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The illusion of conscious experience

  • François KammererEmail author
Article

Abstract

Illusionism about phenomenal consciousness is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, even though it seems to exist. This thesis is widely judged to be uniquely counterintuitive: the idea that consciousness is an illusion strikes most people as absurd, and seems almost impossible to contemplate in earnest. Defenders of illusionism should be able to explain the apparent absurdity of their own thesis, within their own framework. However, this is no trivial task: arguably, none of the illusionist theories currently on the market is able to do this. I present a new theory of phenomenal introspection and argue that it might deal with the task at hand.

Keywords

Consciousness Illusionism Introspection Metaphysics Physicalism 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I want to thank Uriah Kriegel for his extremely valuable comments and remarks. I also want to thank Keith Frankish, Rob Rupert and Samuel Webb for their help and their comments, as well as two anonymous reviewers.

Funding

Funding was provided by ANR (Grant Nos. ANR-10-LABX-0087 IEC, ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL*) and Fonds De La Recherche Scientifique—FNRS.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Supérieur de Philosophie, FNRSUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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