Single Idea 5795

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / a. Consciousness]

Full Idea

There are not two kinds of consciousness, an information-processing consciousness that is amenable to scientific investigation and a phenomenal, what-it-subjectively-feels-like form of consciousness that will forever remain mysterious.

Gist of Idea

There isn't one consciousness (information-processing) which can be investigated, and another (phenomenal) which can't


John Searle (The Mystery of Consciousness [1997], Concl.1)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Mystery of Consciousness' [Granta 1997], p.200

A Reaction

Fodor appears to be the main target of this remark. The view that we can explain intentionality but not qualia is currently very fashionable. I am sympathetic to Searle here. Consciousness isn't an epiphenomenon, it is essential to all thought.