more from John Searle

Single Idea 5794

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / a. Consciousness]

Full Idea

Consciousness has a first-person or subjective ontology, by which I mean that conscious states only exist when experienced by a subject and they exist only from the first-person point of view of that subject.


'Ontology' is the study of what exists

Gist of Idea

Consciousness has a first-person ontology, which only exists from a subjective viewpoint


John Searle (The Mystery of Consciousness [1997], Ch.5 App)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Mystery of Consciousness' [Granta 1997], p.120

A Reaction

I think this is nonsense, and I don't think Searle believes it. He ruthlessly attacks so-called 'eliminativists', but the definition he gives here would make him an eliminativist about other minds. There is no such thing as 'first-person' ontology.