Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Eddy Nahmias - Chair

Second Advisor

Sandra Dwyer

Third Advisor

Andrea Scarantino


One common element of Kripke’s and Chalmers’ reactions to physicalist theories of mind is their reliance upon the intuition that concepts about conscious experiences are essentially identified by the “immediate phenomenal quality” of the conscious experience, how the experience feels from the subjective point of view. I examine how Kripke’s and Chalmers’ critiques require that concepts about conscious experiences be identified by their subjective feel and then move on to provide some ways in which this intuition about concepts of conscious experience could be wrong. Specifically, the intuition is not consistent with our intuitions about unusual cases reported by pain researchers and does not take such cases to be genuine cases of pain. These inconsistencies weaken the intuition, making it problematic for any critique of identity theory or physicalism to rely heavily upon it.

Included in

Philosophy Commons