"Metaphysics of Consciousness," a volume in the series "Philosophical Issues in Science," discusses the philosophical issue of the nature of consciousness. William Seager argues that the purely physicalist or materialist view of human consciousness is by no means disproved and is in fact strongly supported by some developments in artificial intelligence.
William Seager proceeds by addressing the problems of consciousness that remain even for a minimal physicalism. The particular modes of subjective consciousness that constitute experience threaten a paradigm of scientific understanding, labelled "physical resolution," that prospers in all other realms of inquiry. A phenomenon is physically resolved by demonstrating that its components are made up of purely physical parts and its causal efficacy is grounded in the physical properties of parts. The apparent inability to resolve physical consciousness leaves it not only inexplicable, but inexplicable in a way that threatens even a minimal physicalism.
This book is distinctive in its emphasis on the legitimacy of inexplicability and its argument that consciousness transcends the paradigm of physical resolution. It will be of great use to advanced students and lecturers in philosophy.
"The author has produced a book which is lucidly written, closely reasoned and not overly polemical . . . This is more than just a good book--it is an important book."
-"Times Higher Education Supplement
"At last we have someone who takes psychology and physiology seriously as sciences, and who therefore does justice both to the philosophical and to the scientific dimensions of the mind-brain relation."
-K. V. Wilkes, St. Hilda's College, Oxford
|The Retreat of Physicalism||p. 1|
|Physicalism, Ontology and Explanation||p. 3|
|Positive Reductive Strategies||p. 35|
|Negative Reductive Strategies||p. 64|
|The Problem of Consciousness||p. 97|
|Varieties of Supervenience||p. 99|
|Consciousness, Information and Epiphenomenalism||p. 133|
|Consciousness and Causal Efficacy||p. 169|
|Reconciliation and Mystery||p. 197|
|Name Index||p. 254|
|Subject Index||p. 257|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Philosophical Issues in Science
Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 5th December 1991
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0
Weight (kg): 0.49
Edition Number: 1