What the Nose Doesn’t Know: Non-Veridicality and Olfactory Experience
Abstract: We can learn much about perceptual experience by thinking about
how it can mislead us. In this paper, I explore whether, and how, olfactory
experience can mislead. I argue that, in the case of olfactory experience,
the traditional distinction between illusion and hallucination does not
apply. Integral to the traditional distinction is a notion of ‘object-failure’
— the failure of an experience to present objects accurately. I argue that
there are no such presented objects in olfactory experience. As a result,
olfactory experience can only mislead by means of a kind of property hallucination.
The implications of my arguments are twofold. First, we see that accounts
of representational content cannot always be based on the visual model.
And, secondly, we see that we must recast the notion of non-veridicality,
allowing for a notion of non-veridical experience that is disengaged from
any particular object.
Correspondence: Clare Batty, Department of Philosophy, University of
Kentucky, 1415 Patterson Office Tower, Lexington, KY 40506-0027, USA. Email:
Zombies, Phenomenal Concepts, and the Paradox of Phenomenal Judgment
Abstract: This paper explores the viability of rejecting a largely unchallenged
third premise of the conceivability argument against materialism. Fittingly
labeled ‘type-Z’ (for zombie), this reply essentially grants to the zombie
lover, not just the possibility of zombies, but also their actuality. We
turn out to be the very creatures Chalmers has taken such great pains to
conceive and more conventional materialists have tried to wipe off the
face of the planet. So consciousness (at least for us) is a wholly material
affair. What is conceivable but non-actual are not zombies, but rather
‘angelic’ beings possessing an acquaintance with supermaterial phenomenal
states. After showing how Chalmers’ recent discussion of the phenomenal
concepts strategy should incline those pursuing such a strategy toward
a type-Z response, this paper relates type-Z materialism to similar replies
that Chalmers has found ‘hard to classify’ and closes with a brief remark
about how a type-Z materialist might reply to the knowledge argument.
Correspondence: D. Beisecker, Department of Philosophy, University of
Nevada – Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Pkwy., Box 455028, Las Vegas, NV 89154,
Deprioritizing the A Priori Arguments Against Physicalism
Abstract: In this paper I argue that a priori arguments fail to present
any real problem for physicalism. They beg the question against physicalism
in the sense that the argument will only seem compelling if one is already
assuming that qualitative properties are nonphysical. To show this I will
present the reverse-zombie and reverse-knowledge arguments. The only evidence
against physicalism is a priori arguments, but there are also a priori
arguments against dualism of exactly the same variety. Each of these parity
arguments has premises that are just as intuitively plausible, and it cannot
be the case that both the traditional scenarios and the reverse-scenarios
are all ideally conceivable. Given this one set must be merely prima facie
conceivable and only empirical methods will tell us which is which. So,
by the time a priori methodology will be of any use it will be too late.
Correspondence: Richard Brown, LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson
Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101, USA.
Email: onemorebrown @ gmail.com
A Russellian Response to the Structural Argument Against Physicalism
Abstract: According to David Chalmers (2002), ‘we have good reason to suppose
that consciousness has a fundamental place in nature’ (p. 135). This, he
thinks is because the world as revealed to us by fundamental physics is
entirely structural — it is a world not of things, but of relations — yet
relations can only account for more relations, and consciousness is not
merely a relation (pp. 120–21). Call this the ‘structural argument against
physicalism.’ I shall argue that there is a view about the relationship
between mind and body, what I call, ‘Russellian physicalism’ that is consistent
with the premises of the structural argument yet does not imply that consciousness
Correspondence: Barbara Montero, Philosophy Program, The Graduate Center,
CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10016, USA.
How to Improve on Heterophenomenology: The Self-Measurement Methodology
of First-Person Data
Abstract: Heterophenomenology is a third-person methodology proposed by
Daniel Dennett for using first-person reports as scientific evidence. I
argue that heterophenomenology can be improved by making six changes: (i)
setting aside consciousness, (ii) including other sources of first-person
data besides first-person reports, (iii) abandoning agnosticism as to the
truth value of the reports in favor of the most plausible assumptions we
can make about what can be learned from the data, (iv) interpreting first-person
reports (and other first-person behaviours) directly in terms of target
mental states rather than in terms of beliefs about them, (v) dropping
any residual commitment to incorrigibility of first-person reports, and
(vi) recognizing that third-person methodology does have positive effects
on scientific practices. When these changes are made, heterophenomenology
turns into the self-measurement methodology of first- person data that
I have defended in previous papers.
Correspondence: Gualtiero Piccinini, Philosophy Department, University
of Missouri, 599 Lucas Hall (MC 73), 1 University Blvd., St. Louis, MO
63121-4400, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennett’s Theory of the Folk Theory of Consciousness
Abstract: It is not uncommon to find assumptions being made about folk
psychology in the discussions of phenomenal consciousness in philosophy
of mind. In this article I consider one example, focusing on what Dan Dennett
says about the ‘folk theory of consciousness’. I show that he holds that
the folk believe that qualities like colours that we are acquainted with
in ordinary perception are phenomenal qualities. Nonetheless, the shape
of the folk theory is an empirical matter and in the absence of empirical
investigation there is ample room for doubt. Fortunately, experimental
evidence on the topic is now being produced by experimental philosophers
and psychologists. This article contributes to this growing literature,
presenting the results of six new studies on the folk view of colours and
pains. I argue that the results indicate against Dennett’s theory of the
folk theory of consciousness.
