Philosophy 11-26

Philosophy 11-26 - Philosophy 11/26/07 The what it's like...

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Philosophy 11/26/07 The what it’s like aspect of experience = the subjective character of experience (or, Qualia ) Qualia are accessible only from the first person perspective I thus have access to only my qualia Qualia are essentially involved in experience Another way to put it: Qualia are irreducible aspects of experience. They thus constitute a sui generis mental kind So, they aren’t reducible to either neuronal kinds or functional kinds (or any other physical kind) Nagel: We can’t have scientific knowledge of what it’s like , from the perspective of a bat , to have the experience of echolocation Why? Because facts about what it’s like have such and such an experience (i.e., facts about qualia) are not objective facts (objective facts: accessible to more than one being) Facts about qualia are subjective facts Summary of Nagel’s Main Argument 1. Some mental states (like conscious experiences) do not reduce to physical states. 2. So, reductionism about mental states is not true
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 1 taught by Professor Lewis during the Fall '08 term at UCSB.

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Philosophy 11-26 - Philosophy 11/26/07 The what it's like...

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