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Exotic Qualia, Functionalism & Martian Zombies

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Can functionalism ever escape Exotic Qualia objections?

I shall formulate a meta-argument encompassing all Exotic Qualia problems and argue that while Lewis and Horgan might successfully escape certain guises of the problem neither eradicates it completely. I then suggest the only promising defence of functionalism therefore is a Chalmers-approach.

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I take functionalism as the position that mental states are states that play a specific causal role in regards to their causes and effects, to other mental states, and to the behaviour of the individual.

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Braaaains on a Plane

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Are there any good arguments for believing in other minds? Justify your answer.

Intention

I shall argue against single-mind solipsism and in extension the zombie hypothesis by inference to the best explanation.

Limitations of the Problem

Image by courtesy of A Tribe Called Möw.

Image by courtesy of A Tribe Called Möw.

The presupposition of the problem is that each person can only ever have direct experience of his or her own mind. Therefore, in lieu of any evidence to the contrary there is no reason to assume that any mind other than one’s own exists. I posit that there are only two ways that this could be the case. Either we must grant veracity to the zombie hypothesis or alternately to the notion of the outside world as a mirage, a dream, or something similarly illusory.

In this essay I shall take a non-illusory outside world for granted. Therefore, I will focus solely on (more…)