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Zombies and Consciousness$
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Robert Kirk

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199285489.001.0001

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What Has To Be Done

What Has To Be Done

Chapter:
(p.58) 5 What Has To Be Done
Source:
Zombies and Consciousness
Author(s):

Robert Kirk

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199285489.003.0005

This chapter focuses on the nature of perceptual-phenomenal consciousness. This is the ‘what-is-it problem’, and contrasts strongly with the ‘what-is-it-like problem’. A solution to the latter cannot be found for Nagelian reasons, but that does not prevent an attempt to solve the what-is-it problem. Jackson’s Mary provides useful lessons: she could not get a priori from the physical and functional truths to a full knowledge-with-understanding of phenomenal truths, but she could get a priori from the physical truths to a knowledge of which phenomenal statements were true. The difference between Block’s ‘access consciousness’ and ‘phenomenal consciousness’ is no difficulty for the project; nor is a new science needed. In what follows, the moderate realism of everyday psychology will be useful.

Keywords:   access consciousness, Block, Jackson’s Mary, Nagel, perceptual-phenomenal consciousness, realism of everyday psychology, what-is-it problem, what-is-it-like problem

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