Do any of these arguments [epiphanies] exist in the philosophy of mind?

  1. Consciousness is a complex structure, and it is unlikely to be realizable in just any structure, else anything big enough would be conscious, and binary data is very different from the brain: so AI without wet brains is silly. An argument that the complexity of a structure isn't enough and then disanalogy with non biological complex structures.

  2. A patch of red exists without consciousness of it, and is red, what the only difference is, is that "I", or something else, has that experience, and that is because consciousness is about its object, that I can reflect on qualia: but the same isn't true of animal life. An explanation of qualia in terms of higher-order conscious intentionality.

  3. Qualia depend upon me having them, which is the self identity of me: but then as I can unconsciously experience things that don't exist, so "I" am, in part, already an experience of nothing. Saying that I am just my qualia, and so exist when they don't have any Being, e.g. when asleep.

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    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


Sure, they have all been made in some way or other (insofar as I can make sense of them):

Your 1. is reminiscent of the China brain thought experiment, and other similar objections to functionalism about qualia. The Chinese room thought experiment is also tangentially related.

Your 2. is explored in so-called higher-order theories of consciousness, although many of their proponents would agree that many animals are capable of the relevant higher-order mental states.

Your 3. is a bit harder for me to assess, because its formulation is less clear. It reminds me of so-called psychological-continuity views on personal identity. Note that personal identity is a slightly different topic from the one your first two arguments deal with, which is the metaphysics of consciousness.

  • 1
    i was already kinda aware of all that, but thanks, don't think i'll get a better answer
    – user38026
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 17:49

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