Beetles and consciousness

‘Suppose everyone had a box with something in it: we call it a “beetle”. No one can look into anyone else’s box, and everyone says he knows what a beetle is only by looking at his beetle.’ — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Sec. 293.

Behaviourism: People say there’s a beetle inside the box.

Cosmopsychism: […]

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With apologies to John Lennon

Imagine there’re no qualia It’s easy if you try No feel or what-its-likeness Just plain old cog sci

Imagine all the zombies Being just like us

Imagine there’re no inverts It isn’t hard to do Nothing for Mary to learn And no hard problem, too

Imagine all the people Being […]

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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 […]

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Is the Hard Problem an illusion?

Note: This is a revised version of a letter I sent to The Guardian, responding to a letter by Philip Goff, which itself commented on an article on consciousness by Oliver Burkeman. The letter was deemed too long for publication in the paper, so I am posting it here instead. It is written for […]

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Red pill or blue? Qualia or qualia representations?

Assume for the sake of argument that (1) qualia are real and nonphysical, (2) the physical world is closed under causation (and there’s no overdetermination), and (3) apart from qualia, the mind is physical.

Now, you have experiences with qualia. But this isn’t all. You are also aware of having qualia. You […]

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