Something that it is like to be

‘[F]undamentally an organism has conscious mental states if and only if there is something that it is like to be that organism — something it is like for the organism.’ So writes Thomas Nagel in his famous 1974 paper ‘What is it like to be a bat?’ (p.436). It is a compelling thought and one that seems self-evidently true. (I remember coming up with the same idea when I was a teenager and thinking it a great insight, and I’m sure many others have had the same experience.) But is Nagel’s claim correct or might it be seductively wrong? It […]

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