Forfatter: Jørgen Dyrstad

On the Problem of Consciousness and the Nature of Philosophy: An interview with David Chalmers

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David Chalmers is one of the most prolific and influential philosophers of our time1. He is also one of relatively few contemporary (analytic) philosophers well-known outside the philosophical community, in particular within the sciences of mind. His broad influence and authority was demonstrated by the fact that when he visited Oslo this August, he engaged in an hour-long conversation with scientists about foundational issues in the sciences of mind.2 Chalmers has contributed to raise classical debates about the mind – such as the debate of dualism and monism – from their status as quaint scholastic exercises to questions that even contemporary empirical scientists cannot avoid. All the same, he has been very keen to stress that consciousness is not merely mysterious or inexplicable; his aim is to give a theory of consciousness, in interdisciplinary fashion.

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The Sophisticated Naïve: An Interview with Michael G. F. Martin

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Michael G. F. Martin is something of a philosopher’s philosopher.1 More specifically, he is a philosopher of perception’s philosopher, as this is the area within which most of his very influential work falls. Martin is particularly well-known for motivating and defending ‘naïve realism’, the view that perception constitutively  involves relations of awareness of the ordinary, mind-independent world around us. However common-sensical this thought is, philosophers over the ages have found it notoriously hard to hold on to. Various problems – the gap between the world as it appears in experience and how it is described in physics, the fact that things can appear differently to different persons, and (not least, as will be clear later) the possibility of hallucinations that completely match the real thing – have lead many to accept either a more traditional ‘sensationalist’ conception of experience, according to which experience is constituted by awareness of certain subjective, private items, or a slightly more modern ‘intentional’ or ‘representational’ conception, according to which experience only fallibly represents an external reality. Les mer