Do qualia exist? Depends on what we mean by “exist.”

The cognitive scientist, Hakwan Lau, whose work I've highlighted several times in the last year, has been pondering illusionism recently.  He did a Twitter survey on the relationship between the phenomenal concept strategy (PCS) and illusionism, which inspired my post on the PCS.  (Meant to mention that in the post, but it slipped.)  Anyway, he's … Continue reading Do qualia exist? Depends on what we mean by “exist.”

Massimo on consciousness: no illusion, but also no spookiness

Massimo Pigliucci has a good article on consciousness at Aeon.  In it, he takes aim both at illusionists as well as those who claim consciousness is outside the purview of science.  Although I'd say he's more worked up about the illusionists. However, rather than taking the typical path of strawmanning the claim, he deals with … Continue reading Massimo on consciousness: no illusion, but also no spookiness

Keith Frankish on the consciousness illusion

Along the lines of last night's post, Keith Frankish has an article at Aeon describing and defending the illusionist viewpoint, that phenomenal consciousness is an illusion.  It's an excellent introduction for anyone who isn't familiar with the basic argument. As noted before, I think the illusionists are right about the reality, but I’m not sure … Continue reading Keith Frankish on the consciousness illusion

The problems with panpsychism

Late last week, there was a clash between philosophers on Twitter over panpsychism.  This was followed by Philip Goff, an outspoken proponent of panpsychism, authoring a blog post arguing that we shouldn't require evidence for it.  This week, Susan Schneider did a (somewhat confused) Big Think video arguing that panpsychism isn't compatible with physics, and … Continue reading The problems with panpsychism

David Chalmers on the meta-problem of consciousness

David Chalmers is famous as the philosopher who coined the hard problem of consciousness, the idea that how and why consciousness is produced from a physical system, how phenomenal experience arises from such a system, is an intractably difficult issue.  He contrasts the hard problem with what he calls "easy problems" such as discriminating between … Continue reading David Chalmers on the meta-problem of consciousness

Is consciousness a thing or a process? Yes.

I came across this tweet by Amanda Gefter: https://twitter.com/AmandaGefter/status/1083749205531942913 William James, the founder of American psychology was an illusionist?  I only read the opening portions of the essay, but it appears so.  However, even in 1904, illusionism, the belief that consciousness isn't what it seems, was a very nuanced thing: To deny plumply that 'consciousness' … Continue reading Is consciousness a thing or a process? Yes.