Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
human, conciousness, evidence, mind
In this paper I argue that we have evidence to believe certain views in the philosophy of mind over others. Specifically, the fact that humans are conscious is evidence in favor of a view insofar as that view holds that a greater proportion of beings in the universe are conscious. My reasoning is as follows: if a greater proportion of beings in the universe are conscious, then it is more likely that human beings will be conscious; human beings are conscious, therefore we have reason to believe that a greater proportion of physical beings in the universe are conscious. Human consciousness is evidence in favor of views which hold that a greater proportion of beings are conscious, because human consciousness is more likely, epistemically speaking, under those views. Once I have made this argument, I then turn to familiar views in the philosophy of mind. I argue that under certain metaphysical views about the relationship of the physical to the mental, we ought to think that a greater proportion of beings are conscious. Therefore human consciousness is evidence in favor of those metaphysical views.
Pallies, Daniel, "Our Consciousness as Evidence for Modal Views in the Philosophy of Mind" (2015). Honors Theses. 370.