The Mind Body Problem : Nagel 's Theory Of Phenomenal Consciousness

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We have all wondered and asked ourselves what it would be like to be something other than yourself. However, some experiences are just completely beyond human understanding. Thomas Nagel, in “What is it like to be a Bat? ”, explains the importance of consciousness as well as the subjective character of experience by using multiple examples, defining this phenomenon of consciousness arguing that it is an essential part of the mind-body problem. This exegesis will be concentrated on exploring Nagel’s theory of phenomenal consciousness, also known as “qualia”, by examining in depth the meaning of his sayings.

Nagel argues that consciousness is such an important part of the mind-body dilemma because it is an individual experience that cannot be understood by our personal understanding or by objective science. Nagel ultimately tries to prove that mental states, and specifically consciousness and experience can only be viewed in a subjective context and not objectively. Philosophers have tried to share their explanation on the relation of mind to brain and this “has led to the acceptance of implausible accounts of the mental largely because they would permit familiar kinds of reduction.” (Nagel 1) Reduction has been defined as a process by where we ultimately try to lessen our reliance on specific cases and create a general case definition. Nagel has a point in saying that every organism that experiences consciousness is unique because no other organism may share that same

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