[Course Title] Thomas Nagels “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” Thomas Nagels article, “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” takes us into the inner sanctum, where our mind’s-eye view affords us the most intimate perspectives on our target, and allows us to relocate our selves in the metaphysical and physical world. The ability to map oneself onto others seems to be the exclusive property of members of higher species is the central topic of Thomas Nagel’s article. Prosthetic vision devices for the blind, mentioned in “What is it Like to be a Bat?”, have been under development for many years, but the best systems currently available are still crude. Most of the research and development has been done in Europe. The famous split-brain subjects mentioned in the article have been investigated intensively and rigorously in laboratory settings for years. In certain forms of epilepsy a suggested treatment is a commissurotomy, an operation that almost cuts the brain in halfproducing a left brain and a right brain that are almost independent.
Amazing phenomena resultoften strongly suggestive of the interpretation that commissurotomy splits the person or self in two. The intelligibility gap is not all-or-nothing: there are stepping-stones. Nagel has raised the difficulties in this in his article. He proposed that ‘an organism has conscious mental states if and only if there is something it is like to be that organism–something it is like for the organism’. In the article he contends that all materialist and functionalist theories of mind and consciousness omit the central fact of mentality–that there is something it feels like to be in a certain material or functional state. In this case, we see a tension between the lived experience intimate to the individual subject and the generalizing theoretical accounts, which seem to provide the best overall explanations. In his challenging attack on physicalism and functionalism Nagel maintains that what he calls ‘the subjective character of experience’ ‘is not analysable in terms of any explanatory system of functional states, or intentional states’, nor ‘in terms of the causal role of experiences in relation to typical human behaviour’. The subjective qualities of conscious experience are called qualia (plural of the Latin singular quale).
We know that an organism is anything that is living and can function by itself. This paper will help understand chameleons and how they have evolved to adapt to their surroundings. It will also discuss their physical features inside and out. Myths and facts will be revealed, as well as a few comparisons between sexes. Though there are many species of chameleons, everything discussed will be in ...
Examples are the way sugar tastes, the way vermilion looks, the way coffee smells, the way a cat’s purr sounds, the way it feels to stub your toe.
Accounting for these features of mental states has been one of the biggest obstacles to materialist solutions to the mind–body problem, because it seems impossible to analyse the subjective character of these phenomena, which are comprehensible only from the point of view of certain types of conscious being, in objective physical terms which are comprehensible to any rational individual independently of his particular sensory faculties. Nagel would not be satisfied with a merely physical or neurophysiological description of the bat’s echolocation system. That is just the sort of objective knowledge that he sets in contrast to knowledge of what it is like (for the bat) to be a bat. The required sort of ‘account’ must constitute some kind of account of what it is like for the bat. Works Cited.