Los Supuestos Metafísicos del Problema de la Experiencia Consciente en la Filosofía de David Chalmers
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Los Supuestos Metafísicos del Problema de la Experiencia Consciente en la Filosofía de David Chalmers

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Los Supuestos Metafísicos del Problema de la Experiencia Consciente en la Filosofía de David Chalmers

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dc.contributor.advisor Corbí Fernández de Ibarra, Josep E.
dc.contributor.author Fontcuberta Llavata, Alejandro
dc.contributor.other Departament de Metafísica i Teoria del Coneixement es_ES
dc.date.accessioned 2017-01-09T08:11:33Z
dc.date.available 2017-01-10T05:45:06Z
dc.date.issued 2016 es_ES
dc.date.submitted 21-12-2016 es_ES
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10550/56678
dc.description.abstract El problema difícil de la experiencia consciente se resume en la cuestión de cómo es posible que el cerebro sea la base de la experiencia consciente. El objetivo general de la tesis es llevar a cabo una crítica general de los supuestos metafísicos que subyacen a la formulación del problema difícil de la experiencia consciente, centrándose en el análisis que se lleva a cabo del problema en la obra de David Chalmers. Los argumentos presentados tratan de establecer tres clases de resultados que no contradicen, per se, la verdad de la posición de Chalmers: en primer lugar, intento dejar claras los supuestos generales que hacen posible la formulación del problema de la conciencia; en segundo lugar, teniendo en cuenta estos supuestos, argumentaré que Chalmers no puede extraer inteligiblemente la conclusión a la que se supone que llega; en tercer lugar, aunque la teoría de Chalmers afirma que todo lo filosóficamente interesante con respecto al problema de la conciencia puede reducirse a una teoría científica en la que se lleve a cabo una ampliación ontológica que permita incluir las propiedades asociadas a la experiencia consciente , pondré en duda que este sea el caso, esbozando aspectos centrales de la comprensión de la conciencia que se encuentran más allá del alcance de su teoría. El Capítulo 1 esboza el marco fisicista en el que se formula el problema de la conciencia y describe los requisitos, así como las limitaciones, que dicho marco impone al proyecto general que Chalmers trata de llevar a cabo. El Capítulo 2 analiza la distinción entre la conciencia entendida como la base causal que explica el comportamiento y la conciencia entendida como la vida interior de un ser con mente, esto es, la experiencia fenoménica. El capítulo tratará de mostrar que esta distinción no podrá llevarse a cabo inteligiblemente. El Capítulo 3 analiza los argumentos que tratan de mostrar la irreductibilidad de la experiencia consciente. Dichos argumentos se resumen en la idea de que podemos concebir situaciones en las que los hechos físicos del mundo son los mismos y, sin embargo, los hechos relativos a la experiencia consciente no se dan. En dicho capítulo se describirá el marco semántico diseñado por Chalmers para mostrar cómo en el caso de la experiencia consciente la concebibilidad permite inferir conclusiones respecto a la posibilidad metafísica y se determinará cuál es el supuesto principal en el que se basa la aplicación del marco a la conciencia, para ser criticado en los capítulos restantes. En el Capítulo 4 se discuten dos formas de epifenomenismo que parecen seguirse de la posición de Chalmers. La primera tiene que ver con la realización de las propiedades mentales en propiedades físicas; esta concepción se sirve de una distinción entre propiedades categóricas y propiedades relacionales que cuestiono. La segunda clase de epifenomenismo tiene que ver con el hecho de que la experiencia consciente no desempeña ningún rol en la formación de los juicios respecto a la propia experiencia consciente; la concepción que posibilita este tipo de epifenomenismo se pone en cuestión, a su vez. En el Capítulo 5 se señalará que el carácter discreto y metafísico de los estados mentales tal y como los concibe Chalmers es ininteligible, y se apuntará a un modelo racional de la experiencia consciente. En el Capítulo 6, mostraré que la concepción de la conciencia de Chalmers no puede dar cuenta del valor que atribuimos a la misma; a su vez, se criticará el proyecto de Chalmers de fundamentar una ciencia de la conciencia. es_ES
dc.format.extent 281 p. es_ES
dc.language.iso es es_ES
dc.subject experiencia consciente es_ES
dc.subject propiedades fenoménicas es_ES
dc.subject epifenomenismo es_ES
dc.subject fisicismo es_ES
dc.title Los Supuestos Metafísicos del Problema de la Experiencia Consciente en la Filosofía de David Chalmers es_ES
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis es_ES
dc.subject.unesco UNESCO::FILOSOFÍA es_ES
