Philosophical Studies 136 (2):123 - 165 (2007)

Authors
Pär Sundström
Umeå University
Abstract
Colours and consciousness both present us with metaphysical problems. But what exactly are the problems? According to standard accounts, they are roughly the following. On the one hand, we have reason to believe, about both colour and consciousness, that they are identical with some familiar natural phenomena. But on the other hand, it is hard to see how these identities could obtain. I argue that this is an adequate characterisation of our metaphysical problem of colour, but a mischaracterisation of the problem of consciousness. It mischaracterises the problem by presenting consciousness as more 'colour-like' than we have reason to take it to be. The real problem of consciousness is, I suggest, that almost nothing theoretically useful is known about this phenomenon at present. I also explore some implications of this perspective on the problem of consciousness. Given the shape of the problem, I argue that we can't rule out all forms of eliminativism about consciousness. Nor can we rule out that future research will close the ' explanatory gap' that consciousness gives rise to.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Religion   Philosophy of Mind   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-007-9084-1
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What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.

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