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Sisyphus's Boulder -- Editorial page -- Title page -- LCC data -- Dedication -- Table of contents -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- 1. Intuitions at an impasse -- 1.1. Consequences of some obvious but under-appreciated facts -- 1.1.1. What is consciousness? -- 1.1.2. But what is consciousness really? An embarrassment of explanations -- 1.2. The real debate: The naturalists and the mysterians -- 1.2.1. Defining naturalism and mysterianism -- 1.2.2. The tension between naturalism and mysterianism -- 1.2.3. Silence at the impasse -- I. Troubles with naturalism -- 2. Against naturalism -- 2.1. Supervenience and its epistemology -- 2.2. Zombie and Cartesian intuitions: Roadblocks to an explanatory theory of consciousness -- 2.2.1. The nature of the zombie and Cartesian intuitions -- 2.2.2. Persistent illusions: The best case for naturalism -- 2.3. The logically hermetic nature of consciousness -- 2.3.1. The hermetic property -- 2.3.2. Handling an objection -- 2.4. An argument against naturalism -- 3. The dismal prospects for naturalism -- 3.1. The role of concepts and inference in supervenience explanations -- 3.2. The conceptual impasse -- 3.3. The improved argument -- II. Aspects of a science of consciousness -- 4. How to avoid being a mysterian -- 4.1. The lure of the mysterian view -- 4.2. Problems with mysterian arguments -- 4.3. More problems with mysterian arguments -- 4.4. Handling a tacit mysterian assumption: The relation between description and experience -- 5. Science in the face of mystery -- 5.1. The science of consciousness in broad outline -- 5.2. Overconfidence, underdetermination, and the correlates of consciousness -- 5.2.1. Flohr's hypothesis -- 5.2.2. Is there a way to find the NCC? -- 5.2.3. Blindsight and other philosophical examples -- 5.3. The pragmatics of consciousness research -- 5.4. The naturalists' promissory notes.
III. An application -- 6. How consciousness creates philosophy -- 6.1. The enduringness of philosophy: The proper view -- 6.2. The Nagelian conjecture -- 6.3. Deeper aspects of Nagel's conjecture -- 6.4. The nature and future of philosophy -- Appendix: Problems with zombies -- 1. Chalmers's zombies -- 2. The Kripkean view of worlds -- 3. Consciousness and conceptual truth -- 4. The impossibility of zombie twins -- 5. Conclusion -- Notes -- Chapter 1 -- Chapter 2 -- Chapter 3 -- Chapter 4 -- Chapter 5 -- Chapter 6 -- Appendix -- References -- Index -- The series Advances in Consciousness Research.
Consciousness lies at the core of being human. Therefore, to understand ourselves, we need a theory of consciousness. In Sisyphus's Boulder, Eric Dietrich and Valerie Hardcastle argue that we will never get such a theory because consciousness has an essential property that prevents it from ever being explained. Consequently, philosophical debates over materialism and dualism are a waste of time. Scientific explanations of consciousness fare no better. Scientists do study consciousness, and such investigations will continue to grow and advance. However, none of them will ever reveal what consciousness is. In addition, given the centrality of consciousness in philosophy, Dietrich and Hardcastle claim that philosophy itself needs to change. That the central problems of philosophy persist is actually a profound epistemic fact about humans. Philosophy, then, is a limit to what humans can understand. (Series A).
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Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2019. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries.