It has been argued, most famously by David Chalmers, that all objects of the so-called traditional sciences (from physics to neuroscience) are analysable in structural terms, whereas consciousness has qualitative properties that are irreducibly non-structural. From that it has been concluded that consciousness cannot be explained by traditional sciences. Some illusionists have responded by proposing that the apparently non-structural features of consciousness are in fact fully structural and merely seem to be non-structural. I argue that such a position is tenable, but only if the non-structural ‘seemings’ are interpreted as perspectival phenomena and not as theorists’ fictions or absolute nothingness. The resulting view allows us to ignore sensory qualities in the context of natural sciences while acknowledging their importance in the moral and philosophical domains. The proposed perspectivist interpretation also provides an account of how sensory qualities can be observed and talked about despite having no autonomous causal powers.
|Journal||Journal of consciousness studies|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
Fields of Science
- 611 Philosophy