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Title: On the alleged impossibility of understanding consciousness
Author: Garvey, James Mackenzie
ISNI:       0000 0001 3491 6840
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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Central to contemporary philosophy of mind are two questions: what is consciousness, and how is consciousness related to the world? This thesis is concerned with sceptical responses to such questions, responses that take a number of forms. Some claim that empirical data undermine the concept of consciousness, such that it makes sense to say that 'consciousness' will go the way of phlogiston, signatures and spirits. Others argue that consciousness is beyond our ken; our cognitive faculties, in other words, are not up to the job of understanding consciousness. Still others maintain that consciousness is simply not amenable to the kind of understanding we seek. This thesis is an attempt to clarify these positions, and others like them, and determine whether or not there really are good reasons for thinking that consciousness cannot be understood. In the end, I hope to show that none of the arguments offered by those sceptical about the prospects for understanding consciousness are convincing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available