-36.   (Annotation | Google)
Shoemaker, Sydney (1981). Absent qualia are impossible -- a reply to Block. Philosophical Review 90 (October):581-99.   (Cited by 17 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Shoemaker, Sydney (1975). Functionalism and qualia. Philosophical Studies 27 (May):291-315.   (Cited by 95 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Tolliver, Joseph Thomas (1999). Sensory holism and functionalism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):972-973.   (Google)
Abstract: I defend the possibility of a functional account of the intrinsic qualities of sensory experience against the claim that functional characterization can only describe such qualities to the level of isomorphism of relational structures on those qualities. A form sensory holism might be true concerning the phenomenal, and this holism would account for some antifunctionalist intuition evoked by inverted spectrum and absent qualia arguments. Sensory holism is compatible with the correctness of functionalism about the phenomenal
Tye, Michael (2006). Absent qualia and the mind-body problem. Philosophical Review 115 (2):139-168.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: At the very heart of the mind-body problem is the question of the nature of consciousness. It is consciousness, and in particular _phenomenal_ consciousness, that makes the mind-body relation so deeply perplexing. Many philosophers hold that no defi nition of phenomenal consciousness is possible: any such putative defi nition would automatically use the concept of phenomenal consciousness and thus render the defi nition circular. The usual view is that the concept of phenomenal consciousness is one that must be explained by means of specifi c examples and associated comments
Tye, Michael (1993). Blindsight, the absent qualia hypothesis, and the mystery of consciousness. In Christopher Hookway (ed.), Philosophy and the Cognitive Sciences. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 11 | Annotation | Google)
Van Gulick, Robert (1999). Out of sight but not out of mind: Isomorphism and absent qualia. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):974-974.   (Google)
Abstract: The isomorphism constraint places plausible limits on the use of third-person evidence to explain color experience but poses no difficulty for functionalists; they themselves argue for just such limits. Palmer's absent qualia claim is supported by neither the Color Machine nor Color Room examples. The nature of color experience depends on relations external to the color space, as well as internal to it
van Gulick, Robert (1993). Understanding the phenomenal mind: Are we all just armadillos? In Martin Davies & Glyn W. Humphreys (eds.), Consciousness: Psychological and Philosophical Essays. Blackwell.   (Cited by 51 | Annotation | Google)
van Gulick, Robert (1989). What difference does consciousness make? Philosophical Topics 17 (1):211-30.   (Annotation | Google)
White, Nicholas P. (1985). Professor Shoemaker and the so-called `qualia' of experience. Philosophical Studies 47 (May):369-383.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google)