‘Physical parts just can’t add up to a mental whole.’ : Why does Thomas Nagel assert this impossible?

How does Nagel define consciousness?

According to Nagel, a being is conscious just if there is “something that it is like” to be that creature, i.e., some subjective way the world seems or appears from the creature’s mental or experiential point of view.

Does Nagel believe in consciousness?

Nagel is probably most widely known in philosophy of mind as an advocate of the idea that consciousness and subjective experience cannot, at least with the contemporary understanding of physicalism, be satisfactorily explained with the concepts of physics.

Why does Nagel say the problem of consciousness is the hard problem?

Thomas Nagel sees the problem as turning on the “subjectivity” of conscious mental states (1974, 1986). He argues that the facts about conscious states are inherently subjective—they can only be fully grasped from limited types of viewpoints.

Does Nagel believe in free will?

Nagel presents determinism as “the circumstances before an action determine that it will happen, and rule out any other possibility.” These circumstances including an individual’s sum of experiences, knowledge, etc, all contribute to this.

What is the difference between the hard problem consciousness and the easy problem of consciousness?

The easy problems of consciousness are those that seem directly susceptible to the standard methods of cognitive science, whereby a phenomenon is explained in terms of computational or neural mechanisms. The hard problems are those that seem to resist those methods.

Is the hard problem of consciousness unsolvable?

The hard problem of consciousness has been often claimed to be unsolvable by the methods of traditional empirical sciences. It has been argued that all the objects of empirical sciences can be fully analyzed in structural terms but that consciousness is (or has) something over and above its structure.

What is the hard problem of consciousness Chalmers?

The hard problem of consciousness (Chalmers 1995) is the problem of explaining the relationship between physical phenomena, such as brain processes, and experience (i.e., phenomenal consciousness, or mental states/events with phenomenal qualities or qualia).

What does Nagel mean by the subjective character of experience?

To Nagel, the subjective character of experience implies the cognitive closure of the human mind to some facts, specifically the mental states that physical states create.

Can brain alone explain consciousness?


Maybe even a fundamental gap. But that's only really a conceptual gap it's a gap in knowledge of a level of thought so knowledge of the brain will never produce knowledge of consciousness.

Who proposed the hard problem of consciousness?

Chalmers

Chalmers‘ formulation



The problem of consciousness, Chalmers argues, is two problems: the easy problems and the hard problem.

Can consciousness be reductively explained?

Chalmers and others, that consciousness can in principle be reductively explained simply by reference to the physical circumstances of the brain’s hard-wiring and capacity for software-like processing is not the same thing as claiming that consciousness is ”a thing apart, inherently inexplicable in terms of known …

Why is consciousness considered a construct?

Psychological constructs are used to understand or explain things that we believe exist but cannot see, touch, or measure in any way. Consciousness is a psychological construct because it is believed to exist, but we are unable to physically measure it, so descriptions are ‘constructed’ to explain it.

What is the relationship between the brain the mind and consciousness?

The mind uses the brain, and the brain responds to the mind. The mind also changes the brain. People choose their actions—their brains do not force them to do anything. Yes, there would be no conscious experience without the brain, but experience cannot be reduced to the brain’s actions.

How is consciousness related to other mental processes?

We can conclude that consciousness does have biological value, though it includes no mental processes. Therefore, consciousness must have a nonexecutive biological function—a secondary or supporting role to associated neural mechanisms that do have executive functions.

Why is consciousness important in psychology?

Our experience of consciousness is functional because we use it to guide and control our behaviour, and to think logically about problems (DeWall, Baumeister, & Masicampo, 2008). Consciousness allows us to plan activities and to monitor our progress toward the goals we set for ourselves.

How is consciousness defined in the field of psychology?

Consciousness is an individual’s state of awareness of their environment, thoughts, feelings, or sensations; in order to experience consciousness, one must be both awake and aware.

How do psychologists view consciousness?

Perhaps most importantly, consciousness relates to those psychological mechanisms that are presently receiving a level of attention, bringing them into heightened focus and activation (Jasanoff, 2018). In the absence of consciousness, many of our psychological processes continue in the background, unnoticed.

What does unconsciousness mean in psychology?

unconscious, also called Subconscious, the complex of mental activities within an individual that proceed without his awareness. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, stated that such unconscious processes may affect a person’s behaviour even though he cannot report on them.

Which theorist believed that the unconscious rises to the surface through dreams?

Freud believed that many of our feelings, desires, and emotions are repressed or held out of awareness because they are simply too threatening. Freud believed that sometimes these hidden desires and wishes make themselves known through dreams and slips of the tongue (aka “Freudian slips”).

How does the unconscious mind affect thoughts feelings and behavior?

Unconscious agents no longer influence behavior directly, but they now influence the nature of consciousness. Inclinations continue to be experienced consciously, even when they are not expressed behaviorally.