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Consciousness, Color, and Content / Edition 1

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Overview

Experiences and feelings are inherently conscious states. There is something it is like to feel pain, to have an itch, to experience bright red. Philosophers call this sort of consciousness "phenomenal consciousness." Even though phenomenal consciousness seems to be a relatively primitive matter, something more widespread in nature than higher-order or reflective consciousness, it is deeply puzzling.

In 1995 Michael Tye proposed a theory of phenomenal consciousness now known as representationalism. This book is, in part, devoted to a further development of that theory along with replies to common objections. Tye's focus is broader than representationalism, however. Two prominent challenges for any reductive theory of consciousness are the explanatory gap and the knowledge argument. In part I of this book, Tye suggests that these challenges are intimately related. The best strategy for dealing with the explanatory gap, he claims, is to consider it a kind of cognitive illusion. Part II of the book is devoted to representationalism. Part III connects representationalism with two more general issues. The first is the nature of color. Tye defends a commonsense, objectivist view of color and argues that such a view is compatible with modern color science. In the final chapter, Tye addresses the question of where on the phylogenetic scale phenomenal consciousness ceases, arguing that consciousness extends beyond the realm of vertebrates to such relatively simple creatures as the honeybee.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262700887
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/7/2002
  • Series: Representation and Mind series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Tye is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Ten Problems of Consciousness (1995),
Consciousness, Color, and Content (2000), and
Consciousness and Persons (2003), all published by the MIT
Press.
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Table of Contents

Preface
I Challenges to Reductive Theories of
Consciousness
1 Knowing What It Is Like: The Ability Hypothesis and
the Knowledge Argument
1.1 The Hypothesis Clarified
1.2 The Three L's (Levin, Lycan, and Loar): Some Unpersuasive
Objections to the Ability Hypothesis
1.3 The Problem as I See It
1.4 A Possible Revision to the Ability Hypothesis
1.5 More on Knowing What It Is Like and the Knowledge Argument
2 The Explanatory Gap as a Cognitive Illusion
2.1 Perspectival Subjectivity
2.2 Phenomenal Concepts
2.3 The Gap Examined
2.4 Remaining Worries
II Representationalism
3 Representationalism: The Theory and Its
Motivations
3.1 Transparency
3.2 Introspective Awareness of Phenomenal Character
3.3 The Intensionality of Phenomenal Discourse
3.4 PANIC
3.5 The Nature of Phenomenal Content
4 Blurry Images, Double Vision, and Other Oddities: New
Problems for Representationalism?
4.1 Levels of Content in Visual Experience
4.2 Replies to Counterexamples
4.3 Crossmodal Cases
5 On Moderation in Matters Phenomenal: Shoemaker and
Inverted Qualia
5.1 A Critique of Shoemaker's Theory
5.2 Inverted Spectrum Cases
6 Swampman Meets Inverted Earth
6.1 The Problem
6.2 Biting the Bullet on the Inverted Earth Objection: A Reply to
Block
6.3 The Real Trouble with Biting the Bullet
6.4 An Alternative Approach to Inverted Earth
III Color and Simple Minds
7 On Some Alleged Problems for Objectivism about
Color
7.1 The Commonsense View of Color
7.2 Three Theories of Color Consistent with Common Sense
7.3 A Physicalist Reply to Cosmides and Tooby
7.4 The Unitary/Binary Structure of theHues
7.5 Criticisms of Theories at Odds with Common Sense
8 The Problem of Simple Minds: Is There Anything It Is
Like to Be a Honey Bee?
8.1 The Phenomenal Consciousness of Simple Creatures
8.2 Some Disclaimers
References
Name Index
Subject Index
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