Single Idea 5798

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 1. Reductionism critique]

Full Idea

Consciousness has a first-person or subjective ontology and so cannot be reduced to anything that has third-person or objective ontology. If you try to reduce or eliminate one in favour of the other you leave something out.

Gist of Idea

Consciousness has a first-person ontology, so it cannot be reduced without omitting something


John Searle (The Mystery of Consciousness [1997], Concl 2.10)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Mystery of Consciousness' [Granta 1997], p.212

A Reaction

Misconceived. There is no such thing as 'first-person' ontology, though there are subjective viewpoints, but then a camera has a viewpoint which is lost if you eliminate it. If consciousness is physical events, that leaves viewpoints untouched.