dc.description.abstractenglish The arguments presented in this dissertation aim at achieving three kinds of results which not necessarily collide with the truth of Chalmers’ account: firstly, I intend to make clear the general assumptions that make possible the formulation of the problem of consciousness; secondly, taking into account these assumptions, I will argue that Chalmers’ cannot draw intelligibly the conclusion he is supposed to reach; thirdly, even though Chalmers’ theory intends to say everything philosophically interesting regarding the problem of consciousness, it will be called into question that this is the case, sketching core aspects of the understanding of consciousness that lie beyond the scope of his theory. Even without a clear conception of what an illuminating philosophical approach is. Chapter 1 introduces the physicalist framework within which the problem of consciousness is posed. To begin with, the determination of the content of physicalism in terms of physics (either current or future) is of no use. Chalmers does not get into detail either when it comes to determine the content of physical properties. The emphasis of Chalmers’ definition of physicalism is put in the logical hierarchy of reality, where physical facts (whatever they are) are the basic facts of reality. Chalmers’ account is committed to a layered conception of reality, where physical facts are regarded as the basic facts of the world insofar they are located in the fundamental level of reality, so that once the physical facts of the world are determined the facts of the world are determined simpliciter. For Chalmers, however, consciousness cannot be determined with logical necessity out of the totality of physical facts. According to Chalmers, every explanation must stop at some point, and some brute facts holding an arbitrary relationship between them will be found at the bottom level. Then, giving an illuminating explanation of something means just explaining how the seemingly arbitrary relations holding between some set of facts are not different from the arbitrary relations linking the brute facts of the bottom level. But even in the case of consciousness we would lack this kind of “illumination”. Physicalism overlaps partially with the absolute conception of reality. At least, it shares with the latter the attempt to find a privileged and fundamental theoretical perspective that stands in a special and asymmetrical relation to every other perspective. Phenomenal consciousness, according to Chalmers, holds a relationship to the rest of reality that cannot be explained by means of other scientific connections. At the same time, the problem of consciousness is unavoidably formulated within a mainstream physicalist framework. But mind and, especially, consciousness seem to be recalcitrant to physicalist reduction. If physicalism is to be a satisfactory account of reality, it should be able to accommodate the different perspectives about reality, or else reject them as false beliefs or delusions. The latter presupposes what an unmasking explanation is, in terms due to Barry Stroud (2000). Unmasking explanations are common in the history of modern science. There is a basic constraint this kind of explanation must satisfy: the explanandum must be identified without presupposing its truth. This is a very demanding challenge for physicalism, which must account for mentality out of the austere terminology of physics. Additionally, mind is not simply correlated to the world; there are intelligible links between mind and world that go beyond a mere brute connection. A project that rather aims to be illuminating and to build cognitive unities is akin to Bernard Williams’ notion of “making sense”, according to which there are different kinds of narratives that make sense to distinct audiences with disparate interests. Chalmers’ approach cannot be illuminating because it intends to explain consciousness as if such kind of understanding could be reached without any reference to particular audiences or interests. Chapter 2 analyzes the distinction between the two concepts of the mental that go together with the two kinds of problems about consciousness, namely, the easy problems of consciousness and the hard problem of consciousness. The psychological concept of mind has to do with the causal explanation of behavior; on the other hand, the phenomenal concept of mind relates to the experiential character of consciousness Phenomenal consciousness is the one that poses a proper philosophical problem (the hard problem of consciousness). The problem can be stated as the lack of conceptual links between phenomenal properties and physical properties (or properties amenable to be reduced to physical properties by means of a functionalization). I will argue that this problem cannot be stated coherently. Chalmers accepts that the link between psychological (functional) and phenomenal properties is empirical, but in order to establish this point, the content of phenomenal properties must be individuated independently of any functional property, and in this sense there are two possibilities at hand. Either