Subjective character of experience


Subjective character of experience

That all subjective phenomena are associated with a single point of view ("ego") is called the subjective character of experience. The term was coined and illuminated by Thomas Nagel in his famous paper "What is it like to be a bat?" [Nagel, Thomas (1974) What is it like to be a bat? "The Philisophical Review" LXXXIII, 4 (October): 435-50.]

Nagel argues that because bats are apparently conscious mammals with an entirely different way of perceiving their environments than the way in which human beings do, it is possible to conclude that there is something that it is "like" to be a bat, but not what it is like "for" a bat. While the example of the bat is particularly illustrative, any conscious species might fit. Further, any "organism" would work, as each organism has a unique point of view from which no other organism can gather experience.fact|date=April 2008

Nagel claims that the subjective character of experience implies the cognitive closure of the human mind to some facts, specifically the way in which physical states create mental ones.

References

ee also

* Dualism (philosophy of mind)
* Inverted spectrum
* Functionalism
* The map is not the territory
* Mary's Room
* Philosophy of mind
* Philosophy of perception
* Physicalism
* Qualia
* Zombies

External links

* [http://members.aol.com/NeoNoetics/Nagel_Bat.html What is it like to be a bat?]


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