Place：京都大学 文学部校舎１階 会議室
Speaker：Prof. Christian Coseru (College of Charlton), Prof. Sheridan Hough (College of Charlton)
Title：“Consciousness and Causation”
Does consciousness cause behavior? Can causal accounts of generation for material bodies explain how conscious awareness comes to have the structural features and phenomenal properties that it does? In this presentation, I first consider various arguments against reductive physicalism. I then review arguments about the structure of phenomenal consciousness that do not eschew causal-explanatory reasoning. Finally, I entertain the question whether the Buddhist principle of dependent arising, which underscores a dynamic conception of efficient causality, allows for elements defined primarily in terms of their capacity for sentience and agency to be causally efficacious.
Title：“Nietzsche on Consciousness: Epiphenomenalism, Genealogy and Archaeology”
Is Nietzsche an epiphenomenalist? No. But—why does he occasionally make remarks that tempt the reader to think of his theory of mind in this way? A number of commentators argue that Nietzsche does endorse epiphenomenalism. On the other hand, Nietzsche makes many complex and original remarks about consciousness, and for every passage that casts doubts on the causal efficacy of conscious states there are always a number of counterexamples ready to hand—for example: if conscious states don’t cause anything, then why does Nietzsche occasionally claim that consciousness is dangerous? It seems clear that one of Nietzsche’s complaints about consciousness has more to do with reifying ‘Consciousness’ as a substantive faculty, rather than treating it as a kind of mental state that we can and do have. But what is it about conscious states that Nietzsche finds ‘superfluous’, ‘false’, ‘corrupt’, ‘superficial’? Why is Nietzsche such a critic of consciousness? Nietzsche’s ‘theory of consciousness’ is clearly up to much more than the epiphenomenalist is willing to admit: but why does Nietzsche make these kinds of remarks? What concerns might he have in common with the epiphenomenal approach? I will argue that the conscious, scrupulous examination of our lives is a crucial element in improving them, but that careful examination must be as clear-eyed as possible about the impossibility of obtaining a clear and unbiased view of the human terrain. If what humans say about themselves, their culture, and their environment, can indeed diminish, reduce and distort human possibilities, then the epiphenomenalist’s dismissal of conscious states as a chimera is no remedy; however, the epistemologist’s cheerful confidence in our reflective powers will not save us, either. We must consciously reflect on ourselves with a cannier eye, one that is able, as Nietzsche puts it, to ‘see into the depths’: we must do ‘genealogy’ to discover how we have developed, and in order to make sense of that developmental process. Nietzsche also wants us to become good ‘archaeologists,’ able to reflectively dig into the millennia of habit and custom that shore up our ‘inherited’ ways of seeing the world.