Consciousness

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MIT Press, 1995 - Philosophy - 165 pages
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What is consciousness? The answer to this question has been pondered upon, grappled with, and argued about since time immemorial. There has never been an answer that achieved consensus; certainly philosophers have never agreed.In this book, William Lycan defends an original theory of mind that he calls "homuncular functionalism." He argues that human beings are "functionally organized information-processing systems" who have no non-physical parts or properties. However, Lycan also recognizes the subjective phenomenal qualities of mental states and events, and an important sense in which mind is "over and above" mere chemical matter. Along the way, Lycan reviews some diverse philosophical accounts of consciousness-including those of Kripke, Block, Campbell, Sellars, and Casta eda, among others-and demonstrates how what is valuable in each opposing view can be accommodated within his own theory.

Consciousness is Lycan's most ambitious book, one that has engaged his attention for years. He handles a fascinating subject in a unique and undoubtedly controversial manner that will make this book a mainstay in the field of philosophy of mind.

Consciousness, with these earlier works, is a Bradford Book.

 

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Contents

Chapter
9
Chapter 3
23
Chapter 4
37
Chapter 5
49
Diagnosis
50
The Cases
52
The Problem of the Inputs and the Outputs
53
Two Alternative Strategies
61
Chapter 8
83
Adverbialism Syntax and Semantics
85
Phenomenal Individuals from a Materialist Point of View
88
Objections
89
Sellars Grain Argument
93
Sensa
97
Argument G and Science
100
Sensa and Microphysics
103

Homunctionalism against Commonsense Relationalism
63
Chapter 6
71
Awareness
72
Chapter 7
75
What Is It Like to Be an Unsound Argument against Materialism?
76
The Move to Funny Facts
77
An Argument against Perspectival Facts
78
Events and the Banana Peel Again
79
The Rest of Subjectivity
80
Possibilities for Sellarsian Color in the Scientific Image
110
Chapter 9
113
Soft Determinism
115
Objections and Replies
117
The Spontaneity of Consciousness
120
Epilogue
121
References
151
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

William G. Lycan is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina. He is the author of Logical Form in Natural Language and, with Steven Boer, Knowing Who.

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