Correspondence: Justin Sytsma, Department of History and Philosophy
of Science, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh,
PA 15260, USA. Email: email@example.com
Raúl Arrabales, Agapito Ledezma, and Araceli
ConsScale: A Pragmatic Scale for Measuring the Level of Consciousness in
Abstract: One of the key problems the field of Machine Consciousness (MC)
is currently facing is the need to accurately assess the potential level
of consciousness that an artificial agent might develop. This paper presents
a novel artificial consciousness scale designed to provide a pragmatic
and intuitive reference in the evaluation of MC implementations. The version
of ConsScale described in this work provides a comprehensive evaluation
mechanism which enables the estimation of the potential degree of consciousness
of most of the existing artificial implementations. This scale offers both
well defined levels of artificial consciousness (that can be used for qualitative
classification of agents) and a method to calculate an orientative numerical
score (which provides a quantitative grade for comparing agents in terms
of consciousness). A set of architectural and cognitive criteria is considered
for each level of the scale. This permits the definition of a cognitive
framework in which MC implementations can be ranked according to their
potential capability to reproduce functional synergies associated with
consciousness. The probability of the implementations having any phenomenal
states related to the assessed functional synergy is not specifically addressed
in this paper; nevertheless, it could be thoughtfully discussed elsewhere.
Correspondence: Raúl Arrabales. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
Avda. Universidad, 30. 28911 Leganés. Madrid. Spain.
Introduction to the Physics of Consciousness
Abstract: The ‘Hard Problem’ of consciousness and its ‘Explanatory Gap’
can only be explained if we develop a physical theory which recognizes
the Universe as a cognitive being and is based upon a fundamental process
that transforms mind into body and back again. The physical requirements
needed to realize such a transformation cycle are investigated and an explicit
implementation of the consciousness process is presented. This implementation
consists of an integrated mind-body activity that explains mental experiences
with a model of the activity itself. Such a self-referential loop is shown
to be both a fundamental physical process and a container of primitive
self- awareness from which complex experiences can be built.
Explaining consciousness requires an expansion of current physical theories.
To develop this expansion I will first associate the components of the
consciousness process with individual operations occurring in the architecture
of quantum theory. This will provide explicit mathematical equations required
to describe conscious phenomena and show their limits. Because quantum
equations apply to the content of space, but not to the sensation of space
itself, they can only represent an approximate description of the consciousness
process and are hence incomplete. I will, therefore, go on to discuss the
approximations which limit quantum theory from providing a complete explanation
of consciousness and suggest the metaphysical underpinnings required to
expand quantum physics into a more complete description of reality.
Lastly, I will discuss the implications of a reality model in which
all parts of the universe, including the reader, are fundamentally self-
measurement processes and the sensation of space is not that of an a priori
container, but rather a ‘what it feels like’ to be a time-stable event.
Correspondence: Wolfgang Baer, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey,
California 93924, USA.Email: Baer@nps.edu
Getting Scientific with Religion: A Darwinian Solution… Or Not?
Abstract: Introducing non-Darwinian mind as a nonaptation (raw materials
of evolution) I argue that Darwinian mind evolved from non-Darwinian mind
through the evolution of desire and aversion. The subject position within
Darwinian mind is Darwinian self and is inherently selfish. However the
cathexis whereby the subject prioritises motivations of desire and aversion
is not an inherent property of mind. Instead it is proposed to be an adaptation,
a predisposition to respond to pleasant/unpleasant sensations with desire/aversion.
This explains why self-sacrifice and disengagement from desire/aversion
are the sine qua non of serious commitment to the spiritual path, i.e.
Darwinian self and desire/aversion are two sides of the same coin and erosion
of one is erosion of the other. Thus, through self-renunciation and suspension
of desire/aversion the seeker passes from adaptive selfish Darwinian mind
towards nonaptive selfless non-Darwinian mind. But Darwinian mind automatically
resists this transcendence by intensifying motivations of desire/aversion
thereby explaining the extreme difficulties of the spiritual path. A theoretical
distinction is made between evolved Darwinian ‘morality’ (self-serving
‘unselfishness’), ‘Darwinian’ morality (genuine unselfishness) and amoral
non-Darwinian kenosis (selflessness). These distinctions make it easy to
disentangle scientific and religious jurisdictions on morality with important
implications for both religious ethics and science’s view of spirituality.
All in all, the nonaptive theory of spiritual mind offers a unified solution
to age-old problems which have been uncomfortably shifting this way and
that in the interstices between biology, psychology, theology and philosophy.
Correspondence: Barak Morgan, UCT/MRC Medical Imaging Research Unit,
Dept of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Observatory
7935, South Africa. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Enda Power
Complex Experience, Relativity and Abandoning Simultaneity
Abstract: Starting from the special theory of relativity it is argued that
the structure of an experience is extended over time, making experience
dynamic rather than static. The paper describes and explains what is meant
by phenomenal parts and outlines opposing positions on the experience
of time. Time according to he special theory of relativity is defined and
the possibility of static experience shown to be implausible, leading to
the conclusion that experience is dynamic. Some implications of this for
the relationship of phenomenology to the physical world are considered.
Correspondence: Sean Enda Power, Dept. of Philosophy, University of
Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK.