Conscious experience and antireductionism in David Chalmers’ philosophy



Девід Чалмерс, Едмунд Гусерль, феноменальний досвід, кваліа, свідомість, інтенційність


In this article the five arguments against reductionism are analyzed, which Chalmers presents in his book “The Conscious Mind”. These are then generalized, and their theoretical relevance is assessed. In the first part the author draws the distinctions between the two pair of terms of Chalmers’ philosophy, namely “psychological” and “phenomenal consciousness,” “the easy problems” and “the hard problem of consciousness.” The second part is a brief survey of the five arguments for the irreducibility of consciousness. In the third part the author gives critical assessment of the arguments and counterposes them to the stronger argument of intentionality. In the fourth part Husserl’s approach is compared with that of Chalmers, especially in the context of their reductionism critique. Summing up the results of the investigation, the author puts forward a notion of phenomenal experience that is different from the one proposed by Chalmers and that is closely related with the notion of intentionality.

Author Biography

Andrii Vakhtel, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

master of philosophy, postgraduate student. Research interests: phenomenology, epistemology, problems of philosophical translation.


Bogachov, A., Vakhtel, A., Verloka, V., Ivashchenko, I., Ivashchenko, S., Kebuladze, V., Komar, O., Leonov, A., Panych, O., Sepetyi, D., Khoma, O., Fostyak, T., Tsyba, V. (2015). Translation as (mis)understanding. Terminological discussion. [In Ukrainian] In: Filosofs’ka dumka, № 5, p. 68 — 94. [= Кебуладзе 2015]

Vakhtel, A., Kebuladze, V., Komar, O., Leonov, A., Sepetyi, D., Synytsia, A., Sukhovyi, V.,

Tsyba, V. (2016). Translation as (mis)understanding. Terminological discussion. What is it like to be a zombie. [In Ukrainian] In: Filosofs’ka dumka, № 1, p. 83–112. [= Кебуладзе 2016]

Vakhtel, А. (2015). The Article of Aron Gurwitsch “On the Intentionality of Consciousness”: Theoretical Context and Linguistic Peculiarities. [In Ukrainian] In: Filosofs’ka dumka, № 5, p. 6–14. [= Вахтель 2015]

Gurwitsch, A. (2015). On the Intentionality of Consciousness. [In Ukrainian] In: Filosofs’ka dumka, № 5, p. 14–30. [= Ґурвіч 2015]

Brentano, F. (1874). Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. B. 1 [In German] Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

Chalmers, D. (2010). Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness. In: Chalmers D. The Character of Consciousness. Oxford University Press, p. 3–28.

Chalmers, D. (1996). The Conscious Mind. In a Search of a Theory of Conscious Experience. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Dennet, D. (1988). Quining Qualia. In: Consciousness in Contemporary Science. Ed. by A.J. Mar cel, E. Bisiach. Oxford University Press, p. 381–414.

Dupuy, J.-P. (1999). Philosophy and Cognition: Historical Roots. In: Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science. Ed. by J. Petitot, F. Varela, B. Pachoud, J.-M. Roy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, p. 539–561.

Gallagher, S., Zahavi, D. (2008). Phenomenological Mind. An Introduction to Phenomenology and the Cognitive Science. New York, London, Ontario: Routledge.

Husserl, E. (1939). Experience and Judgment. Investigations in a Genealogy of Logic. Ed. by L. Landgrebe. [In German] Prag: Academia Verlagsbuchhandlung.

Husserl, E. (1976). Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology. Ed. by K. Schuhmann [In German] Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff. (Husserliana III/1).

Husserl, E. (1913). Logical Investigations. Vol. 1: Prolegomena to Pure Logic. 2nd edition. [In German] Halle: Niemeyer.

Husserl, E. (1987). Philosophie as a Rigorous Science. [In German] In: Husserl E. Essays and Lectures (1911–1921). Ed. by Thomas Nenon and Hans Rainer Sepp. Dordrecht, Boston, Lancaster: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. (Husserliana XXV), p. 3–63.

Jackson, F. (1982). Epiphenomenal Qualia. In: Philosophical Quarterly, 32, p. 127–136.

Lohmar, D. (2008). Phenomenology of the weak Phantasy. Investigations of Psychology, Cognitive

Science, Neurology und Phenomenology of Function of the Phantasy in Perception. [In German] Springer.

McGinn, C. (1991). The Problem of Consciousness. Blackwell: Oxford.

Nagel, T. (1974). What is it like to be a bat? In: Philosophical Review, 82, p. 435–450.

Rudd, A.J. (s.a.). What it’s like and what’s really wrong with physicalism: a Wittgensteinian perspective. Retrieved from


Abstract views: 350



How to Cite

Vakhtel, A. (2017). Conscious experience and antireductionism in David Chalmers’ philosophy. Filosofska Dumka, (3), 41–56. Retrieved from



Download data is not yet available.

Most read articles by the same author(s)