instantiations of phenomenal properties are pinned down resorting to the psychological aspect of the mental, which is co-ocurrent with the phenomenal aspect, or are individuated privately, from the first person point of view. Resorting to the psychological aspect of the mental means that a functional property, allegedly co-occurring with the proper phenomenal property, could be chosen in order to determine that a phenomenal property is being instantiated. But the problem with this answer is that there is no clear criterion that guarantees the instantiation of such functional property whenever the phenomenal property obtains. The path of the first person point of view is not more promising. In the rest of the chapter, I examine a Peter F. Strawson’s argument to this purpose (see Strawson 1959). In order to speak about the relation I hold to my own experiences I should have been previously able to determine what the subset of my experiences is, so that they can be distinguished from other people’s experiences, but how could I do this taking my private experience as a starting point? How could I point out to the subset of my own experiences without being previously able to ascribe experiences to other people? If the acquaintance with one’s experiences has logical priority in order to ascribe experiences from a third person point of view, as Chalmers assumes, then the content of these properties cannot be fixed, and the distinction between the two concepts of mind cannot be drawn coherently. Chapter 3 deals with the arguments against the reducibility of consciousness. These arguments can be sorted depending on the kind of conclusion they lead to, and on the way their premises may support the conclusion. The first kind of argument is characterized by the drawing of a metaphysical conclusion out of the conceivability of a situation. The most important argument of this kind is the conceivability of zombies, according to which it is possible to conceive beings identical to us in almost every respect -except regarding phenomenal properties- that, nonetheless, lack consciousness. Then, if this is possible -the argument continues- materialism is false. According to the experiment of the inverted spectrum, the second argument of this type, it is metaphysically possible that two identical individuals in every non-phenomenal aspect have their color-experiences inverted. This argument states the falsity of materialism, even though it is not committed to the possibility of the zombies. I will argue the lure of this argument has mainly to do with some rhetorical aspects specifically associated with the case of colors; when the argument is formulated with regard to other kinds of properties, it sounds much weaker. Jackson’s Knowledge Argument resorts to the thought experiment of Mary, the scientist that knows every fact about color but never had color perceptions. Once more, it seemed that the argument relied heavily on the intuitions linked to the chromatic experience, but it does not work so well when it is couched in terms of other phenomenal properties, so that its scope is remarkably restricted. Finally, the last kind of argument has to do with the analysis of mental concepts, and the absence of a functional analysis in the case of phenomenal properties. This argument assumes that the absence of a functional analysis, in the case of conscious mental states, is an absence of analysis tout court; on the other hand, it is unclear why from the absence of analysis a conclusion regarding the falsity of materialism in terms of supervenience should follow. Chalmers develops a general argument that synthetizes the intuitions of the arguments presented. The basic idea behind this argument is that we can conceive of a situation where the actual physical facts hold, but phenomenal consciousness is missing. If this possibility is conceivable, the argument follows, then materialism is false. In order for this argument to work, something needs to be said about the relationship between conceivability and metaphysics, and for this purpose, Chalmers develops a two-dimensional framework that gives support to his argument. Following the two-dimensional theory of meaning developed by Chalmers, there are two ways of assessing the application of a concept through possible worlds: firstly, the relevant possible worlds can be considered as real, and then it is required a previous conception of that thing whose identity is to be determined. This is what Chalmers considers a primary intension. Secondly, alternative possible worlds can be considered as counterfactual, so that the reference of the term is fixed in the real world. According to Chalmers, in the case of phenomenal properties only primary intensions are relevant to assess possibilities. Hence, what is conceivable regarding phenomenal consciousness is relevant for the determination of metaphysical possibilities and a counterfactual situation involving phenomenal consciousness is metaphysically