METAPHYSICS – AN OVERVIEW : Consciousness, and the Existence of Emergent, Sensuous Qualities

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Important Types of Arguments in Support of the Existence of Emergent Qualities:  (l) Thomas Nagel's "What It's Like to Be a Bat" Argument; (2) The Continuity Objection, and the Line-Drawing Problem; (3) Frank Jackson's "What Mary Doesn't Know" Argument; (4) The Logical/Metaphysical/Nomological Possibility of an Inverted Spectrum; (5) David Chalmers’ Argument: The Logical/Metaphysical Possibility of Zombies; (6) The “Unconscious Perceivers” Argument; (7) The “Understanding Sensation Terms” Argument.
Armstrong's Early Arguments against the Existence of Emergent Qualities:
(1) Armstrong's indeterminacy objection;  (5) Armstrong’s intransitivity objection.
Thomas Nagel's Arguments:  (1) The relocation used in the case of "phenomenal" physical properties is no longer available in the case of qualia;  (2) Qualia are known by introspection, while properties of brain states are not known by introspection;  (3) The "what it's like to be a bat" argument.
Paul Churchland's Responses to Nagel's Three Arguments:  (1) Argument 1:  The relocation move is incorrect in the case of the "phenomenal" properties of physical objects;  (2) Argument 2 is unsound, since it mistakenly assumes that a certain context is extensional;  (3) Argument 3 can be answered in the same way as Frank Jackson's argument, which is essentially the same.
Responses to Thomas Nagel's Third Argument, and to Frank Jackson's Argument:  (1) What Mary acquires when he leaves the room is not propositional knowledge;  (2) David Lewis and Laurence Nemirow: Mary acquires the ability to make certain sensory discriminations in a direct fashion, using only her body;  (3) Paul Churchland: Mary acquires a representation of sensory variables in some prelinguistic or sublinguistic medium of representation.
Comments on the Lewis/Nemirow and Churchland Responses:  (1) The difference between the Lewis/Nemirow response and the Churchland is that the former focuses upon an ability, and the latter on the state underlying that ability;  (2) Both responses are open to the same objection:  Very different states can be a prelinguistic representation of a given property of physical objects, and those representing states might involve either (a) different qualia, or (b) no qualia at all.  (3) This shows, however, that the Nagel/Thomas argument really presupposes either the inverted spectrum argument, or the absent qualia argument.

Armstrong's Later Anti-Qualia Arguments:  (1) Minds as making up only a very small part of the universe;  (2) The peculiar nature of the laws that must be postulated;  (3) The need for a large number of extra laws;  (4) The problem of the relation between mind and body: Should one opt for epiphenomenalism, or for interactionism, or for a pre-established harmony?  All are deeply problematic:  (a) The pre-established harmony view would only work if the mental were a self-contained realm, which it is not;  (b) Epiphenomenalism is 'paradoxical';  (c) Interactionism entails, first, that physics is an incomplete account even of the inanimate world.

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