ISBN: 9780262348973 | 648 pp. | October 2018


Essays on Ned Block’s Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness

Perhaps more than any other philosopher of mind, Ned Block synthesizes philosophical and scientific approaches to the mind; he is unique in moving back and forth across this divide, doing so with creativity and intensity. Over the course of his career, Block has made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of intelligence, representation, and consciousness. Blockheads! (the title refers to Block’s imaginary counterexample to the Turing test—and to the Block-enthusiast contributors) offers eighteen new essays on Block’s work along with substantive and wide-ranging replies by Block. The essays and responses not only address Block’s past contributions but are rich with new ideas and argument. They importantly clarify many key elements of Block’s work, including his pessimism concerning such thought experiments as Commander Data and the Nation of China; his more general pessimism about intuitions and introspection in the philosophy of mind; the empirical case for an antifunctionalist, biological theory of phenomenal consciousness; the fading qualia problem for a biological theory; the link between phenomenal consciousness and representation (especially spatial representation); and the reducibility of phenomenal representation. Many of the contributors to Blockheads! are prominent philosophers themselves, including Tyler Burge, David Chalmers, Frank Jackson, and Hilary Putnam.

Ned Block, Bill Brewer, Richard Brown, Tyler Burge, Marisa Carrasco, David Chalmers, Frank Jackson, Hakwan Lau, Geoffrey Lee, Janet Levin, Joseph Levine, William G. Lycan, Brian P. McLaughlin, Adam Pautz, Hilary Putnam, Sydney Shoemaker, Susanna Siegel, Nicholas Silins, Daniel Stoljar, Michael Tye, Sebastian Watzl

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Themes in Ned Block's Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness
  2. 1. Attention and Direct Realism
  3. 2. The Direct Realist Approach to Illusion: Reply to Bill Brewer
  4. 3. Psychological Content and Egocentric Indexes
  5. 4. Tyler Burge on Perceptual Adaptation
  6. 5. Attention Alters Appearance
  7. 6. Attention Affects Appearance: Response to Marisa Carrasco
  8. 7. Three Puzzles about Spatial Experience
  9. 8. David Chalmers on Shape and Color
  10. 9. Physicalism and the A Priori
  11. 10. Reply to Frank Jackson on A Priori Necessitation
  12. 11. The Emperor's New Phenomenology? The Empirical Case for Conscious Experiences without First-Order Representations
  13. 12. Empirical Science Meets Higher-Order Views of Consciousness: Reply to Hakwan Lau and Richard Brown
  14. 13. Alien Subjectivity and the Importance of Consciousness
  15. 14. Geoff Lee's Hegemony of the Third Person
  16. 15. Representational Exhaustion
  17. 16. Strong Representationism and Unconscious Perception: Reply to Janet Levin
  18. 17. On Phenomenal Access
  19. 18. Intuitions and the Metaphysics of Mind: Reply to Joe Levine
  20. 19. Block and the Representation Theory of Sensory Qualities
  21. 20. Puzzled about Sensory Qualities: Reply to Bill Lycan
  22. 21. Could an Android Be Sentient?
  23. 22. Functional Role, Superficialism, and Commander Data: Reply to Brian McLaughlin
  24. 23. How Can Brains in Vats Experience a Spatial World? A Puzzle for Internalists
  25. 24. Arguments Pro and Con on Adam Pautz's External Directedness Principle
  26. 25. "Naive Realism" and Qualia
  27. 26. Concepts and Percepts: Reply to Hilary Putnam
  28. 27. Phenomenal Character and Physicalism
  29. 28. Sydney Shoemaker on Transparency and the Inverted Spectrum
  30. 29. Attention and Perceptual Justification
  31. 30. Attention as a Conduit: Reply to Nicholas Silins and Susanna Siegel
  32. 31. In Praise of Poise
  33. 32. Poise, Dispositions, and Access Consciousness: Reply to Daniel Stoljar
  34. 33. Homunculi Heads and Silicon Chips: The Importance of History to Phenomenology
  35. 34. Fading Qualia: A Response to Michael Tye
  36. 35. Can Representationism Explain How Attention Affects Appearances?
  37. 36. Optimal Attention: Reply to Sebastian Watzl
  38. Bibliography of Ned Block's Works
  39. Contributors
  40. Index