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What is Consciousness? (Little Debates about Big Questions)

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What is consciousness and why is it so philosophically and scientifically puzzling? For many years philosophers approached this question assuming a standard physicalist framework on which consciousness can be explained by contemporary physics, biology, neuroscience, and cognitive science. This book is a debate between two philosophers who are united in their rejection of this kind of "standard" physicalism - but who differ sharply in what lesson to draw from this. Amy Kind defends dualism 2.0, a thoroughly modern version of dualism (the theory that there are two fundamentally different kinds of things in the world: those that are physical and those that are mental) decoupled from any religious or non-scientific connotations. Daniel Stoljar defends non-standard physicalism, a kind of physicalism different from both the standard version and dualism 2.0. The book presents a cutting-edge assessment of the philosophy of consciousness and provides a glimpse at what the future study of this area might bring.

Key Features

  • Outlines the different things people mean by "consciousness" and provides an account of what consciousness is
  • Reviews the key arguments for thinking that consciousness is incompatible with physicalism
  • Explores and provides a defense of contrasting responses to those arguments, with a special focus on responses that reject the standard physicalist framework
  • Provides an account of the basic aims of the science of consciousness
  • Written in a lively and accessibly style
  • Includes a comprehensive glossary
Product Details

Author: Daniel Stoljar, Amy Kind

Language: English


Binding: Paperback

Publisher: Routledge

Release Date: 2023-06-30

Pages: 242

ISBN: 0367332426

ISBN13: 9780367332426