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Ignorance and Imagination: The Epistemic Origin of the Problem of Consciousness

Ignorance and Imagination advances a novel way to resolve the central philosophical problem about the mind: how it is that consciousness or experience fits into a larger naturalistic picture of the world?

The correct response to the problem, Stoljar argues, is not to posit a realm of experience distinct from the physical, nor to deny the reality of phenomenal experience, nor even to rethink our understanding of consciousness and the language we use to talk about it. Instead, we should view the problem itself as a consequence of our ignorance of the relevant physical facts.

Stoljar shows that this change of orientation is well motivated historically, empirically, and philosophically, and that it has none of the side effects it is sometimes thought to have. The result is a philosophical perspective on the mind that has a number of far-reaching consequences: for consciousness studies, for our place in nature, and for the way we think about the relationship between philosophy and science.

Daniel Stoljar was educated as an undergraduate at the University of Sydney, and received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently Senior Fellow in the Philosophy Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University.

Publication Details
Name of Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place of Publication: New York
Resource Type: Monograph
ISBN: 0195306589
Publication Year: 2006
Publication Frequency: Other
Subject Covered: Philosophy & religion