possible. However, the two-dimensional framework is not but a tool that allow us to describe the two relevant intensions in case they existed. On the other hand, the argument relies ultimately on the idea that, in the case of phenomenal consciousness, “seeming” is “being”. In Part II, these further assumptions regarding the especial status of phenomenal properties will be challenged. In Chapter 4, I explore the epiphenomenalism that seems to ensue from Chalmers’ theory. The irreducibility of phenomenal consciousness in conjunction with the reducibility of every further mental aspect leads to the conclusion that consciousness is causally irrelevant. As discussed in Chapter 1, Chalmers assumes that there can be a mapping between functional properties and phenomenal properties, given their co-occurrence. Even though Chalmers does not call into question the causal efficacy of functional properties, functionalism has to cope with a general difficulty. Functionalism is attractive because it is capable of explaining how mental properties relate to physical properties, precisely because physical properties realize mental properties. But that means that the causal powers of a mental property are the causal powers of its realizer. If we follow this line of reasoning, it seems that only physical properties have genuine causal powers. But the problem does not stop here: it is not clear whether physical properties indeed capture causal powers. What is special about physical properties that would enable causation? It seems that, unless there were a bottom level of reality, the causal powers of things would drain away. Chalmers does not address these questions directly, but he is committed to the existence of intrinsic properties as a fundamental substratum of reality and phenomenal properties are the only ones of which we know about their intrinsicness. It seems that resorting to intrinsic properties solves many metaphysical problems. Physicalist functionalism seems to lead necessarily to the idea that physical properties should be intrinsic in some sense, if they are to be special in the sense other properties are not. I’ll try to show that intrinsic properties are devoid of explanatory power and the distinction between intrinsic and dispositional properties only makes sense within a context of normality; consequently, the putative intrinsic character of physical properties becomes unintelligible. Another form of epiphenomenalism has to do with the specificity of phenomenal consciousness, insofar as the lack of phenomenal consciousness wouldn’t make a difference detectable by us in a zombie case, not even when zombies talk about their phenomenal consciousness (this is what Chalmers calls the paradox of phenomenal judgement). According to Chalmers, the content of phenomenal properties cannot be individuated by their causal role, so that the epistemic relation we hold to their instantiations must be different; this is the relation of acquaintance. This relation is not positively characterized, but is rather an ad hoc movement, forced by the dialectic of the discussion. Negatively, acquaintance can be defined as an epistemic relation, such that no sceptical scenario is even intelligible regarding consciousness. Chalmers’ metaphysical conception of consciousness assumes that it makes sense to talk about separated fragments of consciousness. I will argue that part of understanding that a being is conscious has to do with how mental states are inextricable linked to complex and stable ways of acting, so that conscious experience cannot be segmented in isolated fragments. In Chapter 5 I examine, specifically, the discrete and realistic conception of phenomenal states Chalmers is committed to and, once again, I challenge its intelligibility. These principles involve concepts that are innocuous in everyday practices, but fail to make sense when applied out of the normal framework, where they become metaphysical. One of these principles is the idea that there is a spatial place (in the brain) where consciousness occurs. This is what Dennett calls the Cartesian Theater. Even though, in principle, almost nobody currently subscribes to the idea of a locus where consciousness takes place, the idea of a correlation between psychology and phenomenology assumes that it should be possible to link tightly phenomenal properties to functional properties (on the assumption that the latter are amenable to be located in space). But if this kind of correlation is possible, instantiations of phenomenal properties could be isolated in a discrete way. The second metaphysical principle assumed by Chalmers is that for every question regarding the instantiation of a phenomenal property there is a definite answer; this is a strong realistic conception of consciousness. I will support Dennett’s argument in Consciousness Explained, according to which neither the conception of the Cartesian Theater or the realistic assumption regarding instantiations of phenomenal