What is it Like to be a Human Being?
Questions of the form ‘What is it like to be such-and-such?’ are not always significant questions. The following, for example, are not significant questions: ‘What is it like to be a planet’?, ‘What is it like to be a mountain?’, ‘What is it like to be a prime number?’ Why are these questions nonsignificant? These questions lack significance because, for a question of the form ‘What is it like to be such-and such?’ to have significance, it is essential that being such-and-such should involve having experiences on the part of whatever it is that is such-and-such; and because being-a-planet, being-amountain, being-a-prime number, does not require that certain configurations of matter or certain numbers should have, or be capable of having, experiences of any kind. I shall, however, presently argue that for a question of the form ‘What is it like to be such-and-such?’ to have significance, it is not sufficient that being-such-and-such should involve being-an-experient.
KeywordsScientific Knowledge Prime Minister Human Experience Significant Question Unitive Mode
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