FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 4 | 5 ||

«DON’T PANIC: Tye’s intentionalist theory of consciousness* Alex Byrne, MIT Consciousness, Color, and Content is a significant contribution to our ...»

-- [ Page 6 ] --

Although this may be an insight, it is not of much help in furthering reductive or physicalistic ambitions. However, if one adopts some sort of Humean bundle-theory of the self, as I suspect Tye tacitly does, then the problematic notion of the conscious subject herself may be cashed out in terms of certain privileged mental states.

Specifically, in Tye’s theory, it’s seeming to the subject that p is reduced to the self-free fact that a state with the content that p “stands ready and available to make a direct impact on beliefs/desires”. As we have seen, this does not seem to work. But the fundamental problem is with Tye’s reductive ambitions, not with the basic insight about blindsight.

Second, N. Here Tye’s insight is that a theory of consciousness does need a special kind of content. Nonconceptual content, though, is the wrong candidate. It is supposed to be content that cannot be believed (and therefore cannot be linguistically expressed). What we want instead is content that can be believed, but that cannot be linguistically expressed. (See again the discussion of Heck in section 6.2.) I shall now outline an argument for this claim, based on Jackson’s (1982) knowledge argument together with a perceptive remark of Lewis’s.36 Assume, first, that 36 For another way of approaching the same conclusion, see Byrne forthcoming; an important related

–  –  –

knowing what it’s like to enjoy an experience is propositional knowledge.37 When blackand-white Mary sees a ripe tomato for the first time, and thereby comes to know what it’s like to see red, she comes to know some proposition. If one were forced to choose a sentence to express this proposition, a plausible candidate would be ‘Seeing red is like this’, where we imagine Mary uttering this sentence while looking at a tomato. So, assuming for the moment that the proposition Mary learns is linguistically expressible,

we may write it thus:

–  –  –

Essentially the same piece of knowledge can be put in helpful jargon as follows:

(M2) Having an experience that represents objects as red is like this.

For an intentionalist like Tye, Mary comes to know M2, not by directly introspecting her experience, but by attending to the colors in the scene before her eyes: “Our attention goes outside in the visual case, for example, not to the experience inside our heads. We attend to one thing—the external surface and qualities—and yet thereby we are aware of something else, the ‘feel’ of our experience” (2000, 51-2).38 In other words, Mary is in a

position to know M2 once she knows:

(M3) An experience that represents objects as red represents them like this.

37 See, for example, Lycan 1996, ch. 5; a closely related claim, that “knowing how” is a species of “knowing that”, is argued for in Stanley and Williamson 2001. Tye himself holds that “knowing what it is like is best captured by a disjunction of introspective knowing-that and knowing-how” (2000, 16).

–  –  –

Note that M 3 is a proposition that specifies the distinctive way red objects are represented in visual experience; that is, it specifies the content distinctive of experiences as of red objects. (Of course, an anti-intentionalist would deny that knowing M3 puts Mary in a position to know what it’s like to see red.) Now to Lewis’s perceptive remark: “Our intuitive starting point wasn’t just that physics lessons couldn’t help the inexperienced to know what it’s like. It was that lessons couldn’t help” (1988, 281). Therefore, since knowing M3 would help imprisoned Mary to know what it’s like, the proposition M3 cannot be taught by a lesson.

But what is a “lesson”? In one sense, showing Mary a ripe tomato is giving her a lesson, but obviously that is not what Lewis means. Instead, it’s clear that he means linguistic lessons. No matter how many books imprisoned Mary reads, and lectures she hears, she won’t come to know what it’s like to see red. And this is not because there are some sentences that Mary can’t understand. Although she hasn’t had the experience of seeing red objects, that does not prevent her from understanding any linguistic expression (so, for example, she can understand the word ‘red’ while imprisoned). Of course, there will be uses of demonstratives that could not occur in lessons Mary has while imprisoned, in particular an utterance of ‘An experience as of red objects represents them like this’ in the presence of a tomato. And such an utterance of that sentence expresses—we have been supposing—the proposition M3. But this does not mean that the proposition M3—if it really is expressed by that sentence—could not be taught to imprisoned Mary.

