What Does It Be A Bat?

1570 Words Dec 6th, 2015 7 Pages
As stated by Thomas Nagel in his paper “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” consciousness is what makes the mind-body problem really intractable (Reference). By this, he means that the relationships between the subject mind and the objective physical body are difficult to control or to deal with. Nagel states that without consciousness the problem seems less interesting, and with it, it seems impossible (Reference). Reduction has been a common method to attempt to link the relationship between the mind and the body, however Nagel has many critiques in the ways that reductionists attempt it. Reductionism is the process of taking one theory or phenomenon to be reducible to some other theory or phenomenon – in most cases to objectively clarify its meaning (Reference). Nagel criticizes reductionists take on the mind by saying that “Reduction theories do not attempt to explain the most important and characteristic features of the conscious mind.” He claims there may be knowledge available in the future to potentially reduce the mind, however not only do we not have access to that intelligence but we may never.
To help assert his take on the falsely posed take on the subject mind Nagel creates his definition of the subjective character of experience. It is defined as: There is something that it is like to be that organism. He creates this definition to show that it may be possible to know that other organisms have a consciousness – and in turn relate to the mind-body issue. He quotes…
Open Document