properties make sense. Dennett’s argumentation is not to be conflated with a sceptical or verificationist argument. However, the conclusions of this chapter leave some philosophical dissatisfaction, insofar as no alternative approach is presented. This dissatisfaction is partially compensated for in Chapter 6. In Chapter 6, I describe the limits Chalmers’ account has regarding its conceptual power to explain the importance consciousness has to human beings. Chalmers’ theory of consciousness falls short of explaining why consciousness matters to us and why allegedly it makes life worth living. The hard problem of consciousness is elusive and for any attempt to solve it can easily be rephrased in terms of a further aspect of experience that cannot be reduced to some other kind of thing or property. Instead of providing a standard answer, subject to the same kind of reply, the strategy I will follow seeks to highlight the explanatory limits of the conception involved in the formulation of the problem. Accepting that consciousness constitutes a set of facts devoid of any conceptual link to the rest of reality has the undesirable consequence that there is no way we can understand the valuable role consciousness plays in our lives. Another consequence of this approach is the impossibility of determining the relevant facts that would allow us to settle the question. Chalmers assumes that a conscious being holds a relation of acquaintance with its own mental states, and that’s what makes them conscious. This relationship of acquaintance cannot explain why consciousness is valuable for us, insofar as it functions as a magical relation. These difficulties show the limits not only of Chalmers’ approach, but of any theory that interprets consciousness as the instantiation of some kind of particular properties and seeks to grasp these properties as isolated items of study. Even though it is difficult to deny that when someone is conscious of something, some property is detected in a certain way, this movement by itself fails to illuminate our understanding of consciousness. A better framework to understand consciousness should take into account the multiple relation between body, mind and environment and instead of facing a mystery, the philosophical study of consciousness should take into account how these factors interrelate in different constellations. On the other hand, phenomenology is not to be understood as something detached from the outer world, constituted by a variety of properties that hold a contingent relationship with the world. Rather, I suggest the alleged richness of phenomenology is not but the richness of the world. For Chalmers, being conscious amounts to the instantiation of some set of phenomenal properties, but this model of explanation cannot account for the value we attribute to consciousness and it does not say anything about the way consciousness relates to other fields of our life. An alternative account of consciousness is proposed that tries to tie consciousness to our body and to the way our body relates to the world. The limits of Chalmers’ account are reflected too in his sketch of a science of consciousness, based on the coherence between psychology and phenomenology. The explanatory power of Chalmers’ would-be science of consciousness is criticized and some remarks are made on the minimal explanatory demands a science of consciousness should meet. Phenomenal properties seem to be connected with the rest of the world in a brute way and this is not a bruteness that could be discovered by means of empirical research; thought experiments allegedly show the especial way consciousness relates to the world. In this sense, the notion of plausibility Chalmers appeals to is no use, insofar as the science of consciousness he is proposing cannot be understood by analogy with other sciences. On the one hand, it is unknown what would count as an answer to the hard problem of consciousness but, on the other hand, the notion of plausibility Chalmers uses is clearly imported from the context of natural sciences. The hard problem of consciousness is posed within the framework of physicalism. However, Chalmers proposal can hardly be considered naturalistic, insofar as it addresses the question of the methodological unity of science and shows, at best, that the methodological standards of natural sciences can be applied, in some sense, to the study of consciousness. On the other hand, Chalmers is anti-reductionist regarding consciousness and, in this sense, it is unclear to what extent there is continuity between natural sciences and the science Chalmers proposes. If a science of consciousness is to tell us something relevant, consciousness should not be understood as a single phenomenon, amenable to be studied by a single discipline, but as a complex set of interactions between body, mind and world that requires different points of view to be properly understood. es_ES
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