Mon Dec 3, 2018
|Graduate Research Colloquium
Jackson Kernion (UC Berkeley)
The Strange Experience Argument for Modest Conceptual Functionalism
Philosophers regularly commit themselves to a conceptual distinction between phenomenal experience and functional structure. As the thought goes, you can’t learn anything about an organism’s cognitive architecture just by learning about whether/what that organism feels, and vice versa. But this is a mistake. While the phenomenal cannot be conceptually reduced to the functional, neither can it be conceptually isolated from the functional. On my view, a modest form of conceptual functionalism, we can can conceive of experiences as experiences only if they meet certain functional constraints. In this talk, I’ll be looking at one way to argue for this view: from the inconceivability of experiences that are functionally isolated from their subject.