The Wonder of Consciousness: Understanding the Mind through by Harold L. Langsam

By Harold L. Langsam

Attention is a superb factor. but when we're totally to understand the beauty of realization, we have to articulate what it truly is approximately realization that makes it such an attractive and critical phenomenon to us. during this publication, Harold Langsam argues that cognizance is intelligible -- that there are substantive evidence approximately awareness that may be identified a priori -- and that it's the intelligibility of realization that's the resource of its ask yourself. Langsam first examines the way in which definite beneficial properties of a few of our wakeful states intelligibly relate us to gains of the realm of which we're awake. cognizance is appreciably assorted from every little thing else on the earth, and but it brings us into intimate reference to the issues of the realm. Langsam then examines the causal powers of a few of our wide awake states. a few of these causal powers are made up our minds in an intelligible means by way of the explicit natures in their unsleeping states: when you be aware of what cognizance is, then you definitely may also be aware of (by the mere workout of your intelligence) a few of what awareness does. Langsam's rationale is to get the philosophy of brain clear of the never-ending and distracting debates approximately no matter if cognizance is actual or no longer. He indicates that there are major issues that we will be able to detect approximately awareness purely via philosophical mirrored image. The thinker who takes this procedure isn't ignoring the empirical proof; he's reflecting on those proof to find additional, nonempirical facts.

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Additional resources for The Wonder of Consciousness: Understanding the Mind through Philosophical Reflection

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We gain knowledge, say, of the similarity and difference relations that hold among the colors. For instance, I know that red is more similar to orange than it is to blue. This relation is an intelligible relation (sec. 1): given the natures of red, orange, and blue, it is intelligible that they should be related in this way, and therefore reason can discover this relation by reflecting on their natures. Red is more similar to orange than it is to blue in virtue of the sensory natures of red, orange, and blue.

Consider the arguments for nonreductionism to be found in the contemporary literature. The premises of all these arguments cite various modal features of mental properties. They make various claims about ways it is possible for mental properties to exist or fail to exist in relation to reductive physical properties, or ways it is possible for our knowledge of mental properties to relate to our knowledge of reductive physical properties. From these premises about modal features of mental properties, we are supposed to reach a conclusion about an actual feature of mental properties—that they are actually not identical to reductive physical properties.

Observable properties can intelligibly explain phenomenal properties in virtue of their similarity. But given that observable properties and phenomenal properties are also so different from each other, it is unclear how observable properties can explain the nature of their corresponding phenomenal properties. Given that red is not a what-it-is-like property, and phenomenal red is a what-it-is-like property, how can red intelligibly explain the nature of phenomenal red? Presumably observable properties only partly explain the nature of their corresponding phenomenal properties.

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