Plausibly, any proposition expressed using a demonstrative could be expressed in a demonstrative-free way: for example, the proposition expressed by ‘That man is drinking a martini’ (pointing at Tye) is arguably expressed by the demonstrative-free sentence ‘Tye is drinking a martini’. Assume this is correct. Then, if M3 really is expressed by an

–  –  –

this’, we could teach M3 to imprisoned Mary: no demonstration of ripe tomatoes is needed.

All the premises are now in place (albeit with minimal defense). If M3 can be linguistically expressed, then Mary can know M3 while imprisoned, and thereby know what seeing red is like. But she can’t know this while imprisoned. Therefore M3 can’t be linguistically expressed. Our supposition that M 3 is expressible using a demonstrative is a ladder that must be kicked away: in using a demonstrative, we were trying to say what can’t be said. We can, however, communicate or convey M3, by uttering the sentence ‘An experience that represents objects as red represents them like this’ in the presence of a ripe tomato; at least, M3 can be communicated in this way to those who have the appropriate sort of experience. (And, I presume, I have succeeded in communicating M3 to you.) For familiar Gricean reasons, a proposition can be communicated by uttering a sentence in a context, even if the proposition is not the semantic content of that sentence relative to that context. Hence, it doesn’t follow from the fact that M3 can be communicated by uttering a sentence in a context, that M3 is the semantic content of that sentence relative to that context; neither does it follow that M3 is the semantic content of some sentence.39 In other words: knowing linguistically expressible propositions is not sufficient for knowing what it’s like, but knowing propositions that specify the content of perception is. Hence, the content of perception cannot be completely expressed in language. The limits of my language aren’t the limits of my world, after all.

39 What is the proposition expressed by ‘An experience as of red objects represents them like this’ (uttered

–  –  –

Assuming that the gaps in this argument can be filled, we need a positive account of both linguistic and perceptual content. And here Peacocke’s work on nonconceptual content at least provides a model of how to proceed.

That completes our investigation of the PANIC theory; I hope the theory’s virtues, and the difficulty of the problems it sets out to solve, were exhibited along the way. The provisional conclusion is that ingredient X is a certain kind of non-linguistic content plus the subject of experience. This does not deserve to be called a theory of phenomenal consciousness—but perhaps it is a signpost pointing in the right direction.

References Bermúdez, J. L. 1998. The Paradox of Self-Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Block, N. 1990. Inverted earth. Philosophical Perspectives 4, ed. J. Tomberlin.

Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview.

Block, N. 1995. On a confusion about a function of consciousness. Behavioral and Brain

–  –  –

Block, N. Forthcoming. Mental paint. Others on Burge: 10 Essays With Responses From Tyler Burge, ed. M. Hahn and B. Ramberg. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

–  –  –


Braddon-Mitchell, D., and F. Jackson. 1996. Philosophy of Mind and Cognition. Oxford:

–  –  –

Brewer, B. 1999. Perception and Reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Burge, T. Forthcoming. Reply to Block. Others on Burge: 10 Essays With Responses From Tyler Burge, ed. M. Hahn and B. Ramberg. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Byrne, A. 1996. Spin control: comment on John McDowell’s Mind and World.

Philosophical Issues 7, ed. E. Villanueva. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview.

Byrne, A. 2001. Intentionalism defended. Philosophical Review 110: 199-240.

Byrne, A. Forthcoming. Something about Mary. Grazer Philosophische Studien (special issue on the philosophy of Terry Horgan).

Carruthers, P. 2000. Phenomenal Consciousness. Cambridge: Cambridge University

–  –  –

Crane, T. 1992. The nonconceptual content of experience. The Contents of Experience, ed. T. Crane. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Davies, M. 1996. Externalism and experience. Philosophy and Cognitive Science:

Categories, Consciousness, and Reasoning, ed. A. Clark, J. Ezquerro, and J. M.

Larrazabal. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Reference to the reprinting in The Nature of

Consciousness, ed. N. Block, O. Flanagan, and G. Güzeldere, Cambridge, MA:

–  –  –

DeLucia, P. R., and J. Hochberg. 1991. Geometrical illusions in solid objects under ordinary viewing conditions. Perception and Psychophysics 50: 547-54.

Dennett, D. C. 1981. True believers. Reprinted in Dennett, The Intentional Stance, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987.

Dretske, F. 1981. Knowledge and the Flow of Information. Oxford: Blackwell.

Dretske, F. 1995. Naturalizing the Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Evans, G. 1982. The Varieties of Reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fodor, J. 1990. A Theory of Content and Other Essays. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Heck, R. G. 2000. Nonconceptual content and the “space of reasons”. Philosophical

–  –  –

Kelly, S. D. 2001. The non-conceptual content of perceptual experience: situation dependence and fineness of grain. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62: 601-8.

Kirk, R. 1994. Raw Feeling. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Levine, J. 2001. Purple Haze. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lewis, D. K. 1988. What experience teaches. Reprinted in Lewis, Papers in Metaphysics

–  –  –

Lycan, W. G. 1996. Consciousness and Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

McDowell, J. 1994. Mind and World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

McDowell, J. 1998. Reply to commentators. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58: 403-31.

McGinn, C. 1989. Mental Content. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

McGinn, C. 1991. The Problem of Consciousness. Oxford: Blackwell.

Metstre, D. R., et al. 1992. Perception of optical flow in cortical blindness: a case report.

Neuropsychologia 30: 783-95.

Milner, A. D., and M. A. Goodale. 1995. The Visual Brain in Action. Oxford: Oxford

–  –  –

Peacocke, C. 1983. Sense and Content. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Peacocke, C. 1992. A Study of Concepts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Peacocke, C. 1998. Nonconceptual content defended. Philosophy and Phenomenological

–  –  –

Peacocke, C. 2001b. Phenomenology and nonconceptual content. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62: 609-15.

Shoemaker, S. 1994. Self-knowledge and ‘inner sense’. Lecture III: the phenomenal character of experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54: 219

–  –  –

Stalnaker, R. 1998a. What might nonconceptual content be? Philosophical Issues 9, ed.

E. Villanueva. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview.

Stalnaker, R. 1998b. Replies to comments. Philosophical Issues 9, ed. E. Villanueva.

Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview.

Stampe, D. 1977. Towards a causal theory of linguistic representation. Midwest Studies in

–  –  –

Stanley, J., and T. Williamson. 2001. Knowing how. Journal of Philosophy 98: 411-44.

Steward, H. 1997. The Ontology of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Thau, M. Forthcoming. Consciousness and Cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tye, M. 1995. Ten Problems of Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Tye, M. 2000. Consciousness, Color, and Content. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Tye, M. 2001. Oh yes it is. Mind 110: 695-7.

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 4 | 5 ||

Similar works:

«Public Broadcasters, the Internet, and Democracy Comparing Policy and Exploring Public Service Media Online Hallvard Moe Dissertation for the degree philosophiae doctor (PhD) University of Bergen Public Broadcasters, the Internet, and Democracy Comparing Policy and Exploring Public Service Media Online Bergen, 2008. Copyright: Hallvard Moe (Part I, and Part II, Article 1); Sage Publications (Part II, Article 2, 4, and 5); Intellect Books (Part II, Article 3). Public Broadcasters, the Internet,...»

«About the Author Michael Dillbeck is Professor of Psychology and Dean of the Graduate School at Maharishi International University. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Benedictine College in 1972. He then went to Purdue University as a University Fellow, where he received his M.S. in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1976 in psychology. Dr. Dillbeck has published widely on the theoretical foundations of Maharishi Vedic Psychology and empirical research testing its predictions on such variables as EEG...»

