Kinds and conscious experience: Is there anything that it is like to be something?

Metaphilosophy 39 (2):185–202 (2008)
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Abstract

In this article I distinguish the notion of there being something it is like to be a certain kind of creature from that of there being something it is like to have a certain kind of experience. Work on consciousness has typically dealt with the latter while employing the language of the former. I propose several ways of analyzing what it is like to be a certain kind of creature and find problems with them all. The upshot is that even if there is something it is like to have certain kinds of experience, it does not follow that there is anything it is like to be a certain kind of creature. Skepticism about the existence of something that it is like to be an F is recommended.

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Simon Evnine
University of Miami

Citations of this work

The Transcendental Argument of the Novel.Gilbert Plumer - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (2):148-167.

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References found in this work

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 2003 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
What is the Unity of Consciousness?Timothy J. Bayne & David J. Chalmers - 2003 - In Axel Cleeremans (ed.), The Unity of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.

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