Topic: Theories of Consciousness

Camp: Agreement / Approachable Via Science / Representational Qualia / Dualism / Property Dualism / Mind-Brain Identity / Functional Prprty Dualism

Camp Statement

Functional Property Dualism

This theory predicts that functionality is what ties phenomenal properties to physical matter in our brain.
In 1995, David Chalmers authored a paper entitled "Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia" in which he proposes a principle of organizational invariance: "The invariance principle holds that any functional isomorph of a conscious system has experiences that are qualitatively identical to those of the original system" ( He makes his argument through a set of thought experiments involving replacing some or all neurons (he assumes neurons are the fundamental elements of the organization that is the brain but this is not a crucial assumption). He argues that the implausibility of fading or dancing qualia is reason enough to claim that qualia (the stuff of conscious experience) will somehow "arise" from whatever physical matter is abstractly behaving like the neurons, just as it does in the brain. He takes this to mean (contra Searle) that such diverse things as a set of water pipes or an entire population would be conscious if organized correctly. He states his conclusion thus:
"I conclude that by far the most plausible hypothesis is that replacement of neurons while preserving functional organization will preserve qualia, and that experience is wholly determined by functional organization."

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Current Topic Record:

Topic Name : Theories of Consciousness
Name Space : General

Current Camp Record:

Camp Name : Functional Prprty Dualism
Keywords : functional, equivalence, property dualism
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