The Neurophilosophy of Subjectivity

1,364 views

Published on

Published in: Technology
1 Comment
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • For the Phenomenal nature of consciousness has Intrinsic Intentional Qualitativeness 'Qualia' , with its semantic content (inherent meaning) which has an Ontological Subjectivity, so Jackson`s Knowledge Argument against Physicalism or Nagel`s one are far being removed by a raw epistemological argument like Hume`s, The Missing Shade of Blue .
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,364
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
223
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
72
Comments
1
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The Neurophilosophy of Subjectivity

  1. 1. The Neurophilosophy of Subjectivity Pete Mandik Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy Coordinator, Cognitive Science Laboratory William Paterson University, New Jersey USA
  2. 2. Primary Goal <ul><li>To show that the thesis that phenomenal character is subjective is </li></ul><ul><li>1) an empirical claim </li></ul><ul><li>2) for which we have no good reason to believe. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Subjectivity and the Philosophy of Mind </li></ul><ul><li>The Neurophilosophy of Consciousness, Character, and Knowing What it is Like </li></ul><ul><li>The Structure of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>The Content of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Time permitting: An appendix! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Section 1 <ul><li>Subjectivity and the Philosophy of Mind </li></ul><ul><li>The Neurophilosophy of Consciousness, Character, and Knowing What it is Like </li></ul><ul><li>The Structure of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>The Content of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul>
  5. 5. A first stab at subjectivity: <ul><li>It’s whatever would explain the alleged inability of humans to know what its like to be bats and the blind to know what it is like to see red. </li></ul>It’s the Nagel-Jackson Property.
  6. 6. A second stab: <ul><li>(K): For all types of phenomenal character, in order to know what it is like to have a conscious experience with a phenomenal character of a type, one must have, at that or some prior time, a conscious experience with a phenomenal character of the same type. </li></ul>
  7. 7. A second stab: <ul><li>(K): For all types of phenomenal character, in order to know what it is like to have a conscious experience with a phenomenal character of a type, one must have, at that or some prior time, a conscious experience with a phenomenal character of the same type. </li></ul><ul><li>Objection: Hume’s missing shade of blue. </li></ul>
  8. 8. A third stab: <ul><li>(K+): For at least one type of phenomenal character, in order to know what it is like to have a conscious experience with a phenomenal character of a type, one must have, at that or some prior time, a conscious experience with a phenomenal character of a relevantly similar type. </li></ul>
  9. 9. So-called phenomenal concepts <ul><li>What might make K+ true? </li></ul><ul><li>Phenomenal concepts: concepts constitutively related (perhaps as whole to part) to the phenomenal characters they are concepts of. </li></ul>“ RED!” / “ RED!”
  10. 10. Things I don’t like: <ul><li>K+ </li></ul><ul><li>Phenomenal concepts </li></ul>
  11. 11. Section 2 <ul><li>Subjectivity and the Philosophy of Mind </li></ul><ul><li>The Neurophilosophy of Consciousness, Character, and Knowing What it is Like </li></ul><ul><li>The Structure of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>The Content of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul>
  12. 12. Neurophilosophy of consciousness <ul><li>Levels of visual processing in the human nervous system </li></ul>
  13. 13. What is the progression of levels? <ul><li>Egocentric-to-Allocentric transformations </li></ul>Highlevel (Frontal Cortex and Hippocampus) Allocentric reps Intermediate-level (IT and PP) Egocentric/Allocentric Hybrid reps Low-level (LGN and V1) Egocentric reps
  14. 14. <ul><li>Pure Allocentric </li></ul>Pure Egocentric Retinocentric Body-centered Limited viewpoint invariance Amodal Category knowledge The Allocentric-Egocentric Interface The reciprocally influencing representations jointly comprise a conscious state
  15. 15. Neurophilosophy of character <ul><li>Phenomenal character is the content of the representations at the a-e interface </li></ul>The Allocentric-Egocentric Interface The reciprocally influencing representations jointly comprise a conscious state
  16. 16. On knowing what it is like <ul><li>Perception is the automatic conceptual exploitation of information carried by sensations about environmental and bodily events. </li></ul>
