Thesis: Searle’s Perception of Consciousness

Sample Thesis Paper

It is inevitable that any philosopher will use a scientific basis to prove their theories just as a scientist can use a philosopher’s point of view to prove their theories. Searle explains his perception of consciousness using terms such as qualia and ontology. Qualia is a term which is used in philosophy to describe the first person experiences of an individual and their subjective experience while ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of existence, being and/or reality. In order to explain Searle’s main point of view we can take the example of any color seen in the spectrum such as red. According to scientific fact red is not truly red in color it is simply the reaction of a reflection of light on our retinas which sends signals to our central nervous systems. However, the question remains how does the brain recognized such a color as red. According to Searle the nature of qualia explains this reasoning.

According to Searle if we prick our finger with a needle this causes the firing of neurons within our skin which goes down our spine and then to different regions of the brain. However, that is only a part of the experience. According to Searle the different qualia of this pain is what gives it an ontological mode of existence. The pathways which cause pain the individual are the same for all individuals, however the ontological pathways which cause the pain to be experienced in different ways is the result of consciousness. Thus, consciousness according to Searle is not meant to be quantified since it does not have any biological assets and because of this it can only exist when experienced in the first person point of view.

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