«ecipe policy brief — 02/2016 POLICY BRIEF No. 2/2016 Xi Jinping’s long road to somewhere? China’s OBOR initiative and how Europe should respond by Guy de Jonquières, Senior Fellow at ECIPE The mention of China’s One Belt One Road initiative, also known as Belt and Road, brings to mind the Indian fable of the three blind men and the elephant. The men have never seen an elephant, so have no idea what one looks like. One grasps its trunk and insists it is a tree. Another puts his arms...»

«Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti PSYCHOLOGICAL ACCULTURATION AND ADAPTATION AMONG RUSSIAN-SPEAKING IMMIGRANT ADOLESCENTS IN FINLAND Helsinki 2000 ii Sosiaalipsykologisia tutkimuksia Socialpsykologiska studier Social psychological studies Kustantaja / Publisher: Helsingin yliopiston sosiaalipsykologian laitos / Department of Social Psychology, University of Helsinki Toimituskunta / Editorial Board: Klaus Helkama, puheenjohtaja / chair person Karmela Liebkind Rauni Myllyniemi Anna-Maija Pirttilä-Backman...»

«Cognitive Science 30 (2006) 531–553 Copyright © 2006 Cognitive Science Society, Inc. All rights reserved. Memory and Mystery: The Cultural Selection of Minimally Counterintuitive Narratives Ara Norenzayana, Scott Atranb, Jason Faulknera, Mark Schallera aDepartment of Psychology, University of British Columbia bInstitut Jean Nicod, CNRS, Paris and Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Received 12 January 2005; received in revised form 19 October 2005; accepted...»

«References Allerton, D.J. (1982). Valency and the English verb. London: Academic Press. American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistic manual of mental disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. Anderson, S. (1971). On the role of deep structure in semantic interpretation. Foundations of Language, 7, 387-396. Baddeley, A.D. & Hitch, G.J. (1974). Working memory. In: G. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation. New York:...»

«Mod your Bassman reissue for vintage tone To start I´m sorry to point out that this here will NOT turn your Bassman reissue amp into an original, it´s NOT a 1:1 copy and it is NOT exactly sounding like the old, most sought after 5F6A Bassman version with the 4x10 speaker open cabinet. But that´s ok, the reissue amp is a fantastic sounding guitar amp, in some cases even better than the original. All this mods here will take you VERY close to the famous vintage Bassman sound and it is divided...»

«Psychological Explanation, Ontological Commitment, and the Semantic view of Theories Colin Klein 1 Introduction Naturalistic philosophers of mind must assume some philosophy of science. For naturalism demands that we look to psychology—but to be guided by psychological theories, one must have some story about what theories are and how they work. In this way, philosophy of mind was subtly guided by philosophy of science. For the past forty years, mainstream philosophy of mind has implicitly...»


«100+Amazing things you can do with Microsoft Dynamics CRM on your phone and tablet // 1 100+ Amazing things you can do with Microsoft Dynamics CRM on your phone and tablet Introduction // 2 100+ Amazing things you can do with Microsoft Dynamics CRM on your phone and tablet Why did we make this book?When we started working on this book, we had two goals in mind: 1. We want to show people how cool a mobile CRM client really can be 2. We want to provide a list of cool things you can get inspired...»

«Nordic journal of working life studies Volume 3 ❚ Number 3 ❚ August 2013 Habituating pain: Questioning pain and physical strain as inextricable conditions in the construction industry Jeppe Z. N. Ajslev1 ❚❚ Ph.D. fellow, Centre for Working Life Research, Roskilde University Henrik L. Lund ❚❚ Associate professor, Centre for Working Life Research, Roskilde University Jeppe L. Møller ❚❚ Ph.D. fellow, Centre for Working Life Research, Roskilde University Roger Persson ❚❚...»

«The Experience of Humour in Asperger s syndrome Susan Teresa Ruggeri A Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the University Of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Counselling Psychology. This work or any part thereof has not previously been presented in any form to the University or any other body whether for the purpose of assessment, publication or for any other purpose (unless otherwise specified). Save for any express acknowledgements, references, and/or bibliographies...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.