Essay about Analysis Of Thomas Nagel 's `` What Is It Like You Be A Bat?

1693 Words Dec 2nd, 2016 7 Pages
In Thomas Nagel’s “What Is It Like To Be a Bat?” he tests the validity of physicalism by addressing the dilemma consciousness conveys to the theory, and he utilizes his concept of the subjective character of experience to do so. Nagel explains in his works, “If the subjective character of experience is fully comprehensible only from one point of view, then any shift to greater objectivity that is, less attachment to a specific view point does not take us nearer to the real nature of the phenomenon: it takes us farther away from it.” (Nagel). To further explain the significance of this quote, I begin with clarifying Nagel’s us of ‘subjective character of experience’, then shift to clarify how his argument undermines the view physicalism has with consciousness, and what it indicates for the mind-body problem.
Nagel defines ‘experience’ as a fundamentally subjective notion and that it is improbable to genuinely fathom what it would be like to be another creature of either identical or different species. Nagel illuminates how one can attempt to visualize what being a bat would be like (ex: sonar detection for vision, sleeping habits, dietary habits, etc) however one can only get as far as envisioning what it would be like for a human to live as a bat lives and not the way a bat truly acquires its experiences. Nagel’s ‘subjective character of experience’ is the impression that if an organism has cognizant mental states, then there is medium that it is like to be that organism.…

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