Sisyphus's Boulder

Sisyphus's Boulder : Consciousness and the limits of the knowable

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Consciousness lies at the core of being human. Therefore, to understand ourselves, we need a theory of consciousness. In Sisyphus's Boulder, Eric Dietrich and Valerie Hardcastle argue that we will never get such a theory because consciousness has an essential property that prevents it from ever being explained. Consequently, philosophical debates over materialism and dualism are a waste of time. Scientific explanations of consciousness fare no better. Scientists do study consciousness, and such investigations will continue to grow and advance. However, none of them will ever reveal what consciousness is. In addition, given the centrality of consciousness in philosophy, Dietrich and Hardcastle claim that philosophy itself needs to change. That the central problems of philosophy persist is actually a profound epistemic fact about humans. Philosophy, then, is a limit to what humans can understand. (Series A)
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Product details

  • Hardback | 136 pages
  • 152.4 x 221 x 15.2mm | 249.48g
  • John Benjamins Publishing Co
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1588116026
  • 9781588116024

Table of contents

1. Acknowledgements; 2. Introduction; 3. 1.Intuitions at an impasse: The explanatory landscape; 4. Part I:Troubles with Naturalism; 5. 2. Against naturalism: The logical boundary of conscious perception; 6. 3.The dismal prospects for naturalism; 7. Part II: Aspects of a science of consciousness; 8. 4.How to avoid being a mysterian; 9. 5.Science in the face of mystery; 10. Part III: An application: Consciousness and philosophy; 11. 6. How consciousness creates philosophy; 12. Appendix: Problems with zombies: A discussion of Chalmers's arguments for dualism; 13. Notes; 14. References; 15. Index
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