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Consciousness

T. L. S. Sprigge
Synthese
Vol. 98, No. 1, Symposium in Honor of Alastair Hannay and Dagfinn Føllesdal (Jan., 1994), pp. 73-93
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20117858
Page Count: 21
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Consciousness
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Abstract

Various reflections on the nature of consciousness, partly inspired by Alastair Hannay's views on the subject, are presented. In particular, its reality as a distinct non-physical existence is defended against such alternatives as have dominated philosophy for many years. The main difficulty in such a defense concerns the contingency it seems to imply as to the relations between consciousness and its expression in behaviour. But it only implies such contingency if some version of the Humean principle that there cannot be necessary connections between distinct existences is assumed. It is more promising to see this relation as the falsification of this Humean principle and thus avoid what seems the main recommendation of behaviourism, functionalism etc. Some final reflections on the nature of the physical suggest that something like consciousness may be the noumenal essence of the physical in general.

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