SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Don't Abide by Intuition but Explain it: Illusionism as a Successor to Eliminativism
(Philosophy of Mind, English)

Illusionism, which has crystallized in philosophy relatively recently (Metzinger 2003, Humphrey 2013, Frankish 2016, Dennett 2016), attributes our resistance to identifying consciousness with neural processes to the illusions our experience abounds in. I approach illusionism as a successor to eliminativism for it dismisses an epistemological significance of our pre-theoretical understanding of ourselves and calls for a revision of psychological concepts. Yet unlike eliminativism, illusionism does not propose to eliminate our pre-theoretical understanding but includes it in its explananda phenomena. In this paper, I show that the illusionist's doubt about experience does not hold. I do that based on a series of articles on M-autonomy by Thomas Metzinger (2013, 2016, 2017), in which he claims that mind-wandering is a conscious yet subpersonal process, a predicate of the brain, and introduces the illusions of agency and ownership of mind-wandering as what makes us committed to the myth of cognitive agency. Illusionism relies on the Puzzling Representation Thesis to argue that our experience is a functionally adequate but epistemologically unjustified representation. I contend that the Puzzling Representation Thesis results from a mischaracterization of experience. Specifically, the puzzling character of our cognitive phenomenology and pre-theoretical understanding of mind-wandering is not a matter of conflict with the best available scientific data. Rather, it is consequent on the assumptions, operative in Metzinger's definition of the explananda phenomena, that preserve the revisionary claim at high methodological and theoretical costs. These assumptions are (i) the introspective supervision model of mental self-control and the actualism about introspection; (ii) unintelligibility of mind-wandering; and (iii) the identification of ability with a feeling, or a phenomenal character of being able.

Chair: Giulia Lorenzi
Time: 11:20-11:50, 14 September 2018 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.003

Katsiaryna Suryna 
(Central European University, Hungary)

I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Philosophy, Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). I specialize in philosophy of science and philosophy of cognitive neuroscience in particular, philosophy of mind, and phenomenology. I work on my dissertation project currently entitled "Prospects of improvement and integration of multilevel explanations in the sciences of naturalized mind by means of phenomenology" under the supervision of professor Maria Kronfeldner. Recently, I have also been interested in matters of the relationship between art and science, art and research, and the use of AI in the study and production of art. I proposed and organized the conference "Art IN Academia" (January 18-19, 2018) and the group exhibition, which I also curated (January 18-February 5, 2018).

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