  17. 17. On knowing what it is like <ul><li>Introspection of sensation is the automatic conceptual exploitation of information carried by sensations about themselves. </li></ul>
  18. 18. On knowing what it is like <ul><li>When the sensations are in appropriately reciprocal interactions with the elicited concepts, the introspection involved is the kind relevant to discussions of knowing what it is like. </li></ul>HOT!
  19. 19. Our question becomes… <ul><li>Can those concepts be had without having the experiences with the phenomenal characters they are concepts of? </li></ul>?????
  20. 20. Section 3 <ul><li>Subjectivity and the Philosophy of Mind </li></ul><ul><li>The Neurophilosophy of Consciousness, Character, and Knowing What it is Like </li></ul><ul><li>The Structure of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>The Content of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul>
  21. 21. The feed-forward network proposal for phenomenal concepts <ul><li>A certain kind of empiricism holds for feed-forward networks: no concepts without their experiential targets </li></ul>
  22. 22. Concepts as attractors in activation space
  23. 23. Criticisms of the feed-forward network proposal <ul><li>Feed-forward networks (FFNs), lacking lateral and recurrent connections, are poor models of consciousness. </li></ul><ul><li>For similar reasons FFNs are poor models of concepts, for they cannot account for inference (if inference is to be modeled as something other than simply a response to a stimulus). </li></ul>
  24. 24. If we abandon FFNs… <ul><li>…then a neurophilosophical reconstruction of the phenomenal concepts proposal involves a commitment to the impossibility of signals along recurrent and lateral connections sufficing for the installation of a concept of phenomenal character. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Section 4 <ul><li>Subjectivity and the Philosophy of Mind </li></ul><ul><li>The Neurophilosophy of Consciousness, Character, and Knowing What it is Like </li></ul><ul><li>The Structure of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>The Content of Concepts Defense of Subjectivity </li></ul>
  26. 26. Uniquely represented perceptual contents? <ul><li>The proposal: uniquely detectable perceptible properties (like Dennnett’s Jell-O Box) entail uniquely representable perceptible properties </li></ul>
  27. 27. Uniquely represented perceptual contents? <ul><li>PROBLEM: Even if there were environmental properties that entered into detection-supporting causal interactions with only certain sensory states, it seems dubious that those sensory states constitute the only representations of those properties. </li></ul><ul><li>Suppose Jones has such sensory states and Smith does not. Even if Jones’ sensory states are the unique detectors of those environmental properties, Smith can still represent those properties. Smith can represent them under a description such as “the environmental properties uniquely detected by Jones' sensory states”. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Uniquely represented introspective contents? <ul><li>The proposal: Jell-O boxes again, only this time in your head. </li></ul>“ RED!” /
  29. 29. Uniquely represented introspective contents? <ul><li>My strategy against this proposal: to raise skeptical doubts, via the story of Hyperbolic Mary, about whether there are any properties uniquely represented in introspection. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Hyperbolic Mary <ul><li>Hyperbolic Mary knows of the existence of chimerically colored afterimages. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Hyperbolic Mary
  32. 32. Hyperbolic Mary <ul><li>Hyperbolic Mary and Larry have seen all normal colors and no chimerical colors. </li></ul><ul><li>But only Hyperbolic Mary knows the theory that predicts chimerical colors. </li></ul><ul><li>Who’s more surprised? </li></ul>
  33. 33. Appendix <ul><li>Torin Alter’s Objection: Deviant phenomenal knowledge is irrelevant. A priori derivability of phenomenal from physical facts is. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Appendix <ul><li>My response: </li></ul><ul><li>1. There is a possible non-phenomenal description, D, of RoboMary that entails that she is in state of knowing P. D entails KP. (Alter seems to grant this). </li></ul><ul><li>2. KP entails P. (Knowledge is factive). </li></ul><ul><li> D entails P. (Hypothetical syllogism). </li></ul>
  35. 35. CONCLUSION <ul><li>The thesis that phenomenal character is subjective is </li></ul><ul><li>1) an empirical claim </li></ul><ul><li>2) for which we have no good reason to believe. </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>THE END </li></ul>

×