- Copyright Page
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: What is the Philosophy of Consciousness?
- The Problem of Consciousness
- Visual Experience
- Non-Visual Perception
- Bodily Feelings: Presence, Agency, and Ownership
- Emotional Experience: Affective Consciousness and its Role in Emotion Theory
- Imaginative Experience
- Conscious Thought
- The Experience of Agency
- Temporal Consciousness
- The Phenomenal Unity of Consciousness
- The Neural Correlates of Consciousness
- Beyond the Neural Correlates of Consciousness
- Dualism: How Epistemic Issues Drive Debates about the Ontology of Consciousness
- Russellian Monism
- Idealism: Putting Qualia To Work
- Eliminativism About Consciousness
- A Priori Physicalism
- A Posteriori Physicalism: Type-B Materialism and the Explanatory Gap
- Representationalism about Consciousness
- Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness
- Self-Representationalist Theories of Consciousness
- The Epistemic Approach to the Problem of Consciousness
- Consciousness and Attention
- Consciousness and Memory
- Consciousness and Action: Contemporary Empirical Arguments for Epiphenomenalism
- Consciousness and Intentionality
- Consciousness and Knowledge
- Consciousness, Introspection, and Subjective Measures
- Consciousness and Selfhood: Getting Clearer on For-Me-Ness and Mineness
- Consciousness and Morality
- Embodied Consciousness
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines a radical philosophical position about consciousness: eliminativism. Eliminativists claim that consciousness does not exist and/or that talk of consciousness should be eliminated from science. These are strong positions to take, and require serious defence. In the first section, the chapter introduces the difference between entity eliminativism and discourse eliminativism and outlines the typical strategies used to support each. The next section provides a brief overview of the kinds of consciousness we refer to throughout the chapter. The following section focuses on entity eliminativist arguments about consciousness: Dennett’s classic eliminativist argument; a rebooted version of Dennett’s argument; and recent arguments for ‘illusionism’. In the subsequent section, discourse eliminativist arguments about consciousness are examined: methodological arguments from scientific behaviourism; arguments based on the empirical accessibility of phenomenal consciousness; and a stronger version of discourse eliminativism aimed at both phenomenal and access consciousness. The final section offers a brief conclusion.
Elizabeth Irvine is lecturer in philosophy at Cardiff University. Her research interests are primarily in philosophy of cognitive science and psychology, and philosophy of science. She has published in journals such as Mind and Language, Synthese, and won the 2016 Sir Karl Popper Essay Prize for an article published in the British Journal for Philosophy of Science.
Mark Sprevak is senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. His primary research interests are in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and metaphysics, with particular focus on the cognitive sciences. He has published articles in, among other places, The Journal of Philosophy, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Synthese, Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, and Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. He is also the author of The Computational Mind, published by Routledge.
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