On philosophy of consciousness

created: 2021-08-01, author: Orpheus
last update: 2021-08-01, status: work in progress

Notes on Character of Consciousness (Chalmers 2016)

Typology of the mind-body problem

Here are sketches of the Chalmers mind-body problem typology found in chapter 5. Note that this chapter also starts with arguments against materialism.

Type A Materialism ("denial"): There is no phenomenal experience to explain, rather there is only the structure and functions of cognition.

Type B Materialism ("epistemically primitive gap"): There is an epistemic gap between the physical and phenomenal domains, but there is no ontological gap. The identification between consciousness and physical or functional states is epistemically primitive: the identity is not deducible from the complete physical truth.

Type C Materialism ("closable gap"): There is a deep epistemic gap between the physical and phenomenal domains, but it is closable in principle. Chalmers argues the view is unstable and collapses into other types.

Type D Dualism (Interactionism): Physical states cause phenomenal states, and phenomenal states cause physical states. The corresponding psychophysical laws run in both directions.

Type E Dualism (Epiphenomenalism): Phenomenal properties are ontologically distinct from physical properties and that the phenomenal has no effect on the physical.

Type F Dualism (Russell monism or Panprotopsychism): Phenomenal or protophenomenal properties are located at the fundamental level of physical reality and in a certain sense underlie physical reality itself.

Some other views such as denying the physical are also discussed.