Sisyphus’s Boulder

Consciousness and the limits of the knowable

| Binghamton University
| Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027251961 (Eur) | EUR 90.00
ISBN 9781588116024 (USA) | USD 135.00
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ISBN 9789027294791 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
 
Consciousness lies at the core of being human. Therefore, to understand ourselves, we need a theory of consciousness. In Sisyphus's Boulder, Eric Dietrich and Valerie Hardcastle argue that we will never get such a theory because consciousness has an essential property that prevents it from ever being explained. Consequently, philosophical debates over materialism and dualism are a waste of time. Scientific explanations of consciousness fare no better. Scientists do study consciousness, and such investigations will continue to grow and advance. However, none of them will ever reveal what consciousness is. In addition, given the centrality of consciousness in philosophy, Dietrich and Hardcastle claim that philosophy itself needs to change. That the central problems of philosophy persist is actually a profound epistemic fact about humans. Philosophy, then, is a limit to what humans can understand. (Series A)
[Advances in Consciousness Research, 60]  2005.  xii, 136 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1–3
1.Intuitions at an impasse: The explanatory landscape
5–19
Part I:Troubles with Naturalism
2. Against naturalism: The logical boundary of conscious perception
23–38
3.The dismal prospects for naturalism
39–52
Part II: Aspects of a science of consciousness
4.How to avoid being a mysterian
55–70
5.Science in the face of mystery
71–87
Part III: An application: Consciousness and philosophy
6. How consciousness creates philosophy
91–102
Appendix: Problems with zombies: A discussion of Chalmers's arguments for dualism
103–115
Notes
117–125
References
127–130
Index
131–133
“Sisyphus’s Boulder is a bold reformulation of the problem of consciousness that denies the existence of a reductive explanatory theory of consciousness. Dietrich and Hardcastle take aim at the leading theories of our time and masterfully expose the fundamental weaknesses of each theory. This book is written with wit and insight and should be read by all conscious entities.”
“[...] enjoyable and thought provoking.”
Subjects

Consciousness Research

Consciousness research

Philosophy

Philosophy
BIC Subject: JMT – States of consciousness
BISAC Subject: PSY020000 – PSYCHOLOGY / Neuropsychology
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2004059570
Cited by

Cited by other publications

Baars, Bernard J.
2017.  In The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness,  pp. 227 ff. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119132363.ch16

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