Some sample paper topics on material in the first part of the course.
v Burge on access without phenomenality.
v Do such concepts as phenomenal consciousness, access-consciousness and reflexive consciousness derive from an ambiguity in ‘conscious’? Or is ‘conscious’ a (relevantly) univiocal term with a family resemblance extension? (See the article on Religion by William Alston in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Macmillan) for an example of a family resemblance concept.)
v A defense of Church or Dennett or Chalmers on phenomenal consciousness vs access consciousness.
v The dominance/deference distinction and its significance for the mind-body problem.
v Do common sense categories of experience apply at small time scales?
v An explication of the Orwellian and Stalinesque pictures of the phi phenomenon.
v Kripke’s argument against Shoemaker and its relation to the Frege-Schlick view.
v The role of memory in the inverted spectrum argument. Assuming inverted spectra can exist at all, could there be an inverted spectrum in a creature that had no memory?
v What kind of possibility is at stake in the possibility of an inverted spectrum?
v Peacocke (BFG, 341-354) gives a number of examples: the two trees, one eye vs two eyes, etc. What do they show?
v How should advocates of higher order theories of consciousness reply to some of the most obvious objections to their view?
v The relation between consciousness and the self and its relevance to various pictures of the nature of consciousness.
v Dennett’s Chase & Sanborn argument: what it is and whether it works.
v Is a functional criterion of similarity and identity compatible with a physicalist view of the specific nature of phenomenal experience?